Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Review: Lady Jayne Disappears

"Too often we cut away essential elements of ourselves to fit into a mold and discover those elements were vital to who we are, and our improvements have only made us more ordinary." - Nathaniel Droll

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.

About the Author:
Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets.

My Review: 4 stars
I have been so looking forward to reading this debut novel by Joanna Davidson Politano!  I obviously had no idea what to expect and can happily say that I quite enjoyed it!  I was intrigued by the idea behind the story - a young woman searching for answers to finish her father’s novel and finally know the truth herself.  The story drew me in from the first and kept me up until the early hours of the morning, having to know how it was going to end!

Ms. Politano has a very unique writing style that I found very engrossing!  I’ve not often read stories that alternate between a first person perspective and another character’s observations and I have found I really enjoy it.  I knew exactly what Aurelie was thinking, while at the same time, I was anticipating the story switching to Silas’ view so I could know what his thoughts on the matter.  I relished getting to know these characters and found myself forgetting at times that they were fictional.  Aurelie is so honest and straightforward, without the air of sophistication her family clings to so thoroughly.  I did find her a bit immature at times, though based on her upbringing and the age of her character, it actually suited her.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to shake some sense into her a time or two, though.  But, I think that made her even more realistic.  She shares much deeper thoughts in conversations with Silas, and found herself simply wanting to fit in with her vapid relations.   

I also really enjoyed the mystery surrounding Lynhurst Manor and the illusive Lady Jayne.  Ms. Politano definitely kept me on my toes, with the various twists and turns, until I wasn’t at all sure what would happen next!  The ending actually really surprised me, something that doesn’t happen very often, though I had figured out one clue beforehand.  I did find the story a bit disjointed at times, losing several days between chapters, or simply a change in scenery that confused me for a few sentences.  Also, I’m no historian by any stretch of the word, but I did notice a couple things that seemed a bit out of place in the time period - mainly just some words and thoughts that seemed rather modern for the setting.  Though, I don’t believe I’ve read any other books set in England during the mid 1800s, so it could very well just be me.

Overall, I found this story to be incredibly engrossing and didn’t wanted to put it down!  With a mystery that kept me guessing and characters that became dear friends, I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction with a twist.  I also can’t want to learn more about this author’s next book!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and check out my blog!  I so appreciate your time!  If you'd like to learn more about this book, as always, links are below!  And, if you're thinking about purchasing a copy, it's currently on sale on Christian Book for $7.49!  I think that's about it, for today.  :)

Have a lovely day!

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