Evangeline is apparently a retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm story you've never heard, Snow White and Rose Red. Williams took a stab at the story once before in Rose Red and Black Bear; Evangeline is a spinoff of sorts, or perhaps just an alternate telling starring a side character, I'm really not sure and honestly don't care that much. The point is that, where the original was about two young girls who essentially adopted a talking bear for a winter that turned out to be a cursed prince and later married one of them, Evangeline is the story of two creepy young women who DID a bear for an entire winter and then were rightfully shunned by the rest of the village.
Evangeline herself is a pretty inconsistently-written character. She starts out the book as almost a vixen, certainly a tease, obsessed with securing a husband because it's her ~only means of escaping~ this "provincial life" that she alternately defends and despises. Once she catches the attention of the designated Love Interest, Donald Paul Rumsfeld, she plays innocent and demure to establish contact with him, all the while rejoicing at his richness and that ~magical connection~ between the two of them that makes her wanna jump his bones on the street.
For the first couple of chapters I just assumed we'd be stuck with the gold-digging type heroine, but in a bizarre reversal, the moment that Rumsfeld begins officially courting her, Evangeline turns into this scared, clingy, helpless damsel, and then stays that way for the rest of the book. No guile here; the most resourcefulness she ever shows is when she escapes from her evil maidservant by hiding like a child and running away. Not to mention that her only outward acts of rebellion come when she has the permission of another character. She stands up for herself once in the entire book, and it's to the kid she rolls in the hay with in the beginning of the book, you know, before her personality transplant.
It's pretty obviously situationally-dependent characterization - the author wants or needs the heroine to behave in a certain way to move the plot along or set the right mood, so she does, no matter how bizarrely inconsistent she comes off.
Ugh, and then there's her attraction to Rumsfeld...
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