I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It takes place in 1879 in London, mostly in the theater world.
Forced to Leave All She Loves Behind, She Seeks a New Life in a City Bursting with Opportunity, But Fraught with Danger
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.
After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided–until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.
Although I’ve read history about the Globe theater in Shakespeare’s day, I’d never read about the theater in a more “modern” time (just about 140 years ago!). I found the details about the shows fascinating as the theater was producing HMS Pinafore – a musical still known today. There’s a scene with Gilbert and Sullivan working out the details of their next show and words from some of the songs are in the book both of which getting me thinking of those tunes! A lot of the action revolves around backstage – costumes and lighting and sets as Rosalyn is hired first as a cleaning lady and then as a dresser and Nate is working as a stagehand. I also enjoyed the referencing to George Mueller’s orphanage and his beliefs/actions. I’ve heard of him, so to have his orphanage play a pivotal part in the lives of the characters and seeing how it influenced them really intrigued me.
There were just so many details of London life woven around a great story of love and forgiveness and the grace of God that I found this book captivating and look forward to reading the next one by this author, about Rosalyn’s sister Julia! I highly recommend it! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Author: Jennifer Delamere
Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.