Without hesitation, I would put Julie Klassen in my top five all time favorite historical fiction authors. She has a gift in storytelling. This novel is no exception. I know I can never go wrong reading any of her titles. In this lovely tale, full of all things English and early 1800’s, Julia Midwinter finds her way from dreary and dull to love and acceptance. There are many layers, characters, and sub plots in this novel that leave you guessing until the end regarding the true story behind Julia’s life and family.
As mentioned, I love Julie Klassen and have read almost all of her Novels. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Tutor’s Daughter are some of my favorite novels. You know, the ones you buy in paperback and reread overtime because they are like favorite movies. Once is sometimes not enough. I am sad to say, that while I enjoyed this particular novel I also struggled with it. In truth, I believe it is personal preference. The hero, Alec Valcourt felt a bit soft to me early in the story. He becomes a more masculine hero as the story moves along, but his early preoccupation with getting his hands dirty and his flare for fashion took away from my early opinion of him. What can I say, I love a Man’s man.
Anyhow, I found the ending of the story picturesque and worthy of a Julie Garland song and dance on screen finale. If you have an infinity for period pieces, mystery, and romance, this book is for you. Just think Dancing with the Stars meets Jane Austen!
I received a complimentry copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any compensation other than the the joy of reading a good book.