Historical author Anne Perry always puts out a Christmas novella. And I've made it a point to pick up every one since she began in 2003.
This year's entry is A Christmas Hope. Perry again plucks a character from one of her full length novels and gives them centre stage for Christmas.
London, England 1868. Wealthy socialite Claudine Burroughs is middle-aged and childless, trapped in a loveless marriage. She has found great joy and purpose in working in Hester Monk's street clinic for women.
While at a Christmas gathering for the upper classes, a young prostitute is brutally attacked on the patio. Claudine attends to her, much to the dismay of her husband and shock of the other guests. Who is this young woman? Why was she there? And why does the story of the three young men found with differ from the story of the man who claims he was trying to save her. Claudine decides that her own sense of well-being depends on finding the truth - despite what it might cost her...and others.
As always, Perry has penned another lovely period piece that is perfect for a one sitting read. She sets the atmosphere perfectly. But it is the dialogue that I enjoy the most. The social mores and the hidden real meaning behind the word that are said aloud. I love the detecting skills used in this time period. Woven throughout it all are a sense of faith, hope and love.
A Christmas Hope was just as I expected - another perfect entry for my holiday reading. Read an excerpt of The Christmas Hope.