Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book Review - Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

Book Synopsis
Lynhurst Manor is a house built on secrets . . . and the arrival of Aurelie Harcourt might reveal them all.
When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies suddenly, he leaves her just two things: his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and his wealthy family--who want very little to do with her.

As Aurelie struggles to find a home with her father's family and learn the rules of society, she relishes in his parting gift--the beginning of his last story. The story she always wanted to hear, about her mother's mysterious disappearance from the home where she now lives. To complete the novel, she'll have to extract clues from relatives--and one enigmatic houseguest--who often seem reluctant to give them up.

My Review
Lady Jayne Disappears tells the story of Aurelie Harcourt.  When her much loved father, a writer, passes away, Aurelie continues writing under his pen name and goes to live with his family.  Lynhurst Manor is a mysterious home and the family that lives there is equally mysterious.  Aurelie looks for answers about her mother's long ago disappearance as she continues to write a novel inspired by her life.

This is such a unique and intriguing novel.   It is a historical novel set in 1861.  It involves family secrets, a mystery, a Gothic setting, and a bit of romance as well.   Joanna Davidson Politano does a wonderful job of blending these elements.  

The writing is fresh and creative.  Each chapter begins with a short epigraph from the fictional novel within this book, Lady Jayne Disappears.  There is Aurelie and the novel she is writing (continued from her father's work) and then the real history of Lady Jayne, her mother.  

The setting of Lynwood Manor was perfect for this story.  Aurelie observes:  "Papa had been right - the walls were bursting with stories.  And I must remain among them as long as humanly possible" (p. 73).

Aurelie is an interesting character, curious and resilient, and determined to discover truth in her writing and in her life.  I kept reading, hoping that she would find answers - and happiness.  I enjoyed all the twists and turns of the story.

The romantic plot was well written and involved two intelligent, likable characters who were truly perfect for each other.

I really enjoyed this novel.  I recommend Lady Jayne Disappears for fans of historical fiction, Christian fiction, and anyone who enjoys a well written novel that incorporates both mystery and romance.

Author Bio
Joanna Davidson Politano is a freelance writer and debut novelist who spends as much time as possible spinning tales that capture the exquisite details of ordinary lives. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan. Learn more at www.jdpstories.com.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads.