Out of the Ordinary
In New York City in 1883, sensible but orphaned Gertrude Cadwalader and fashion-blind shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair already like each other, but love can flower only if they both manage to survive the various scrapes their well-meaning friends devise for them. The large cast of Turano’s Apart from the Crowd series is full of colorful characters, and in this installment, the action revolves around the predicaments Gertrude faces thanks to her employer, a society matron with criminal tendencies. Turano’s prose is exuberantly overwrought, the dialogue laden with exposition, but sheer goodwill invites the reader along on their wacky escapades as these quirky characters take a Gilded Age romp from the Sinclair yacht to the Manhattan Beach Hotel and Miss Snook’s School for the Education of the Feminine Mind. It’s good, clean, farcical fun with a spot of mystery, sad backstories, a few romantic gestures turned disastrous, and a tidy Christian moral tucked in.