Title: Lady Maybe
Author: Julie Klassen
~ MY REVIEW ~
I love the Regency era novels, and Julie Klassen writes them with rich detail and intrigue. However, despite that, and Julie Klassen being one of my favorite historical authors, I had a few (personal) problems with Lady Maybe.
Subtly hinting at the dark, scandalous classic of Jane Eyre, this story centers on Hannah, a lady's companion, who is suddenly thrust into a world of riches, and secrets, and deception. She longs to save the one person most precious to her, but doesn't know how long she can go on before she's found out.
Lady Maybe was thoroughly entertaining. It had completely unexpected plot twists. Shocking secrets. Bizarre love triangles. With danger, fear, tenderness, and long-hidden misdeeds, this novel kept me wondering and guessing - until the very end.
That being part of the problem. If you know me, you know I don't prefer love triangles. I definitely don't like them when you have no idea which young man the lady will choose, until the end of the book. How does the romance mean anything to the reader then? All those sweet moments, and those one or two stolen kisses ... I just read them with a perturbed feeling, knowing that she's, on one hand, giving away kisses and having tender moments with a man she won't marry. It just bothered me to no end! I realize readers are all about suspense and crazy, unimaginable plot twists these days; but I would way rather have a big hint at which man she's going to choose ... and watch their romance blossom into something more than just infatuation and physical attraction. (view spoiler) I suppose, when you get the whole story, she does actually love one guy, and just is attracted to the other. I suppose. But, we can't see this. We can't see Hannah's feelings, or remember her past, or anything; even though she's the main POV character. We're left guessing. And again, I know lots of readers love this. It's just not my personal preference at all.
And yes, the romance stuff. I don't like reading about a young woman "falling in love" with two different men at the same time. It's not very appropriate. Nor was it appropriate at all, keeping with the Jane Eyre theme, for a sort of secretly married man to ask a young woman (view spoiler) to live in sin with him! Grr! To me, that just shows how much he doesn't honor, cherish, and love her. (view spoiler) I don't know. It rubbed me very wrong, despite how people gush over the similar Jane Eyre story. It turns out pretty right in the end, but Lady Maybe is quite the story of scandal and alluded-to-indiscretions right and left. Erm, most of it is alluded to. Some bits a little more detailed. If you don't like a lot of sensuality in the novels you read, prepare to do a bit of skimming, which is what I did. There's one scene in particular (a flashback) which was inappropriate and completely unneeded, in my opinion.
There still is a bit of a faith theme, talking about God's forgiveness, even of our darkest sins; and the like. (view spoiler) But overall, I just wasn't a fan of this story. Too much scandal, and past sins, and mixed-up drama, and all that.
I've LOVED some of Julie Klassen's other books, such as The Tutor's Daughter and The Lady of Milkweed Manor. I have five of her books on my bookshelf and hope to collect more! Lady Maybe wasn't so much for me ... but I'm looking forward to reading The Painter's Daughter, and hope it will be more like her other books! *smiles*