The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper is a light-hearted, romantic story of a sheltered socialite, the semi-civilized Wild West, mistaken identity, mistaken situations and a great deal of romantic-comedy cliches.
Reading Eugenia Cooper put me in mind of cotton candy, all spun sugar, sweetness and air. It was a fast, fun read with very little substance. Characters were sketched and back-story hinted at, but motivations and, in one instance, complete behavior patterns could change between chapters.
Eugenia Cooper is our stock socialite heroine who has read too many dime-novels and longs for an ‘authentic Wild West adventure’. There’s the stock widower aristocrat, Daniel Beck, who’s made his fortune in the American West. The usual over-indulged daughter makes the expected transformation from the mischievous hellion to sweet biddable child with Ms. Cooper as governess. Then there are the disapproving grandfather, ex-confederate solider who saved our hero’s life, a suspicious housekeeper, and a whole host of angry, moralizing housewives.
Katherine Y’Barbo’s writing is fast, breezy and fun to read. To bring back my original analogy, it’s like cotton candy. During consumption, it’s a light, tasty, sweet treat. It’s only afterward that you realize just how much sugar you ate, with little or no substance.
Alethea is a computer programmer, science fiction/fantasy geek, and amateur movie reviewer at This Insane Movie Project.