My Notebook: Almost Heaven


I love this book. I like the story, the heroin and most of all, I LOVE Ian Thornton. He is first amongst all of Judith McNaught's regency heroes. He is broody, he is gorgeous, he is terrifyingly aloof and cold if ever you cross his line and on top of that, he's a freaking genius!

Not forgetting, as Nora mentioned in a comment to one of my previous post, he's an artist too. He sketches real good, according to Elizabeth (the heroin). He has an amazing way in capturing the essence of things.

Ian is half Scot, too. According to him, Scots do fall in love (as opposed to English who doesn't wear their heart on their sleeves). And he's rather bold in declaring his love compared to the other JM heroes. He told Elizabeth he's already half in love with her on their first 'accidental' date in a small woodcutter's cottage. Isn't that sweet?

Elizabeth Cameron, The Countess of Havenhurst, first met our Mr Thornton at a ball. She was challenged by her friends to approach him and score a dance. Ian, at that time, refused. Our Mr Thornton has a reputation you see. He is known as a ruthless gambler and he's lineage is questionable (read: he could be a bastard, literally).

You do noticed that he's no title to his name?

In the mean time, Elizabeth was at a brink of being engaged to some Viscount. She's the most successful debutante of the season and hence, became an object of envy for managing to snatch one of the eligible bachelors.

A scandal ensues which tarnished her reputation and everything went downhill for her from then on. As for Ian, he left England to pursue his 'I-want-to-make-millions' dreams, ignorant of the mess he left behind.

Read more about it over at Rip My Bodice m'kay.

What I find the most poignant scene of all is when Elizabeth, who's then his wife, speak these words when he wanted to divorce her...
Elizabeth stiffened, thinking wildly for some way to reach him before he took irrevocable steps to banish her. Every fiber of her being believed he loved her. Surely, if one loved another deeply enough to be hurt like this... It hit her then, what he was doing and why, and she turned on him while the vicar's story about Ian's actions after his parents' death seared her mind. She, however, was not a Labrador retriever who could be shoved away and out of his life.

Turning, she walked over to his desk, leaning her damp palms on it, waiting until he was forced to meet her gaze. Looking like a courageous, heartbroken angel, Elizabeth faced her adversary across his desk, her voice shaking with love. "Listen carefully to me, darling, because I'm giving you fair warning that I won't let you do this to us. You gave me your love, and I will not let you take it away. The harder you try, the harder I'll fight you. I'll haunt your dreams at night, exactly the way you've haunted mine every night I was away from you. You'll lie awake in bed at night, wanting me, and you'll know I'm lying awake, wanting you. And when you cannot stand it anymore," she promised achingly, "you'll come back to me, and I'll be here, waiting for you. I'll cry in your arms, and I'll tell you I'm sorry for everything I've done, and you'll help me find a way to forgive myself--"

"Damn you!" he bit out, his face white with fury. "What does it take to make you stop?"

Elizabeth flinched from the hatred in the voice she loved and drew a shaking breath, praying she could finish without starting to cry. "I've hurt you terribly, my love, and I'll hurt you again during the next fifty years. And you are going to hurt me, Ian -- never, I hope, as much as you are hurting me now. But if that's the way it has to be, then I'll endure it, because the only alternative is to live without you, and that is no life at all. The difference is that I know it, and you don't -- not yet."

Almost Heaven, Chapter 35, page 485-486

Elizabeth disappeared after that, trying to avoid being served by Ian's divorce petition. He started to look for her 3 months later after missing her, with no avail, too. But he found her in the end, at home.

It's all very poignant, I tell you. You've got to read it to know the whole story :p

I'm currently reading Mr Manny. But I'm hardly progressing. What I want most to do right now, is to reread this story. It's like wanting to watch your favourite movie over and over again.




ohhhhh.... i loooove ian!!! almost heaven is my ultimate favorite! i cried and cried when reading this part and was swearing like mad at ian for torturing elizabeth like that. rasa cam nak sekeh2 je ian yg broody handsome tuh hehehhe...
Larawannabe said…
lol. during the whole debacle i switched sides. at first i was team ian; time tu rasa nak sepuk2 je si elizabeth. then when she came back and how ian treated her, i masuk team elizabeth pulak. hahaha.
Ida said…
Ian is my favorite Judith McNaught character, too! I absolutely loved this book because he's in it! :D