THE SEVENTH MISS HATFIELD
Would you leave your family if it meant you had a chance at immortality, at living beyond your natural span? Some people don’t know, some have concluded they definitely wouldn’t, and some of us have already written notes to our families in anticipation of such an event. The fact that we are able to answer the question to our satisfaction makes it all the worse that the titular heroine of The Seventh Miss Hatfield doesn’t really get a choice in the matter. The call to adventure has already been made on her behalf.
A lot of works about immortality make a big deal out of the fact that the immortal hero is destined to be alone, or has to move on every so often, but it’s rare that a work like this comes along which does such a great job of explaining quite why that is. Usually it’s a line or two about how agelessness gets one noticed, which is undoubtedly true but probably not to the extent they think. But in this novel, it’s all explained away with the fact that prolonged time travel makes Cynthia feel ill and out of place. Having said that, quite why she can’t go back to her own time and then return once she feels better is something we felt was unclear when reading.
However, this is an aberration in an otherwise tightly-plotted novel. 17-year-old Caltabiano also writes a romance that is amusing, enjoyable to read and doesn’t slip into using prose like ‘he took me roughly and crushed me to his chiselled chest’. One of our only complaints was that one of the revelations is almost an incidental detail and far too telegraphed; anyone well versed in genre fiction will see it coming a mile away. However, one failing isn’t enough to condemn this, which has the potential to be an ongoing story. Perhaps, in time, the seventh Miss Hatfield will prove to be as enduring in the real world as she is in the fictional one.
INFO: THE SEVENTH MISS HATFIELD / AUTHOR: ANNA CALTABIANO / PUBLISHER: GOLLANCZ / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 11TH