Friday, March 13, 2020

Book Review: A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson

About the Book:

Molly O' Malley, lady's maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life's work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway's charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly's eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city's slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.
Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.
Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading A Lady’s Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson. Though it’s billed as a historical romance, the novel is more about characters slowly working out their relationships than swoony, romantic moments. Both the plot and content focus heavily on England’s social movements and issues. Women’s suffrage takes the lead, but sub-topics include gender equality, child labor, and poverty. Though Molly (the lady’s maid) works to expose darkness and advocates for its victims, the novel didn’t feel heavy. Hope and light weave throughout to balance out the dark situations.

A Lady’s Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson can be read as a stand-alone novel, but I wish I’d read The Nobleman’s Daughter first. Events, presumably from that novel, received considerable mention in A Lady’s Maid and I think I might have connected quicker with certain characters.  Molly, however, did not delay in capturing my attention. She’s passionate, brave, determined, and impulsive. In short, she’s flawed, but quite entertaining and her penchant for getting into danger kept the plot moving along.  I loved her letter at the end.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

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