Some Enchanted Afternoon
Was it her imagination, or did librarian Lydia Bancroft just catch that handsome man staring at her in the reading room? Set in 1893 Chicago, bookish Lydia was brought up to be part of a society she is secretly no longer a member of, those who are very rich. Her mother and her were left almost penniless after her father’s death. Mrs. Bancroft insists they try to keep up appearances, not revealing their financial losses, and hope Lydia will make a good match with a rich man.
You may see a stranger…
Jason seems to be just such a man, and has proposed to Lydia. Mrs. Bancroft has pinned all her hopes of getting out of poverty on this marriage. On paper, this appears to be a good match, but in real life, things aren’t coming together as easily. Also, Jason may not be what he seems. Additionally, there is the attraction Lydia feels towards the mystery man from the library, who she learns is Sebastian Marks.
Across a crowded room.
As Marks and Lydia go from strangers to friends, she is warned that Sebastian is very rich, but also a man feared by most of Chicago. She is told he is from the worst part of town, and involved in unseemly businesses. Yet this doesn’t sound like the well-read and obviously well-educated, kind gentleman Lydia has spent some time with. Mystery, danger and unanswered questions swirl around Sebastian.
You will find your true love….but will Lydia?
Before this story ends, a body is found, Lydia will be a murder suspect, and her finances will look even more grim. Worse yet, in her mother’s eyes, Lydia may lose her place in polite society. She also finds that books aren’t a substitute for real life and friends, but will that knowledge come in time for her to find true happiness? Will Lydia get involved with a man who is secretly violent, and could ultimately hurt her? Or is she destined never to find love, and will Lydia, along with her mother, be forced to live out their days in poverty?
This story really kept my interest, and the descriptions of life and the city at that time rang true. Having the book set just after the Chicago World’s Fair brought in an interesting aspect to the story. This is a clean tale, from a Christian viewpoint. I wish there would have been an epilogue at the end. Something that gave a little more about what happened with the four main characters, especially down the road a few years. Whispers in the Reading Room is the third book in the Chicago World’s Fair Mystery Series, but this story definitely stands on its own. This is an enjoyable 5-star book, and well-written. I recommend it to those who like mysteries, romances or stories set in the late 1800’s.
Zondervan Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of Whispers in the Reading Room for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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