Synopsis: When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.
When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance–and perhaps even her father’s death.
Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.
My Thoughts: This story had so many components that I loved…richly developed characters, a slightly creepy setting with a gothic feel, a mystery, and some twists and turns.
The plot is complex and would be difficult to describe but I feel that it would be best to read without knowing a lot about the story. The main character, Aurelie, was adorable…I related to her in many ways…she was very self conscious of what others thought of her and escaped into books. Her faith was admirable and honest.
I found some revelations of this book to be very surprising as it didn’t follow the “happy ending, sugary sweet” cliche that Christian fiction often tends to fall into. I was pleased with this as life doesn’t always give us the happy endings that we hope for.
I loved the characters in the story…Politano described them in a way that I was able to picture each of them very vividly and had strong feelings towards all of them.
The setting was also perfect…most of the story takes place in Lynhurst Manor, an old mansion in England with many empty rooms and dark corridors. I truly felt as though I was walking the halls with Aurelie throughout the story.
Overall, this was a wonderful story that I highly enjoyed and would definitely recommend. I am eagerly awaiting Politano’s next release!
I received this book from Baker Publishing Group to review.