Book Review | The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)

TW: rape, sexual assault, death of parent

After watching and loving the Netflix series, I decided to give the first Bridgerton book a go and here’s what I thought.

This book, the first novel in the series, follows Daphne, the eldest Bridgerton daughter, on her search for a husband during the London season. Simon, the Duke of Hastings, is keen to avoid the persistent mothers and has his reasons for wanting to remain away from the wedding alter. So, the two form a deal: they will pretend to be courting so that each may get what they wish, be that attention or no attention.

Although there are other characters, Daphne and Simon are the only two that this narrative really follows. Having watched the series first, I felt that I missed the other characters and their stories in this novel, but Simon and Daphne’s story is still a good one and I enjoyed following it again. The series did not follow the novel exactly, so although the main plot points are the same, there are differences.

The side characters who do appear most are the Bridgerton family. I particularly liked the elder Bridgerton brothers and found the relationships between the siblings entertaining. This makes me look forward to reading the next three novels as these follow the eldest brothers.

Despite wishing we saw more of other characters, I liked that the novel gave a deeper understanding of Daphne and Simon and their thoughts, feelings and motivations.

Whilst I loved the modern elements that the series has and the way these were added to a period drama, this novel is much more of a period novel and therefore the characters have more ideas that I did not share, such as those concerning a woman’s status, but that is to be expected with a novel set during this era. This did give me lots to think about with how society has changed, and I liked that.

There is a particular scene in the novel that happened differently in the series, and I am glad they made those changes because the novel definitely leans towards rape / sexual assault.

Of course, Lady Whistledown doesn’t let us down, and her Society Papers are excerpted at the start of each chapter to give some insight and commentary. I love this device that Quinn uses and can’t wait to see how Whistledown’s identity is revealed in the novels and what will follow.

Overall, this was quite a good read and I liked getting more Bridgerton. Watching the series first made me see this book differently and I definitely made comparisons in my mind, but I still liked the book and look forward to reading more of the series.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s