Jen Turano starts off her new series with plenty of laughs. Harriet Peabody is a middle class milliner who loses her job after an altercation with a client. Oliver Addleshaw, the client's almost-fiance, feels that Harriet's loss is partly his fault, and given her sensible nature, he has a brilliant idea how to help them both. He needs a feminine companion to help sway a business deal, and Harriet is out of a job - what could be better than to hire her for a couple weeks? Of course, there is the fact that Harriet has never been a part of high society and has no idea how to conduct herself at an upper class dinner party or the opera or high-end shopping. Plus an unsavory bit of her past is determined to dog her footsteps . . .
Oh, the unfortunate situations that befall poor Harriet! Even so sensible a person as Harriet can't completely avoid trouble. One thing I love about Turano's works is her ability to drop the heroine in such sticky situations and make them absolutely hilarious. And it's always fun, clean humor - nothing a teen should not read!
I enjoyed the middle-class perspective, where Harriet needs to work, she
needs to be thrifty and fiscally responsible, and her best friends are
on the same page. I can definitely connect with that mentality! It's a fun change of perspective from the upper class heroines.
Oliver serves as a reminder to pay attention to our surroundings and see those who need our help. Before Harriet, he scarcely perceives the poor right in front of him, but those people are her friends and acquaintances, people she makes an effort to help even when she has so little. While we are not all as dense as Oliver or as intent on amassing a fortune, we can still learn or be convicted along with him.
Every one of Turano's novels is a delight, and this one is no exception. I believe the following books of the series include the stories of Millie and Lucetta (and maybe Victoria?). Lucetta particularly intrigued me by her peculiar personal habits and some subtle comments indicating a secretive past . . . I'm definitely looking forward to the upcoming books of the series!
Thank you Bethany House for a free book to review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
A Class of Their Own
1. After a Fashion
2. In Good Company
3. Playing the Part