Monday, December 14, 2015
Whispers in the Reading Room
I like historical fiction so when the opportunity to review Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray, I jumped at the chance. I haven't done as many reviews this year, and I was missing getting lost in so many good books.
Whispers in the Reading Room begins in 1893. Lydia's father has died, leaving her and her mother almost penniless. Lydia's mother is using the one asset she has left, Lydia, to bring back the lifestyle she was accustomed to. She insists upon keeping up the appearance that they have money so Lydia can catch a wealthy husband to take care of them.
Lydia is hard to puzzle out. On the plus side, she's a librarian. She enjoys her work and takes pride in being good at it. On the down side, she knows little about the man she's betrothed to, and seems content to let her mother rule her life. At some points, you get the impression that the author is trying to make her a strong female lead, but at other points she cries or faints and loses credibility.
Sebastian, who is not her betrothed, is a more interesting character. Tough exterior, pulled himself up by the bootstraps sort of chap, with insecurities and a good heart.
Sebastian's staff, mainly Vincent and Bridget, also figure into the story heavily. Both Lydia and Sebastian are loners, and they slow to accept the friendship of others, but Vincent and Bridget are both loyal, helpful people, who do a great deal for Sebastian and Lydia.
I ended up devouring this book the day it arrived, spending the children's naptime reading, and reading past my own bedtime. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it as a good, light read.
I thought the name Shelley Gray seemed familiar, and sure enough, the author is the same Shelley Shepard Gray that wrote Thankful and Joyful, Amish fiction titles that I reviewed last year. Turns out, she is a prolific writer, with many books published, including some Christmas titles, which caught my eye. You can connect with Shelley through her website, Facebook, or Goodreads.
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