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Lady Jayne Disappears

by Joanna Davidson Politano

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10330222,320 (4.09)15
When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother's disappearance--and perhaps even her father's death.Author Joanna Davidson Politano's stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
After Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison where she has spent her whole life, she goes to stay with her father's wealthy family. But he has left her with an unfinished novel written under his famous pen name of Nathaniel Droll. While finishing his novel she also searches for the truth about her mother.
Gothic in places, but with the overuse of asking for God's help. At times I wished the pace was quicker but there were some redeeming characters, but not many.
A NetGalley Book ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
When I read the synopsis of this book I was intrigued, but I confess: I was not anticipating to be drawn in as quickly as I was. This is an incredible debut novel and I am already looking forward to more from this author. I have a weakness for well-done historical novels, and this one ticks all the boxes.

It offers up a layered mystery with plenty of twists, a vividly imagined Victorian setting and memorable characters (to love and hate), and a bit of romance to grab you by the heart. All this, and it's offered up in a richly crafted tale and a wonderful heroine.

Passionate, clever and brave - three words which describe the main character Aurelie Harcourt in Lady Jayne Disappears. She offers up a delightful contrast to the stuffy and yet delightfully well-drawn family members that occupy of her aunt's home. Aurelie is smart, kindhearted, and industrious and I was completely sucked into her story (and rooting for a happy ending for her).

If you gauge a book by how well the author can twist your emotions around her writing pen, this one gets five stars. I found myself alternately holding my breath, tense, maddened, applauding her wit, hopeful, worried....did I mention that the author wove a skillful plot?

This may be my favorite historical fiction book this year and I can't recommend it enough.

Thanks to Revell and Lone Star Lit for providing me with a copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  jenncaffeinated | Jul 4, 2021 |
I received this book for free from JustRead tours as part of their Blind Date with a Book tour.

First off, I just want to say that JustRead tours did an amazing job matching me with this book. It was right up my alley.

This book was like Jane Eyre meets a Charles Dickens novel and I loved it. It’s like Jane Eyre in the sense that the main character is living in a mysterious house with people above her station. Similar to a Dickens novel, this book deals with and shed light on some unsavory things about the Victorian era like debtors’ prison.

I loved the vibe of this book. It’s mysterious with a hint of a gothic feel to it.

There’s a little bit of romance too. The love interest was perfect for the main character. They were really good together. Also, he was an avid reader so you gotta love him. At point he says, “I admit I’man escapist when it comes to books. I become drunk on story, on words, as a buffer against reality” (pg. 104).

This book is Christian fiction but it is very light on the religious aspects. It doesn’t overpower the story itself which I liked.

The only thing I didn’t love was that the mystery wasn’t as exciting as I would have liked.

Overall, this was an enjoyable Victorian tale with a beautiful blend of romance and mystery. ( )
  oddandbookish | Nov 17, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Stories of plucky young women who go after what they want never fail to entertain. When those young women go against their place in society all the better. In Lady Jane Disappears the heroine is the daughter of the lady in the title and she is trying to figure out where her mother went. Her father has died in debtor's prison and Aurelie finds herself forced to live with an aunt she does not know. This new family does not seem to care about her but at least she has a roof over her head - and what a roof it is. Full of secret passages and mysteries.

This was a vastly entertaining tale of a young woman with secrets trying to answer the biggest mystery of her life - what happened to her mother. It's full of quirky characters and written in a way that is sure to keep the pages turning until the very end. ( )
  BooksCooksLooks | Jan 5, 2019 |
Aurelie Harcourt - a young lady living in Victorian England - arrives at the estate of an aunt she never meant after her father dies in debtors prison. While she may have been thrown upon the mercy of indifferent relatives, she harbors a secret - the identity of the famous serial novelist Nathaniel Droll. Nathaniel Droll was the pen name of her father, and as the events of the novel unfold it becomes hers as well. This plucky young woman not only has the nerve to assume the role of an author, she also decides she must find out whatever happened to her mother - the famed Lady Jayne who stole her father's heart but then disappeared right after she was born. Her aunt and cousins are little help to her in this quest, but some kindly servants and a friend of the family - a rather good looking man named Silas Rotherham - may prove to be more helpful in her many quests.
I thoroughly enjoyed this period mystery/romance. Who can resist a young woman sneaking around a massive and old British estate, finding secret passage ways, encountering mysterious apparitions, and trying to untangle the truth behind the lovely stories her father told her about "Lady Jayne" - her mother? Of course the truth turns out to not quite match Aurelie's romanticized version of the past, and Aurielie makes many blunders along the way. Fans of Dickens, Austen, and the Bronte stories should lap this up. My one annoyance was that our main character seemed somewhat scatterbrained in how she went about things - conveniently forgetting to attend to major issues in her life until they popped back up again in the story. Otherwise, I especially enjoyed the audio version which had a narrator who did a wonderful job with the different voices and made it seem like I was really going on romp through Victorian England with Aurelie and her friends - and enemies. ( )
  debs4jc | Dec 4, 2018 |
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When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother's disappearance--and perhaps even her father's death.Author Joanna Davidson Politano's stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

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