“Upstate New York, 1930. Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. With her family’s prominence now little more than a facade, Abbey faces the loss of her childhood home. As if that weren’t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned after making his fortune – and he wants nothing to do with the young woman he courted before the war. With the past forever out of reach, the time has come for Abbey decide her own fate, before it is too late…” (from Goodreads)
I haven’t read the Jane Austen novel this is based on, but I have read and greatly enjoyed a modern adaptation of it, so I was definitely looking forward to this one. (Bonus–it’s written by Emily Ann Benedict who wrote the fabulous Father Christmas books. 😀 )
The setting in this was very strong and quite interesting. The characters were wealthy enough not to feel the Depression too much, but there were constant reminders. It was also neat to see how World War I and the slowly brewing second world war affected everyone so much. I sometimes forget that these huge historical events were so close together, and this book made that very real.
Abbey (love the spelling) was a great character, loving, sturdy, and capable, and accurately nervous about some things without being over the top. 😉 And when she made up her mind, it was for sure made up. Her delight over her business with Sam was very fun to see. I loved Freddy as well. He never seemed to fall into the “moody just because” cliche some romance guys do, and it was neat to see him slowly, tentatively thaw. Rosaline and the Mitchells were nicely complicated characters, and I loved Hudson.
The themes in this were less strong than I’m used to, but I liked seeing the story play out and the hints of God working through their circumstances were nice.
Just a note, a sideplot included SPOILER ALERT! murder, blackmail, and lying. There was also one instance of someone saying God’s name either as an exclamation or in address to Him, but it was unclear.
Best quotes: Abbey relaxed, grateful not only that someone had thought to throw a party for her, but that she had been able to escape attending.
The house that had once been like a family member was now a stranger. Her heart broke, in the way a child’s heart does when he realizes his imaginary friend is just that. Losing this place felt like losing her foundation.
Altogether, this was an enjoyable read!