Nina Y edited the summary of Shades of Milk and Honey Sunday, March 6, 2011.
The main character of the story is Jane Ellesworth. She is a talented yet plain woman who considers her self to be a spinster. The foil to her character is her beautiful, younger sister, Melody. Jane is shown to be the more compassionate of the two, because she continually makes sacrifices for her less sensible sister. They both have feelings for their wealthy neighbor, Mr. Dunkirk. Because of this, they often feel envious of each other’s looks and talents. The two characters become even more conflicted when their former childhood friend, Captain Livingston comes back home during a ball. Another new mysterious character is introduced at the ball who is Mr. Vincent, a renowned “glamourist.” At first, Mr. Vincent shows dislike towards Jane although Jane greatly admires Mr. Vincent’s talents as an artist. Later, Melody and Jane befriend Mr. Dunkirk’s younger sister, Beth. Eventually, Beth tells Jane in confidence that she is secretly engaged to Captain Livingston and that Mr. Dunkirk must not find out. Despite Jane’s feelings toward Mr. Dunkirk and her growing friendship with him, she keeps Beth’s secret. In the mean time, Jane and Mr. Vincent grow more acquainted and he even gives her his sketch book which contains all of his ingenious concepts of “glamour.” However, Jane finds out that Melody is secretly engaged to Captain Livingston as well. She warns Mr. Dunkirk about the scandal and he goes after the Captain to duel him. Jane goes after Mr. Dunkirk to stop him from killing the man and eventually all the characters meet up in a frenzied confrontation. Captain Livingston accuses Jane of telling lies, and Mr. Dunkirk believes him despite his friendship with Jane. It is later revealed that Captain Livingston became engaged to two women and planned to marry the wealthier of the two to pay off his debts. Mr. Dunkirk’s disloyalty convinces Jane that he is dishonorable and refuses to speak to him. In turn, she and Melody mend their relationship and become closer than ever. Jane also realizes after reading Mr. Vincent’s book that he is in love with her and she with him. He returns to her house and proposes to her. In the epilogue, Jane and Mr. Vincent travel around England as renowned artists spreading their talent and love with the rest of the world.