One of my favorite things as a book blogger is meeting and reading debut authors and their novels. It’s an exciting time for any author and it’s fun to have the chance to play a small role in that big career step. Plus if it’s historical fiction, a girl can hardly resist.
Life has given Penelope Drayton very little hope. After years of preparations, 1806 is the year that she is determined to create her own hope. The successful execution of her plan would grant her independence, but failure would certainly be her ruination. Just when her plan begins to meet with difficulty, she finds a faithful ally in Miss Violet Wyndham. Violet’s brother, Mr. Ashbridge Wyndham, has but one objective for London’s Social Season: escape unscathed. With his mysterious benefactor, he is suddenly a sought-after prize for the matchmaking mamas. Unfortunately for him, marriage is the last thing he wants at present. His sister Violet, with her shy but calming spirit, is the only part of the Season which he finds tolerable. When Penelope and Ash meet through their mutual affection for Violet, will God use the acquaintance to begin healing for both of these wounded hearts?
I have to say, I was rather impressed with this debut. Not that I expected not to be! I should make that clear. Anyway, I found myself quickly connected to the story and the characters. I really liked both Penelope (you felt her pain in the situation she was in) and I respected her and her goals. While there were some things I found curious (and I hope more will be told) about Ash (specifically his relationship with his mother and younger sister), I still was a fan of him. I especially liked seeing his friendship and relationship grow with Penelope. Aunt Essie, Victoria and Mr. Petler were also characters you quickly love.
There’s a strong Christian theme, so fans of inspirational fiction will especially enjoy this one. Even with the conclusion of Penelope and Ash’s story, there were still things to be told and it worked that they all weren’t revealed in the novel. I think it would have been forced or rushed. That being said, it ended with the gates wide open for the second book and I’m excited to find out more.
This was a promising debut and I look forward to seeing more from Sarah.
What debut are you looking forward to this year?
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)