Amanda Miranda

Amanda Miranda by Richard Peck

A charming story that is so predictable you almost think there will be a twist at the end.  The predictability does not lessen the charm of the story.  Originally, bought on sale for around $2, this was the book kept in the car.  Nothing life ending if you don’t read it for days or weeks, and short enough that you will be OK if you have a short trip somewhere and need something silly to read.  The characters are predictable, the plot is easy to follow, and overall enjoyable book.  Two girls, from opposite ends of society, who are so alike friends and family confuse them at first.  When one uses the other for her own cruel purposes you will end up taking sides, but not hate either Amanda or Miranda.  The men in their lives are intertwined just as plotted, and feelings get jumbled.

Character List/Book Summary:

Mary Cooke = 18 years old, grew up in Whitely Bank, going to start working as a maid at the Whitwell family, renamed Miranda by Amanda Whitwell, who looks exactly like her, down to the violet eyes, falls in love with a man above her station in life and is entranced by John Thorne

Wisewoman = foresees other’s death, but doesn’t tell people of theirs, is a medicine woman who plays into the folklore to help her credibility, foresees that Mary’s future lies beyond a mountain of ice where will die and live again, that she will marry twice, and called Mary Amanda as she was leaving the cottage

Lady Eleanor = courted Gregory Forrest on her daughter, Amanda’s behalf, puts up with Amanda’s tantrums to keep peace in the household

Sir Timothy Whitwell = a tea merchant, Amanda’s father

John Thorne = a valuable craftsman at the Whitwell estate, transitions to the chauffeur, in love with Amanda, confuses Miranda with Amanda the first time he see her, goes along with Amanda’s plan to “date” Miranda and marry her so that he can stay with Amanda, killed his father to protect Amanda and avenge his grandmother, arrives in America to be with the woman he loves as planned by Amanda

Amanda Whitwell = has an odd halfmoon scar on her right eyebrow from a fall off her horse, loves John Thorne but wants Gregory Forrest’s money, creates a plot to have both men by using Mary who she renames Miranda, manipulates those around her with temper-tantrums, seduction, and other means available, does not wish to be engaged on the voyage to America

Gregory Forrest = the man Amanda’s parents want her to marry, tall, American, idealist, son of a brewer, wants to study architecture, purchases tickets for Amanda and Miranda to travel to America via the Titanic, marries the woman he loves, knows secrets that others thought were hidden

Granny Thorne = lived in the cottage on the estate before the Whitwell’s bought it, almost strangled by her son, John’s father

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