My Review: Gillian Young is a talented costumer, the daughter of a titled socialite-turned-actress and policeman, she becomes he heir to her maternal grandparent's estate, Winton Park, upon the death of her father. When she returns from her father's funeral she finds that her home has been searched, and that her father's name has been dishonored by accusations of inside deals, corruption, prostitutes, and conspiracy. Gillian wants to honor her parents memory and the charitable cause that her mother was a patron of, as well as help young women find respectable work.
But when she returns from her father's funeral she finds that her home has been searched, with uniformed men following her, Gillian finds herself at a loss for whom to turn to for help. Two men step forward, her neighbor, the dashing Thomas Lockwood, and the son of her late father's partner Collingsworth. But as both men express interest in courtship, she begins to question their motives, and what they have to do with her father's suspicious death.
Gillian is a young woman who walks the line between two worlds, with a titled mother and middle class father, she is talented and not afraid of hard work, her parents taught her to work for a living and to live modestly. She also shares her mother's concern for the Cause, a charity that helps former actors and actresses after there time is up on the stage. She suspects that her father's death was not an accident, and bravely sets out to discover the truth behind his demise. She is passionate about helping others, and enlists women from the Cause to help with her upcoming project of sewing for the production of Cinderella.
Well written, realistic for the time and setting, and taunt with suspense, this is was a page turner from beginning to end. I both didn't want to put it down, yet at the same time I didn't want it to be over! I loved the complexity of the characters, the multiple layers, and that not everyone is as they seem. Gillian finds it hard to know who to trust, or where to turn, as she finds that even those closest to her may be compromised. Thomas is ever the perfect gentleman, with a passion for theater and the arts, and a heart that rings true, he was one of my favorites. Ruby is vibrant and eager to help, precocious and naive, she brings a liveliness with her wherever she goes.
A terrific read, full of intrigue and mystery. I loved how Gillian is both brave, compassionate, strong, and hardworking, a self-made business woman who loves her craft. She could have been tempted to pursue a place in society, but appreciated a more modest existence, and I liked that about her. This is a well crafted read, gripping to the end. Highly recommend!!!
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