Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Upon the sudden death of her debt-riddled father, Aurelie is left with her father’s popular pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and the task of completing his serial novel about one Lady Jayne. But in order to finish the story, Aurelie will have to uncover the secrets concerning the vanished mother she never knew in Lady Jayne Disappears, a novel by author Joanna Davidson Politano.
Yes, I often dig stories about stories and storytelling, and a fair share of beautiful and writerly nuggets in this intricate and mysterious tale are right down my alley. The moments when Aurelie intentionally takes what’s happening in her soul and pours it out on paper were among the most vivid for me.
However, though I wouldn’t say the reading was ever altogether boring to me, it did wear on me. The story is dense, and while I found it interesting overall, I would have to wade through stretches that didn’t quite satisfy my attention. I was also pulled out of the historical period and location a number of times. With issues like “candy,” “typewriter,” and “adoring fan” references and moments when a character or two would seem like an American in a more modern period, the feel of Victorian England would be lost.
I related to Aurelie’s storyteller’s heart and could admire her compassion. I didn’t fully come to like her, though, as she’s a rather pathetic heroine. Not pathetic in the sense of being pitiful, exactly, but she’s often prone to defeat and despair, guilt and tears, feeling she’s failed and ruined things, time and again.
Still, the eventual unraveling of the mystery here is gratifying, and other ChristFic fans should find this novel worth a read.