The Five-Minute Marriage

Joan Aiken

04 April 2024
368 pages


'Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come.' - Philip Pullman

Delphie Carteret is forced into a dangerous marriage of convenience in Joan Aiken’s stunning regency romance, The Five Minute Marriage. Perfect for fans of Bridgerton, the major romantic drama series from Netlix.

Delphie has been disinherited from her family’s life of luxury and wealth, but, as her mother’s health and wits deteriorate, she has no choice but to seek help from distant relatives. However, when she arrives at the family’s grand house, she discovers part of their fortune is rightfully hers, and the only way to obtain her inheritance is through a sham marriage to her cousin.

Unknowingly, Delphie has tangled herself in a web of family rivalry and deceit that goes back generations. Other members of the family are not just in debt but in the Marshalsea – the debtors’ prison described by Dickens. Forced to maintain the charade of her marriage, Delphie is finally drawn into a dramatic fight for her life, and a surprisingly romantic finale on the roof of the family mansion.

Joan Aiken has woven together an enchanting plot of romance and rivalry that will grip readers until the very end. Fans of Georgette Heyer should definitely make this novel their next read.

Joan Aiken has such fun when she writes that it’s infectious – gloriously exaggerated characters and plot are spiced by a dry wit which forbids one to take anything seriously at all
Joan Aiken is a storyteller par excellence with an educated awareness of nineteenth-century English fiction. The Five-Minute Marriage is an agreeable entertainment in which an aristocratic young lady ends up with a title, a husband and a fortune . . . en route there is a duel on a roof and other pleasing incidents
This lunatic farrago of wackiness is completely typical of Joan Aiken. Funny, fluffy, and utterly absurd