Last year, I read Marissa Doyle’s Bewitching Season and was a bit dubious. My dubiousness started when I saw the cover, with the badly fitted dress from the wrong period (this is 1837, not 1850!) and the funny curls. In short, the cover summed up my problems with the book: it just didn’t convince me that the setting was really Victorian England.
But then I saw the cover for Doyle’s latest book, Courtship and Curses, and look at it! It’s not an awkwardly posed photograph; in fact it seems to be a tinted print, from the right period, and it made me stop and go, “Huh.” And then I put it on hold. And I was right about it–it’s a very nice book with lots of period detail and a heroine who is learning to deal with the fact that she’s disabled. Plus there’s a sweet romance and a good depiction of a friendship between two girls.
So was I right to judge the two books by their covers? Would I have liked Bewitching Season better if I hadn’t been instantly put off when I picked it up? I don’t know. I’d guess that it might have helped but that Doyle has also grown as a writer.