The synopsis on the back of the book
Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?
- Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
- Will Be Published: 2/20/2018
- Pages: 320
- Goodreads rating: 4.52
Why I Chose This Book
Carrie reached out to me by email because she read my review on Julie Klassen's latest book (you can read the review- HERE). She absolutely loved my review so she wanted to send me her latest book. And of course, I agreed! Carrie is such a sweet lady and I was very much looking forward to reading her book.
First Initial Thoughts
This story covers the story of the beginning times of aviation and the challenges of flying. There are so many characters in this book that I had to note them all down. But I love a good story with so many characters!
Isabella (Bella) Grayson is a young woman dreaming of becoming a journalist. But her mother and father have other plans. The last two seasons she has failed to attract a suitor and they are pressing for her to get married. However, that is the last thing on her mind. If she was to marry, she wanted to marry for love. Bella is a very independent and lively young woman. During that time, women were expected to be a homemaker and have children. They were not expected to carry on a career. I admired Bella's passion and determination to pursue a different life.
James Drake is an aviator determined to be the first person to cross the English channel. He is out flying his airplane one day when the engine starts to fail and he crashes into the Broadland's estate. There he meets the Grayson family. Mr. Grayson helps fix James airplane by giving him funds to repair it. James was adopted by Professor Steed when he was just a boy. James' mother died when he was just a baby and he never had the pleasure of knowing her or his father. He has felt lost most of his life but he is grateful for the love and kindness of the Professor.
Carrie did an amazing job recreating the world of Broadlands and the area around London. I could visualize exactly how Broadlands would look and the surrounding English countryside. It made me miss the U.K. so much!
This story reminded me of Downtown Abby! Bella and James reminded me so much of Lady Sybil and Tom Branson. I was cheering for them the whole story. I appreciated that they were attracted to each other at first but it grew to love as the story went on. I also liked that besides their romance and James determination to fly across the English channel, there was also a mystery to solve. The mystery of James mother and what happened. I like it when a book has more than one little storyline going on!
I also learned quite a bit about aviation as I am not too much into airplanes due to having horrible motion sickness. It was interesting to learn about how aviation began and the immediate pressure to make airplanes better due to political issues with Germany.
Isabella was tested many times throughout the novel. Especially trying to gain approval of her father and mother. She desired to be a journalist so much and I am glad that her father allowed her to write a series in the Daily Mail. I liked that her father turned around at the end and was more forward thinking.
Even though Bella is the main character I think James is the one that grew the most in this book. In the beginning, when he found out the story about his family, he was angry at them abandoning him. At the end, as the mystery was solved he learned to forgive them, as Jesus did with us on the cross. He also learned to love and trust again with Bella.
Of course, I won't spoil the mystery but I really enjoyed the end! I want to know what happens to Bella and James! Especially with the first World War just around the corner. It's a good book when you want to know what happens afterward!
Would I Recommend?
Oh yes! If you loved Downtown Abby and love stories with that upstairs and downstairs feel, you will absolutely enjoy this story!
This book will be published on February 20th. You can pre-order the book- HERE.
I hope you decide to read the book when it comes out!
**Note: I received a copy of this book from Carrie and Penguin Random House to review