Behind the Scenes
By Jen Turano
Apart from the Crowd #1
Bethany House, 2017
After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, Miss Permilia Griswold has finally figured out a way to pass the time at all the New York high-society events she attends. Under the pseudonym "Miss Quill," she is the author of society gossip columns filled with tidbits only an insider in society--albeit one on the fringes--would know.
When she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, the owner of one of the most up-and-coming department stores in the city, she's determined to warn him. But the irritatingly handsome man doesn't believe her, leaving her no choice but to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn't anticipate is that she'll end up putting herself at risk in the process--or that she and Mr. Rutherford, a man with secrets of his own, just might end up joining forces after all.
Behind the Scenes is pure delight! As an entertaining read, high marks. In its sense of time and place, high marks. For adorable, quirky characters, high marks again. And for laugh-out-loud dialogue and situations? Highest marks of all.
Witty dialogue and quirky characters remind me so much of Georgette Heyer’s style. The engaging prose flows seamlessly; no Christian fiction author that I’ve read does this style as well as Turano.
1883, New York City
The opening scene of the Vanderbilt costume ball with 1200 guests takes up almost one-third of the book and it’s a delightful romp. I wasn’t sure about all this when I first met the “wallflowers” - Permilia Griswold, Gertrude Cadwalader, and Temperance Flowerfew, but they quickly grew on me. Asher and Permilia have great chemistry and I loved the way their relationship steadily grows – as well as elements of Cinderella that are cleverly woven in. A strong ensemble cast adds depth – a couple of my favorites being Gertrude’s employer, Mrs. Davenport, and Asher’s friend, Harrison.
There’s much more to this story, however, as Turano subtly brings in culturally relevant themes such as the questioning of social mores, the role of women, the worth of people from all walks of life, education, and helping those less fortunate. It’s always great to be reminded that, as in life, opportunities come from the most unexpected places – and people also.
Behind the Scenes has an element of mystery and some surprises along the way. The ending is delightful. This promises to be an entertaining series and I look forward to the story of Gertrude and Harrison, Out of the Ordinary, which releases in November 2017.
I was provided a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and Bethany House. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Jen Turano, author of eight books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Click on the link below to enter.