Finding Lady Enderly
by Joanna Davidson Politano
Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.
Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.
I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I first glimpsed its gorgeous cover. I’ve read both of Joanna Davidson Politano’s earlier novels, and loved them. So yes, I already knew her writing style, and knew I would not find this one lacking.
I found myself amazed, my mind blown as I read. I’ve wondered, and continue to, just how does an author get to know their fiction characters so good that they can so beautifully, completely, bring them to life on pages of a book.
In this book, Raina is captured so perfectly. Her thoughts are portrayed for us in absolute detail. Deep, pondering, heart level kinds of thoughts.
Each chapter begins with a quote/thought given as “from the diary of the Substitute Countess”. I marveled at each one, pondered, and kept pulling them back up, even now, after I’m finished with the book.
This book, along with the other I’m privileged to own of Politano’s, has earned a permanent position on my home library shelf. They are books that are truly worth a re-read. Yes, I think I’ll even go so far as to say, they demand a re-read. I think that might be the only way to do true justice to all the beautiful loveliness that is found within the pages.
I absolutely loved Raina. I really just couldn’t get enough of this story, I loved it from the beginning, all the way through to the end.
I loved the way the story is revealed, bit by bit, rather like peeling layers off an onion. Each layer revealed a deeper, hidden layer. One that you had no idea of, until just as you were peeling off the one right above it.
I loved the setting. Raina is taken from her life as a rag woman to a life that is completely foreign to her. In some ways, this story has a Cinderella feel to it. And yet, the story line is far from that. So from the streets of Spitalfield to a large, elegant Abbey, where in spite of it’s loveliness, nothing is quite as it seems.
Raina’s life becomes one of luxury and elegance. And yet, there is so much that is hidden, so much for her to uncover. As the reader, I was never quite sure what to expect.
Joanna Davidson Politano has tremendous talent, and I love seeing it come out in these beautiful stories set in England in the 1800s. (Is this what is called Regency era? I’m not sure…I only know I love the results!)
There is a mystery in this story. Intrigue. Danger. And yet, it can’t quite be called suspense, or gothic. But there is a definite layer of darkness…and Raina is desperately trying to uncover the secrets that are hidden there at the abbey.
I firmly believe this book will be one of my top reads for the year!
I’d love to hear your thoughts after you read it!!
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255