Do you love Jane Austen and Regency-Era romances? You’ll love this first installment in the On Devonshire Shores series!
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Do You Love Regency-Era Romances?
I love books written during the Regency Era, such as all of Jane Austen’s books and books about the Regency Era. As a teen, I read all of Jane Austen’s books. When I reached adulthood, I discovered Georgette Heyer at our local library, and I fell in love with the Regency-Era novel. Author Julie Klassen’s settings have the feel of a Jane Austen novel and plots with a dash of Georgette Heyer.
The Sisters of Sea View (On Devonshire Shores, Book 1)
By Julie Klassen, Bethany House Publishers, December 6, 2022, 448 pages.
Miss Sarah Summers’ life takes a turn she never imagined when her father’s untimely death brings her family to the brink of disaster. Because of the entail, their country estate goes to a distant cousin, and her mother and sisters move into Sea View, a much smaller house in the ocean town of Sidmouth in Devonshire, England.
Even with economizing, their solicitor believes the sisters will need to hire out as ladies’ companions or governesses. Determined to avoid the horrors of either occupation, Sarah convinces her mother and sisters to turn Sea View into a guest lodge—a wholly respectable occupation for impoverished gentlewomen.
Because of her poor health, Mrs. Summers reluctantly agrees to Sarah’s plan. Sarah’s sisters, Emily, Georgina, and Viola all agree to help, although Viola refuses to have contact with the guests. Viola refuses to show her face in public and always wears a veil. When her twin, Emily, finds work for Viola reading to invalids, Viola realizes she must do her part. But she vows to keep her veil in place.
As the guests arrive, the Summers family deals with a potential thief, a snooty couple, a blind guest, and a man who talks to her (dead) parrot. Emily accidentally walks into a guest’s room, and Sarah learns to bake to help economize.
The family faces challenges, too. Some of Viola’s clients challenge her use of a veil. A handsome guest from Scotland challenges Sarah’s belief in only finding love once. A new doctor challenges Mrs. Summers’s invalidism. And Emily’s understanding of their missing sister Claire gets challenged by a warning she hears at a dance.
Why I Loved this Book
Klassen weaves another beautiful story in the Regency Era in the first installment of the On Devonshire Shores series. Fans of Jane Austen will feel right at home when the Eltons walk into Sea View. The attention to historical detail will delight history buffs, and the epigraphs (many taken from Regency-era authors and books) add a note of authenticity.
This sweet story of sisterhood during adversity will settle around you like a soft shawl. And leave you wanting to read the next installment! Fans of Jan Karon’s Mitford series, Jane Austen, and Georgette Heyer will enjoy this book.