Rose Glace, Confectioner to a Duke
I read this particular novel within a twenty-four hour period. Having read another of Ms Fisher’s novels I knew I was in for a treat.
Rose Turner is orphaned when a theatre in Exeter burns to the ground but she makes the most of the opportunities given to her, enrolling in a cookery school in London where she discovers a love of ice cream, and fortunately an aptitude for making it. Along the way her path keeps crossing with that of George Kemble, a successful businessman who has also just discovered he is likely to be the next Duke of Fairleigh.
The element that sets Ms Fisher’s work apart from other romantic historical fiction is her concern with the social issues of the period that interests her. In this novel she looks at the development of refrigerated travel, (which sounds boring, but think where we’d be without it). She looks at the effects strikes have on families, poverty, ways to alleviate it, and she has a delightful sense of feminism without making it unpalatable.
The characters are likeable and rounded and although she is unashamedly romantic, she is not saccharine sweet and each of the main characters experiences the world before they settle on each other. You have to like them. The supporting cast are delightful, unusual, and Ms Fisher never forgets a single one. The baddie is delightfully bad and although his downfall is possibly rushed, it makes complete sense and he is developed enough.
The writing is such that one can read rapidly. It is pleasing to read, flows well and you want to know how the characters reach the inevitable conclusion. There are a few typos, and there is an element of formatting that needs to be altered, but otherwise I found this a good read, one I had been looking forward to and did not disappoint. If you like your period romance with a bit of substance, but never heavy and boring, Ms Fisher is your author.