Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Love of Books, Some Romance, and Redemption

Lucy Ailling loves her job. She works for Sid, one of the most respected antique dealers in Chicago. Most of her work centers on keeping Sid's inventory and meeting customers, but Lucy has a side line. From her earliest childhood, she has lost herself in books feeling that they are more her friends than the people she knows. Now she finds old editions and sells them from Sid's shop. The problem is that some of the editions may not have the provenance she provides.

At the opening of the story, Lucy meets James, a promising young attorney. They become romantically involved, and through James, Lucy meets his grandmother, Helen. When Lucy's sideline begins to unravel, Helen hires her to be her companion on a trip to England where Helen must deal with her own secrets. Visiting some of the sites famous for the Bronte novels and the places where the Bronte sisters lived, a friendship is born and both ladies realize that they must redeem past mistakes.

The book is filled with sensual descriptions. If you want to experience England through the senses, you'll enjoy this book. I found the Lucy's character somewhat bland. She's very focused on her conman father and the gift he gave her for the love of books, but he gave her other gifts as well, and Lucy isn't very good at distinguishing helpful from disruptive. James is a good foil for Lucy, He's kind and loving, but I didn't feel that his personality added much to the story except to put Lucy in touch with his grandmother. Sid, while being a good role model, seems to leave Lucy too much to her own devices thereby setting the stage for the problems that follow.

I enjoyed the book because I love literature and because it was refreshing to read a romance that didn't require numerous bedroom scenes.

I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson.