I have seen this book popping up on various blogs I follow. I first saw it on a sweet friend’s blog. Then quite a few others. So I decided to go on a visit — to the authors blog. If you don’t follow Ruffles and Grace, I highly, highly, suggest you do =)
Th visit was enjoyable. The writing was top-notch. And I very quickly decided that I *needed* to read this book. And then a copy was offered in exchange for an Amazon review — and I decided to go ahead and post a review here, so all of you who read this blog regularly can have a book to add to your list of “need-to-read” books. Surely, I can’t be the only one to have a notebook dedicated to such a list, right?
Anyways, this is a wonderful book. Even all you non-book lovers should read it. I’m quite sure you would absolutely fall in love with it :D
Since I’ve already reviewed this on Amazon (read it here), I’m gonna go into more detail here on the blog. But I PROMISE I won’t post any spoilers to ruin your reading experience =P
Ms. Victoria did an amazing job of capturing the essence of each character. I mean…..wow! It was interesting to get to know each character, find out about their lives, sympathize in the struggles and triumphs, cry during the trials and struggles. An amazingly annoying character, who happened to be essential to the story, REALLY needed a good talking to. He may or may not have needed a good shaking…..but even he became endeared to my heart. By the time I finished the book, I felt like I had made several new friends. I am anxiously waiting to visit with them all again in the second book in the series.
I’ll be honest — for the first two or three chapters I was confused. I don’t read many mystery type of books, and I was left scratching my head more than once. But I could tell that all the information given that seemingly had no place there actually had a place there, and there were no hanging threads of the story to leave you wondering. The book was definitely written by a lover of Sherlock Holmes — I enjoyed searching out all the nuances between the two books.
There were so many plot twists that I NEVER saw coming, which makes an enjoyable read. I dislike reading through a couple of chapters of a book and knowing how it will end — trust me, you would not have guessed the ending of London in the Dark!
The villains and “bad guy” parts of the book were fun to read as well. They were written with just enough detail, but not too much. There was one instance of a mention of one of the guys smoking, and a couple instances of bombs going off. There weren’t any gory details given, there weren’t any instances where I felt the author was wanting you to emulate the bad guys — which happens all to often in the world of fiction. The “good guys” — who you have already pretty much fallen in love with by the time it got to these parts — clearly disapproved. I would let my ten year old brother read it in a heartbeat, if he was interested. Which I think he might be =)
The historical aspect of the plot made the book. Victorian-era England…..the essence and beauty of the history was interwoven perfectly. It was mainly a backdrop for the book, and was pretty much in the background details. The little nuances — speech, customs, dress, society — were all woven into the fabric of the story in a way to bring it to life and give the characters a sense of belonging.
This was my favourite part of the story. Victoria is most obviously and apologetically a Christian, and this is the very essence of the tale. Not only do the characters profess Christ, they try to act like Him and to emulate their Saviour. There is no hypocrisy, no confusion. In trouble, the characters turn to Christ. In sorrow, they turn to Him. In rejoicing, they turn to Him. The message of the gospel is clearly laid out in the pages, clearly communicated to the reader, and clearly lived out by the characters. In this day and age, it is rare to find that in a book.
This is definitely a book for most all age groups. I enjoyed it and I am nearly 21. My younger siblings would enjoy it just as much. I can think of several friends I *need* to have read it. You can purchase the book from Amazon =)
~About the Author~
Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.