William is dedicated to his religion. His ambition is to go to India, the Far East or Africa to help the underprivileged. Unfortunately the Dean of the City of London (his sponsor) has other ideas and arranges for William to take over a living in Shropshire. Afraid to say no, William travels to Shropshire but is determined to escape to his missionary work as soon as possible.
Cecilia is considered a dreamer and spends most of her time wandering the countryside with her paints and sketchbook. Her mother has plans for her to marry the younger son of the local nobility, and her daughter obediently tries to attract the man’s attention.
The beginning of the seemed a bit slow and dry, but after the first few pages I got hooked. Cecilia blossomed into a woman who knew her own mind, but didn’t want to disappoint her mama. William wrestled with his love for Cecilia and his desire to do missionary work. His longing to be a missionary did not include a wife.
I felt as if both the main characters were my friends and I longed to be able to help them, especially when the nasty younger son had designs on Cecilia which didn’t include marriage. The setting was outside the debutante area of London and this made it more interesting for me as it provided a new aspect to the era. Charlotte Brentwood has provided a unique vision into small village life when the nobility ruled everything.
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