A sweet historical romance set in England in the mid-1800s, Erin Grace’s Christmas at Etford Park follows the trials and tribulations of a family whose father died in the London cholera epidemic. With no social safety net, the mother relies on the rather dubious goodwill of a selfish aunt, and daughter Lily Bowden begins to wonder what the future holds—marriage to a pig-farmer perhaps, a life of service… certainly nothing to match the dreams she once held.
A chance meeting might change everything of course, as Lily meets the second son of the local Lord. But another meeting waits in the wings with a deeper level of healing, as son and father despise each other, while daughter and aunt strike sparks of anger and rebellion.
An appropriately quiet faith threads through the tale. Lily’s uncle’s the pastor, her aunt provides flowers for funerals and cakes for meetings—all cooked by Lily’s reluctant hands of course—and the reclusive, angry Lord might still be open to healing. Add a pinch of mystery, a well-placed spoonful of understanding, one surprisingly feisty young girl, some snow and candle-light, and the author, clearly a much better baker of words than Lily is of cakes, creates a lovely Christmas novel to inspire, intrigue and delight.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher and offered to write a review.