So I started this book thinking it would be a historical fiction book. It turned out to be so much more: mystery, women’s rights, romance, politics… Marie Montecourt was born and raised in a French orphanage, knowing nothing about her past. Funded by an anonymous donor until she turned 18, she went on a hunger strike when she saw that her life was about to take a drastic turn for the worst if she stayed. She was shipped to England and tricked into marrying a business man who is only interested in using her mysterious inheritance to save his failing business. Meanwhile, Evelyn, the son of a powerful member of Paliament and famous Boer War hero, is trying to piece together the mystery of his father’s life after he unexpectedly dies and leave Evelyn in charge of his legacy. Evelyn finds out that Marie’s parents knew his father during the Boer War and meets with her and starts investigating her past. As feelings begin to grow between Marie and Evelyn, Marie’s marriage and finances start to fail and her husband’s secrets threaten to ruin their reputation. Her husband’s sudden death leads his family to insist on an inquest and Marie is charged with murder. Evelyn also discovers entails of his father’s past that threaten to ruin his family’s reputation if they were to come to light. Most of the story, you feel sorry for Marie whose choices are very limited by women’s position in late 1800s English society and a justice system that seems to be stacked against her. This book was so much more than I was expecting and I loved all the mystery as well as the glimpse it gave into the life of a women in this time period.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.