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Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues - particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary's estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer, offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.
But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen's Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by the other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.
Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation work out their lives and hearts.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By MVF on 04-08-18
I like this foray into Jane Austin
this was a a solid story and tells the tale of two friends Mary and Isabella. Mary is an engineer, brilliant and loved her job except for the changes in the company and her new boss --who is not making things easy for her.
Isabella her best friend from childhood convinces her to go on a vacation to England, to stay in a refurbished manner home where people come to stay for a week or two and dress in Regency England attire. Part of this experience requires they choose a character preferably out of Jane Austen's books.
It is here that the fractures in Isabella and Mary's relationship start unfolding--and then are halted by Isabella's break from reality. Mary is required to stay with her friend until she returns to the present world while they live in a pretend world.
What I loved about the story, -the description of the manor house, the clothing, and the people as they engaged in this pretend world for a few moments. I really wanted this to be a thing that one could do. But let's face it, if it were something that we could pay for and pretend we are in Jane Austen England in authentic clothes, living in beautiful rooms- it would be wildly popular, but tarnished by workers acting as servants who would end up being cynical and bored ( look at any theme park). Still- an exquisite idea.
What I didn't like--I struggled with Mary the main character in trying to understand her reasoning and how she dealt with people. I'm not sure if she was trying to make her analytical and awkward alike many Engineers are (I live in a town full of them) but I was frustrated in her inability to ask questions or clarify things especially with the hero Nathan. I also didn't understand her friendship with Isabella who did some very terrible things throughout their life and I struggle with that, because the good things didn't offset some of the bad things she did. You will have to read this book to understand what I'm saying. I'm just hinting at things I'm not going to give any spoilers.
this was an enjoyable read and I do recommend it.
By JM Saenz on 11-18-17
Another homerun. Katherine Reay wrote another wonderful story. But I do think that Karen and Isabel got off a little too easily. They both contributed to Mary's confusion and pain in their own way and neither got to experience a third of the pain that Mary endured.
Regardless, this is a story that I will re-read.
The narrator did a wonderful job as well, and this story heard over and over again.