History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason was enchanting. As I read it, I fell in love with the main character. I mean, I really did. (Note the conversation I had with my boyfriend about it at the bottom)
I can actually tell you what it's about. It follows the story of a young man, Piet Barol. It begins with Piet successfully landing a job tutoring a genius young boy, Egbert, from an extremely wealthy family in Amsterdam.
Piet acquires the position because of his gentlemanly and almost flirtatious manner to the mother Jacobina, who is not only interviewing him, but whose husband hasn't touched her in years. Getting attention from a young, attractive, and well-mannered young gentleman doesn't hurt her impression of this tutor-to-be and she hires him. However, the contract of the tutoring position is that Piet must somehow pull out the reclusiveness of Egbert. Egbert is frightened of the outside world and refuses to leave the house, much to the dismay of his father, mother, and his two clever sisters. The entire family is enchanted with Piet and his urbane ways.
The daughters are taken with him, the mother is taken with him, the father trusts him, and Piet is gentlemanly, but not quite gentlemanly enough to cast his eyes away when Jacobina stares outwardly at him.
I loved this book because Piet always finds a way to appease everyone in his suave manner, even from his rough beginnings. It's a lovely story - and it's a bit scandalous, too, which never hurt anybody.
A Conversation Between My Boyfriend and I While I read History of a Pleasure Seeker One Afternoon
Me: Matt, I think I'm in love with this fictional character.
Me: No... really. He's incredible.
Me: No, I'm really, really, REALLY-
Matt (unfazed by my ardor): He's fictional, I'm not worried.
Me: Mmmm. Continues reading furiously
Five stars for this one!