Things I liked:
+the description of the Alps/Switzerland — it reminded me of some of Eva Ibbotson’s alpine books. I guess I’m a sucker for buttercups and mountains.
+the unlikely commune they set up, with everyone doing the work together and only acting as servants when stuffy people came to visit.
Things I didn’t like:
+the romance. I probably would have enjoyed this when I was 14, when my emotions were spilling all over the place. I found the endless longing for the unattainable frustrating and boring, and I always preferred Mar to Milo because Mar is fun and happy and I value fun and happy much more than tortured sad Milo. And also it messed up the friendship with Phyllida, who I felt got short shrift at the end of the book. I would have liked to read a book about Phyllida where she actually did things, and had an ending worthy of her. Milo is fawned over when he’s unhappy because he’s handsome and easygoing but because Phyllida isn’t classically goodlooking and has a temper, she’s an ugly harridan? She went to Oxford! #teamPhyllida
+the ending. It worked in some ways but it also seemed a bit like a lazy way out. Still not sure how I feel about it.
I think some of my issues with this book are just simply that I can’t deal with a lot of romance. I like it when people are friends and gradually have feelings for each other, or who banter their way into a relationship. I don’t like endless longing or jealousy. (Maybe I shouldn’t read YA fiction anymore…)
All that said, I did enjoy reading it and I liked the description of Victorian life and expectations. And horses. Peyton can always be relied on to have great horses.