Behind the Scenes

Written by Jen Turano
Review by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt

In this first in the Apart from the Crowd series, set in 1883, Miss Permilia Griswold is a perpetual wallflower, not having been fully accepted by the New York elite. However, her style, beauty and personality attract the notice of department store owner Asher Rutherford. At the Vanderbilt ball, Permilia overhears a plot to murder Asher. When she tells him, Asher does not believe her, so Permilia takes protecting him into her own hands, much to the dismay of Asher.

Once again, Turano has created a cast of quirky and lovable characters. Permilia is bold and brave, with her priorities in good order. Asher is charming and heroic. Permilia’s friends are fun as well, many of them forward-thinking females with odd habits and eccentricities. There is plenty of conflict, with evil step-relations, a murder plot, a missing shoe, and, of course, a romance between two adorable characters who take some time falling in love. This is a clean, Christian romance. The elements of religion are well integrated and handled with a light hand. The quirky nature of the characters and story mean the historical setting may not be fully accurate, but that is part of the fun.