Local Opinion Editorials


by Lynn Morris
Faith Words Publishers, 978-1-4555-7559-6, PB, 368 pages, $15.

This book is a Christian historical-fiction romance novel about Valeria Segrave, a young noblewoman in 18th century England, who must learn how to manage her family’s estate and then herself as she enters London’s high society – all while under the enigmatic study of young Lord Hylton.

The book begins with interesting, fleshed-out characters – particularly that of Valeria’s mother. However, as the story progresses, the characters descend into stereotypical dialogue, opinions, and actions that do not stay true to the period. Despite this, details about the fashions, social norms, and etiquette of the era are mixed nicely into the narrative.

The book is divided into three parts, with the relationship between Valeria and Lord Hylton gradually dominating the plot in the last two parts. Readers may wish that the ending was longer, since there are several characters and subplots left unresolved. I rate this a 3 on a scale of 1-5. It is targeted for female readers ages 18 and older.

The story has subtle themes of forgiveness and unconditional love. However, the Christian faith is not central to Valeria’s relationship with Lord Hylton – thus suggesting that their romance does not need the mutual foundation of faith in order to thrive. Several brief references are made to affairs among the nobility – one of which is prominent in the first part – but these are not portrayed as acceptable by the main characters.

Later in the book, Valeria attends a masque ball full of intimate dancing and half-dressed women. Other negative elements include a brief but somewhat gruesome description of the discovery of a dead body, and scenes where characters drink wine or port.

Kathleen O’Malley of Martinsville, Indiana, is a professional writing major at Taylor University and a book reviewer for Church Libraries.