Friday, October 17, 2008

The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell

To protect her precious daughter from the danger nipping at their heels, Jewel Libby must flee the only home she's ever known. Caring friends direct her to the vicarage in the peaceful dairy village of Gresham, but she arrives there to find Vicar Andrew Phelps and his wife immersed in troubles of their own. Their son Philip, a successful London surgeon, has a controlling wife who resents his close family ties. And daughter Aleda lives in a cottage on the outskirts of Gresham, where she adamantly pursues her writing career and her solitude--often to the exclusion of others.

When Andrew becomes ill and in need of his son's skills, and Aleda's quest for privacy unwittingly advances an evil man's schemes, Jewel finds the tables turned--she is the one offering support and a source of strength. But an unlikely romance is about to change everything...

My Review:
Set in a small town outside of London, in 1884, this historical fiction is an interesting tale to read. I've always loved British literature, as it is fun to read the differences in language. I can be transported to another land. Of course, there are references to the water closet, and taking of tea, but also before a meal there's the "laying of cloth." Some allowances must be made I suppose for the author writing about taking a "nap." I believe Englanders are said to "have a lie-down."

This is a stand-alone novel, but because it is the fourth in a series, it would be better appreciated if read in order. However, I had not read any of the Gresham Chronicles before, and I did not feel at all left out. That speaks to the talent of the author.

As expected in a series, there are a number of characters and sub-plots. The dialogue is well-written and easy to follow. The characters are a bit flat: the good ones are good--through and through, while the villain is a scoundrel indeed! He even has a thick, black moustache! Still, it's a fun read. I loved Jewel and her daughter, Becky. Who wouldn't? Jewel seems to be a perfect Christian and mother, and five-year-old Becky lives to charm. I'm sure readers will be treated to more from them in a future work. Philip's marriage is an interesting sub-plot, and I suspect more will be heard about that. The reader is permitted the pleasure of peeking into Aleda's novel--another sub-plot with a promising future. The future of Gresham seems to be guaranteed.


Kayren, Pink Daisy Girl said...

Definitely sounds like my kind of series.

Sandi said...

This sounds like just my kind of "fun read". I'll be looking for them at my library for sure.