A Christmas Hope (Christmas Novellas #11) by Anne Perry
Published: October 23rd 2014 (Paperback)
Available in Hardback, Paperback and on Kindle
London, 1868. As the Christmas season begins, Claudine Burroughs feels little joy in its endless social calls and extravagant events. Working at a clinic for desperate women has opened her eyes to a different world.
Then her two worlds collide. A prostitute smuggled into a grandiose Christmas party is found brutally beaten. Poet Dai Tregarron stands accused. But Dai insists he was trying to protect her from the violence of three young men. Claudine believes him, but with society closing ranks against him, how can she prove his innocence without risking everything?
This was my first experience with an Anne Perry Christmas novella and I found it to be a gritty look at Victorian England. The blurb sounded intriguing and I was hoping for a mystery set among the grandeur of a Victorian Christmas, instead I got a slightly depressing look at the morals of the Victorian upper classes, done in a way which I found slightly repetitive.
Claudine Burroughs is an outsider in her social circle and spends much of her time helping less fortunate women in a clinic. I wanted to feel something kind of empathy for her as she’s not happy in her marriage to her husband who clearly doesn’t love her but she just came across as a rather dull character.
There is no real mystery to the story as it’s obvious to the reader what happened to the poor young woman. This is more a story of Claudine trying to find a way to convince people to do the right thing and not let their social standing impact on their actions. It gives a very bleak view of the concept of marriage in Victorian England; love is not a factor often considered it seems, this for me made a quite bleak story. I’m someone who loves a little romance in a book, especially at Christmas.
If you are a fan of stories set in Victorian times you will probably enjoy the bleak realism this book portrays, for me it lacked depth in the mystery and was missing a little Christmas spirit.
Thank you to bookridgr for sending me a copy to review. Rating 2/5