Historical Fiction, Regency era
Release Date: May 1, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mary Green by Melanie Kerr. This story is very much in the Jane Austen tradition of manners and country estates.
The title character starts off Cinderella-like. She’s living with the relations of a woman who adopted her from an orphanage and subsequently died. Never really part of the family, she’s treated almost as a servant. When her twenty-first birthday arrives, it brings with it some startling news. Suddenly she’s rich.
Guided by her own conscience and her newly acquired companion, Mary slowly finds her way to happiness in the new world she’s entered. Finding love is a bit more complicated. Which of the three brothers from a neighboring family has actually captured her heart and not just her infatuation?
This is the Canadian author’s second novel. It is both well-written and well-plotted. Kerr has created distinctive characters that we like in spite of their flaws. Theirs is a gentle world where forgiveness is possible and goodness is its own reward.
I predict we’ll be seeing much more of Kerr’s writing in the future.
Mary Green, obscure orphan and ward of the wealthy Hargreaves family, has always accepted her inferior position with grace, humility, and gratitude. When she discovers that her only friend is to leave the country forever, that her confidence has been betrayed by the unfeeling youngest daughter of the family, and that her very deprivation is the object of the mockery and scorn of everyone she has sought to honour, she determines to cast them off and make her own way in the world.
On her twenty-first birthday, free to choose her own destiny, she dreams of peace and tolerance, and perhaps a partner who might be noble enough to love her in all her simplicity. But when an unexpected foray into London society disrupts all her plans, she is faced with an uncharacteristic storm of feelings. Will she grow strong and happy in her independence, or will her character be lost amidst her newfound ambition? Unable to trust the whims of her own heart, Mary is forced to confront the question that has forever plagued her: Who is she and where does she come from?
About the Author
Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English, and theatre at the University of British Columbia, and law at the University of Alberta. Kerr is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon, and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she raises her three young children, sews her own Regency costumes, organizes Regency costume events, blogs on all things old and English, endeavours to take over the world, and occasionally practices law.