Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell

publisher: Bethany House

rating: ***

Maiden of Mayfair is the first in the Tales of London series by Lawana Blackwell. I am a big Blackwell fan, as previously mentioned, because I feel she has a wonderful sense of Victorian England. Moreover, her prose, characters, dialect and ambience transport you to a simpler time.

In Maiden of Mayfair readers are given the perfect Cinderella story. Sarah Matthews ( named after the foundling home she has spent the first part of her childhood in) is believed to be the illegitimate granddaughter of a wealthy matriarch whose adored son’s illicit behaviour broke her heart and led to his untimely death.

Sarah is transplanted from a home for orphans into a grandiose mansion where her great life lessons are borne from the significant amount of time she spends with the servants there…especially the cook and her promising nephew, William.

I found this a charming sort-of upstairs/downstairs story with some wonderful moments of grace and redemption. The gospel message is translucent throughout in a kind and reaffirming way.

I read most of this novel while in an airport waiting lounge and it was perfect to while away the hours and the plane ride.

( I still have a bit of flight-fright so I always strategically plan to be well into a great novel before boarding. Thus, when the plane takes off, I am too engaged in the story to think of heights or imminent death).

I think I will leave it a bit before I hunt the next in the trilogy because I have so many books to get through. But, I applaud Lawana Blackwell. I appreciate her informed style and well-research tales as a worthy contribution to the Christian historical genre.

What I am reading now: I just started The Falcon and the Sparrow by M.L. Tyndall. Very Scarlet Pimpernel with a sea-faring slant I quite enjoy.

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