Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Companion of Lady Holmeshire, by Debra Brown

The Companion of Lady HolmeshireThe Companion of Lady Holmeshire by Debra Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Companion of Lady Holmeshire
The Companion of Lady Holmeshire
A copy of this book was provided to me by the author, Debra Brown.

I really, thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. After jumping through some hurdles with Amazon when they never shipped me my copy-- I was beyond frustrated. I was happy to finally receive a copy and looked forward to reading what was described to me as a Austenesque Novel with some clean romance.
The start of the book immediately had me intrigued with a lanky alcoholic man, who, by the way kept the intrigue high until the epilogue! Not an easy feat. It did start a bit slow for me, and it wasn't until I was about 60 pages in that I felt compelled to finish. I even stayed in on a Friday night to read until the wee hours of the morning! It was awesome, I love when Books do that. I was also very surprised by how much mystery this novel had! For whatever reason I missed the memo that it was a mystery novel and was taken aback by that element. However, I love mystery and it's combination with Victorian era fiction was delicious!
I loved the feel of the book. There was a tone to everything that was similar to Austen, or classic English literature. I liked the fact that there were historical elements as well. I thought the theme of poverty and how the rich responded to it was extremely fascinating; it was a unique theme to combine that social response of the human condition and it really made me think. I found myself thinking-- I bet the rich were often bullied into snubbing the poor and most had never ventured into the workhouses where they insisted people work under so-called "fair conditions"! The reaction of the characters was completely plausible and I found myself thinking of this novel as a great historic fiction piece. Emma was endearing as any great heroine needs to be. She was noble, beautiful, and classy. She carried herself with dignity, and, I want to add, she was a very courageous woman. Genevieve was a character I heartily despised at first. Then I grew to love her. Watching her grow up in front of my very eyes, so to speak, was quite enjoyable. Wills was an interesting personality, I pictured him to be extremely handsome and I like his style.
Ok, now to what I think could have been better. The character development was a bit slow. This is to be expected in a new author and it did pick up in the middle. I also wish I could have been given more imagery hints about what the characters looked like. The image of the cover was brilliant and I had a clear picture of Emma and Nicky, but for Wills and Mrs, Holmeshire and Genny, I found myself guessing. Was that the authors intent? To push the reader to fill in the blanks in the physical appearance of these characters? I'm not sure. Perhaps there was explanation and I missed it. The last critique I have is for the mysterious drunkard and his son (I won't reveal who they are because I don't want this review to be hidden because of spoilers). I felt that initially their introduction was a bit forced. For whatever reason I felt that the introduction of these characters was a bit rushed or didn't completely vibe with the natural progression of the book. However, I must say that this was only in the beginning. After their 3rd mention I felt it was smooth and all transitions sat well with me. It was just a little too jarring the first few times.
All that being said; this book is one I give 5 stars to. The ending was pure gold. It kept me guessing the whole time. Rarely have I read a modern day Austenesque novel that includes suspense and mystery and an excellent imaginative plot. I wouldn't categorize it as romance, at all. However I liked the romantic parts. I even laughed out loud numerous times, including the last sentence I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. My cat gave me a funny look. For all you out there who are considering reading it, i say do it! its an easy, fun read with lots of suspense and victorian goodness. I wonder if there will be a sequel? I definitely eagerly await the authors next books and hope she writes many more!

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(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.