To Be a Fine Lady
The life of an English peasant is not easy, even in the Victorian age, and nobody knows that better than Joanna Bradshaw. She was found wrapped in a rich velvet cloak as an infant and has worked hard for her adoptive family since she could walk. She came to realize that her dream of meeting a high-born mother who was forced to abandon her is a faint hope. But now that the attractive Joanna has turned sixteen, she is traded to a wealthy man old enough to be her father for a piece of farmland.
Abraham Silkin proves to be a loving husband and Joanna is happy, though her new stepson Lynwood is a little too affectionate. Then Abraham dies and Lynwood begins to court Joanna. A happy ending looks possible, but then Liddy, an herbalist who is rumored to be a witch, reveals Joanna’s true parentage, and Lynwood rejects his fiancée. Joanna faces the wheel of fortune once more.
To Be a Fine Lady explores how easily fortune can turn, especially for the poor and powerless. Even the wife of a rich husband can be cast into the street. I enjoyed Ms. Jeffrey’s book, but think that if I were Lynwood, I wouldn’t have so quickly cast off the beautiful young woman I’d pursued for years. Nevertheless, lovers of historical romance will enjoy this book.