Chocolate Book Review no. 5 - The Companion of Lady Holmeshire by Debra Brown

I'm going to come right out and say that I loved this book. It was well written, meticulously researched, and beautifully brought together at the end with one shock revelation after another. It made many great moral points about social injustice without being either preachy or irrelevant to the modern reader, and it was very satisfying to see some of the more arrogant characters get their comeuppance. I thought the dialogue was especially good, and I warmed to Winnie and Wills from the beginning. I particularly loved the handling of the romance between servants Simon and Anne, and I found myself really liking Genevieve too, despite being convinced that I shouldn't because she was betrothed to Wilfred, our dashing hero. I enjoyed how that little love triangle worked out.

To be completely fair I usually try to find something to criticise in the books I review, but was hard pressed to do so here. I did get confused by the large number of characters and occasionally had to go back and remind myself who some people were, but in any book set in several large households in the early Victorian era (where each character has both a name, a title and a nickname) that's bound to be an issue. I also thought that the ending was just a little too improbable, but I accept that suspension of disbelief is generally a prerequisite for enjoying a good story.

I have also made it something of a personal mission to check books set in Britain but written by Americans to ensure that they don't include such strange alien things as chipmunks (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), rutabagas and acorn squash (English Trifle by Josi Kilpack) or characters who say bad things about the National Health Service (Pursued by Lynn Gardner). I found only one error of this sort in the entire book: a character referred to autumn as "fall". Having said that, although no British person would use the word "fall" to mean the season in modern times, it may be that they did in the nineteenth century.

All in all, the book drew me in, and was a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended.


  1. Thank you, Anna, for taking the time to read and review my book. Not to mention the payment you sent all the way from England, a delicious chocolate bar. :) I have saved the wrapper in my drawer full of things from around the world, as well as the envelope and postage stamp.

    I am glad you enjoyed the book. I appreciate the point on the word "fall". Until I read it here, I had no idea that it was not used in Britain. Now I know. It makes me wonder what other words you do not use, but I will probably stumble of those, too, in the future.

    Again, many thanks.


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