Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander
by Ann Herendeen
HarperCollins. 536 pages, $14.95
A FROTHY COMEDY of parlor-room etiquette and sexual wish fulfillment, Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is the bizarro cousin of a Jane Austen novel, in which Regency manners and nuptial expectations are turned inside out. Ann Herendeen’s novel is a lively romp in which girl meets boy, boy meets boy, and everyone falls in love and lives happily ever after.
We begin with the title heroine, an open-minded Gothic novelist bursting with pluck, who shuns marriage until she receives a proposition from the tall, dark, and, yes, handsome Andrew Carrington.