REVIEW: The Snowdrop by Jayne Fresina
He was once a boy abandoned, left to make his own way in the world.
She was a girl stifled by the demands of her family and constrained by the strict customs of Victorian society; a bird caged and without hope.
Raised in two disparate worlds, with one fortune rising while the other tumbled, they might never have known each other.
But when a disreputable old rogue dies unexpectedly and in spectacular, explosive style, a chain of remarkable events is destined to draw these two strangers close— to the bemusement of one and the disgust of the other.
The last Will and Testament of Sir Mungo Lightfoot Mayferry McClumphy has gone astray, and a large number of claimants are fighting over a vast fortune.
She wants nothing to do with it, her grieving heart bereft of hope.
He is in the thick of it, a man of ruthless perseverance and— in her eyes— a dark, mercenary, unfeeling heart.
Drawn together one Christmas, these two “Mortal Enemies” will have to find a way to put aside the strife and be civil. Whether or not they can survive the season remains to be seen.
If they also find hope and love along the way, it will surely be a Christmas miracle.
Dear Ms. Fresina,
I’ve not read any of the other books in the “Deverell” series but it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of this sorta Christmas story. The acerbic nature of both MCs cut through any hint of seasonal sweetness. The foul mouthed cockatoo was an added bonus.
There are lots of Victorian tropes layered through the tale including a lawsuit that has dragged on for decades (points for going ahead and including a copy of “Bleak House” that the heroine reads and immediately thinks relates to her family’s situation); an older spinster of whom her family has taken advantage for years; a thwarted romance for said spinster; a bastard hero; and a huge, drafty mansion.
It took me a while to catch on to what was initially going on as the intricately involved story was being set up. Attention must be paid to details as the book has a long payoff. Some clues and hints along the way point towards what is really going on but remembering that Dash Deverell is a man who firmly believes in creating his own luck and opportunities helps throw light on some things. Daisy and Dash both grow and change over the course of their thirteen year acquaintanceship and – huzzah! – admit to it. Double yay that I didn’t have to wait until the second to the last page to see this happening. I did figure out one aspect of the plot, the middle sort of drifted a little bit, and Daisy’s nephew needed a good military school to straighten him out but perhaps years of off terms of mucking out the stables will turn him around. B-