Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Title: Once and Always
Author: Judith McNaught
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket (September 20, 1990)
Source: Personal Library
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

My thoughts:
I had heard a lot about this author but I never really remembered reading anything by her. There was a time when I used to devour one romance novel a day, so it might be possible that I have read one of her books. Anyway, this one sounded good. I have to say the summary at the back is kind of misleading.

Victoria and her sister Dorothy are orphaned at he age of 18 and 17 respectively when their parents die in an accident (Horse carriage). Having no one else to look after them their doctor finds out that their mother was royalty, daughter of a countess. So he sends them from America to England to their cousins.

The cousins turn out to be Charles who is an elderly Duke and Jason who is a young and troubled Marquess. Charles wants Victoria and Jason to get married but they both hate each other at sight. Jason does not want another women in his life after his ex wife deceived him and Victoria does not want an arrogant and rude man as her husband, besides

she already has a man called Andrew back home. She is sure he will be coming to get her as soon as he returns home and discovers she is gone.

The story basically revolves around these two. I loved her writing style and I do believe I have found another favorite Romance writer. The book could have been reduced in length at least by 100 pages though. Victoria was a lovely, vivacious, lively character and although I loved her she was almost too good to be true. Jason was a very nicely fleshed out character and I could very well understand why he behaved the way he did.

I have 2 things I would like to mention here though.

Firstly I was very sad that the author decided to make use of the stereotypical and ignorant descriptions of the Indians. She describes them as ragged beggars. I mean come on. As one reviewer on Amazon puts it perfectly

Throughout generations and even now the dominant religion in India has been Hinduism. So why were the “poverty stricken dirty Indians” dragged into the sadistic torture of a white British(who by the way unjustly occupied India during that era and tortured the rightful citizen and looted the country) Christian boy?

She also mentions that India is always hot. This is something I have read in so many novels and I thought I should really mention something this time. The author is writing about Delhi and yes, India is a tropical country and it is hot. But it is not always hot, in fact Delhi has very severe winters. I wish the authors could check the facts first.

Also, there is a tone in the novel that suggest that Americans are better than the British and although one can argue the fact by saying that the hero and her Uncle are British, they seem to be the exception. Overall I found it a little offending even though I am not British. I don’t know if I’m being too sensitive here, but if you’ve read this book ad you’re not an American, you could let me know.

In spite of my complaints, Once and Always was entertaining. I’ll definitely be reading more of her books. Which one do you suggest?

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10 thoughts on “Once and Always by Judith McNaught

  1. I think I’ve read this book before but I can’t be sure since it was years ago. It’s sad that stereotypes happen in books as well as in real life.

    Have you read Whitney, My Love? That’s one of my most memorable reads by this author.

  2. I’m sorry to read in your review about how the author is stereotyping certain group of people. Things like this happen a lot. I haven’t read anything by this author although I sure heard a lot about her works.

  3. I read a bunch of books by Judith McNaught years ago but they were just okay reads. Everyone raves about Whitney, My Love, and I liked it okay, so I would suggest you try that one next.

  4. I’ve read all of her novels and this was not a favorite of mine. I loved Paradise and Almost Heaven most, so I’d recommend those.
    It’s been so long since I read this one that I don’t remember stereotyping, but it’s too bad that it offended you.

  5. I haev read almowst every single one of her books…and i must say she is one of my favorite authors……. I personaly loved this book… i would say any book by Judith McNought is a great read!

  6. Mcnaught is not the only author to describe India or Indians so. For most authors it is either a pit of poverty or a land of decadence and exotica. I know it is neither.
    Once and always was my first Judith Mcnaught. I went on to read every book she has written so far. Obviously I enjoyed the book. Some of her books have are awesome. Defenitely worth a try, esp the contemporary romance.

  7. I agree the comments regarding Indians were offensive. I’m not sure what point that Amazon reviewer is trying to make though (“Throughout generations and even now the dominant religion in India has been Hinduism.”)

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