Devorah Asher is blessed with beauty, brains, and a great collection of Georgette Heyer novels. What 30-year-old Devorah doesn’t have is one of the most highly prized commodities in her Orthodox Jewish community—a husband. Even when an eligible man does appear on the scene, she fumbles the opportunity by falling off a chair...and landing in Georgette Heyer’s Regency England.
She is taken under the wing of the very rich and very charming Duke of Ravenscroft, who suspects that Devorah is Jewish and would therefore be the perfect wife for his Jewish tenant, Jonathan Whyteman. First, though, the Duke needs to enlist Devorah’s aid with fending off the advances of the very persistent Lady Albinia Brinkburn.
While the world thinks the Duke is planning on marrying Devorah, she is slowly becoming attracted to Mr. Whyteman. But it’s the wrong place and the wrong century. So even though she has finally found The One, how can she straighten out this convoluted match?
A light-hearted comedy of manners written in the best Regency tradition.
Ms Shaefer has certainly managed to mimic Jane Austen’s style in this light and unusual romance. Her characterisation uses irony, humour, wit and a good dose of bitchiness to show us the personalities of the society-obsessed women of the Regency, whereas their menfolk seem totally immune to the rules of so called propriety.
The premise is interesting, in that a Georgette Heyer-obsessed young woman finds herself in that era with no explanation, or exit route. If this phenomenon happened to me, I would have been carted off to Bedlam with my ridiculous explanation of how I ended up in a field in only the clothes I stood up it.
Devorah however is not only taken into a Duke’s house, she is clothed, fed, treated like family and her story regarded as mildly amusing, and of course, she is welcome to stay as long as she likes. Not only that, the Jewish neighbour provides her with a portable larder of kosher food when she refuses to eat anything other than water, fruit and raw vegetables.
Somewhat implausible but fun. I like the fact Devorah played a Brahms tune on the pianoforte years before the composer was born, together with the cringe worthy rudeness of the Duke’s mother which was equal to any matriarch in an Austen novel.
However, the plot does get bogged down with the trivial and several times I asked myself where the story was going other than with endless spiteful conversations, descriptions of clothing, cooking - lots of cooking, fires in bedrooms, plus injuries which enable Devorah to give reasons for not doing things.
Entertaining and well written, but it could have reached its inevitable conclusion a lot sooner.
I received an e-book copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review
Anita Davison is a Historical Fiction Author whose latest release, ‘Royalist Rebel’ a biographical novel set in 17th Century England, is released by Claymore Press under the name Anita Seymour