Monday, September 9, 2013

Lady of Milkweed Manor {Book Review}

As Charlotte drew closer to the looming gray edifice that was to become her temporary home, she could not help but notice the secretive shuttered windows. Then she noticed the milkweeds...

 Even a proper vicar's daughter can make a mistake...and now Charlotte lamb must pay a high price for her fall. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London's forbidding "Milkweed Manor" , a place of mystery and lore of old secrets and new birth. 

But once there, she comes face-to-face with a suitor from her past-a man who now hides a secret of his own. Both are determined, with God's help, to protect those they love. But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required.

 Lady of Milkweed Manor ~ Julie Klassen   

        Charlotte Lamb's story begins with her being sent away in shame. Her heart is broken and her childhood loves are gone. She finds herself in the care of Milkweed Manor, a home for women pregnant out of wedlock. There she makes friends and learns how to care for children, but when Doctor Daniel Taylor- a suitor from her past- arrives Charlotte fears he will tell everyone of her secret. Only he has secrets of his own and will do anything in his power to keep those secrets safe.
        While their paths cross at the Manor, Daniel and Charlotte's friendship is renewed, assuring Charlotte that God and others can be forgiving. But as strange cries in the night echo through the cold stone corridors and shadows of Charlotte's past creep their way into the Manor she finds herself caught up in a mystery. A mystery of lost love, a mystery of a mothers love, and a mystery of the love God has for his children.

        Okay, I'm going to be the first to admit I'm a helpless romantic. What's more romantic than the elegant dresses and dashing young suitors we read about in Jane Austen's regency era novels? But one thing I've always found myself wishing was that there was more of a focus on God. Julie Klassen does exactly that by mixing together faith, romance, and regency era England to create the perfect book. Which means this definitely isn't a Jane Austen remake or even a spin off. Klassen brings to life her own colorful cast of characters and sheds light on a more shocking of society during the early 1800's. (and I do mean shocking!)

        What I loved most about this book were the plot twists that started the moment I read the first page. Instantly questions were flooding my mind and I was constantly tempted to skip ahead (I only did a few time!). It seemed that on every page something new was being brought to the story, so by the final chapter I was dying to know how everything fit together.

         The romance was also perfectly balanced with faith. It wasn't a 'love-at-first-sight' story, but one where the love built up gradually, which is how I think things should be. The characters were easy to relate with and very easy to love. From Daniels struggle to uphold honor to the hardships Charlotte endured, you watch as they learn to rely on God to carry them through. That's the beauty of the story. Klassen took sad events that happen in life and turned them around to create a beautiful picture of Christ's never ending love and salvation.

         Lady of Milkweed Manor was most definitely the best book I've read in 2013 and it's definitely made it to my favorites 'list'. I highly recommend the book along with the author. Klassen also has several other Regency Era novels and I can't wait to read them all.


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  2. Great review! I like Christian stories with a mixture of God's love and romance instead of all-romance.