Lauren Willig is an author that I just know that I’m going to love. Like all of her books, one of our heroines is modern and the other is from days past. Julia, our modern heroine, has been left a house in London by a distant aunt, so she goes to England to get it ready for sale. While there, she discovers a family secret, a mysterious painting and the truth about her mother’s death when she was a small child. Julia also meets a dashing young Brit, who helps her sort through the junk her ancestors left behind, and helps her find herself too.
In between, we flash back to 1849 and the plight of Imogene Grantham. Trapped in a marriage to a man who likes to collect pretty things and not much else, she finds real love with an artist commissioned to paint her portrait. Unlike like most of Willig’s other books, things don’t go quite as planned in the nineteenth century romance, but it feels more real that way.
This book was a quick read and I definitely didn’t want it to end. I hope Ms. Willig will revisit this universe again in the future.