Monday, August 24, 2015

Julie Klassen's "Lady Maybe" - a twisty, Gothic romance

Lady Maybe  -     By: Julie Klassen
A man, his wife, and her companion enter a carriage one tempestuous day, racing along the cliffs to an undisclosed location. Yet in the height of the storm, the carriage slips and tumbles off the cliff to the channel below. The body of the driver is recovered, and two of the three passengers--insensible and gravely injured though they are--are rescued, while the third vanishes in the waves. And then our heroine awakens, disoriented and confused about her very identity . . . 

Wow, this book is hard to review without spoilers. Things are not always what they seem, especially with so much deception going on. It struck me as a very Victoria Holt-style Gothic romance--just when things feel like they might become predictable, BAM, sneaky plot twist.

At last, an author who does justice to the ending! In many books, the author tries to keep the momentum going through the climax to the very end, but it can end up feeling unsatisfactorily rushed. This one, however, indulges in the reflection that the complex story demands, and believe me, our heroine needs time to reflect and choose what will be best for her and hers. And until the very end, I did not know what she would choose--it is not often I can say that!

As I have come to expect with Julie Klassen, she does not hesitate to deal with sin, from deception (which we find forgivable under the right circumstances) to those that, as Christians, we hate to associate with: lust, adultery, children out of wedlock. She is not afraid to acknowledge that good people make poor choices, but such actions are not glorified. Once done, they cannot be undone, but they can be forgiven, and life will move on. However, such choices always have consequences. And those consequences make not only a rich, meaty story, but a moving--and perhaps even convicting--one as well.

*I do have to note, that while it is Christian fiction with a surprisingly poignant message, there are a couple scenes that are a bit steamier than an average Christian romance; nothing explicit, but if you are sensitive about such things, then perhaps you should pass on this one and try another of the author's novels, such as The Tutor's Daughter (my personal favorite), instead.

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