Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

Lady Jayne Disappears

When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing...

Title:Lady Jayne Disappears
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Lady Jayne Disappears Reviews

  • Hannah

    3.5 stars

    I have to admit, I took a chance on this book because the cover is so delightfully interesting! I found the mystery engaging and interesting, though Aunt Eudora's continued keeping of secrets was annoying to me as well as to the heroine. The descriptions of the prison and the country house are very well done and make the scenes easy to imagine. I really loved how the color purple was identified as Lady Jayne's color, and how that thread was carried through to the end.

    It's a good story f

    3.5 stars

    I have to admit, I took a chance on this book because the cover is so delightfully interesting! I found the mystery engaging and interesting, though Aunt Eudora's continued keeping of secrets was annoying to me as well as to the heroine. The descriptions of the prison and the country house are very well done and make the scenes easy to imagine. I really loved how the color purple was identified as Lady Jayne's color, and how that thread was carried through to the end.

    It's a good story for a debut, and I loved Politano's almost retro writing style. At times I was frustrated with the heroine's immaturity/naivety; though I understood that she had lived a strangely sheltered/exposed life in Shepton Mallet, it doesn't mean I have to like that trait of hers. Also, at times it lost focus a bit, and the lying also bothered me. It seemed like nearly everyone in the story had their own version of something or other that required a glib lie or deception, so each chapter had a new one. That was overkill for me.

    The last quarter of the book was excellent, and I didn't put it down at all after about page 275. It definitely works up to a bang of revelation, and I'm still not sure it entirely cleared up Aurelie's view of her beloved father vs. the scoundrel/wastrel others viewed him as. Also,

    I'll definitely be getting a copy of Politano's next book to see how she grows as a writer.

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy. Positive review not required.

  • Beth

    Lady Jayne Disappears is both a surprise and a delight of a debut novel. Joanna Politano’s writing reminded me of a delicious mix of Siri Mitchell and Sandra Byrd, two authors whose novels I love. In tone, it is mysterious, a touch Gothic, and unique – something that can only be claimed as Politano’s own personal style. I was thrilled to see that the story is told from Aureile Harcourt’s first person perspective. Her voice is distinct and strong. Her character is endearing and had me wishing the

    Lady Jayne Disappears is both a surprise and a delight of a debut novel. Joanna Politano’s writing reminded me of a delicious mix of Siri Mitchell and Sandra Byrd, two authors whose novels I love. In tone, it is mysterious, a touch Gothic, and unique – something that can only be claimed as Politano’s own personal style. I was thrilled to see that the story is told from Aureile Harcourt’s first person perspective. Her voice is distinct and strong. Her character is endearing and had me wishing the best of things for her. There are some sections that are not from her perspective, but from another character and in third person, so the transitions to and from the sections are clear.

    When reading mysteries, I often figure out the culprit or the big twist in the plot well before the end of the story. I don’t say that in a show-off sort of way, but rather to emphasize my delight when this story took all of my pre-conceived notions and turned them on their head. What happens with the actual Lady Jayne took me aback; I love when the characters do something other than what I expect of them (so long as it makes sense for the story, and in this case, it does). I love that the reader gets to “read” the installments of Nathaniel Droll’s stories as they are written, and it is also neat that his words are at the beginning of each chapter.

    If anything bothered me, it was just being unsure of the romantic interest. I don’t mind some uncertainty, but I don’t want to feel like their interest is anywhere other than the main character. Sometimes some of the descriptions used had me wondering, and that’s one aspect of the story that I really don’t want to be a mystery. This is probably one of those odd quirks that is very specific to me, so take that with a grain of salt. The romance is endearing, but not what carries the story; rather it’s a sweet compliment to the plot overall.

    Aurelie’s personal growth spoke to my heart. Raised in a debtor’s prison and suddenly thrust into the world of Lynhurst Mamor, where society and putting on certain airs is important, Aurelie struggles to hold on to her true self while also desperately eager to have a place to belong. As the story progresses, she realizes that finding out more about her past, and her father’s life before debtor’s prison, doesn’t negate who she knows herself to be already.

    I think my favorite thing about this story is that when I thought all had been revealed at the end, there was just a bit more that had me thinking back to certain actions by certain characters with a deeper understanding. Those “ah-ha!” moments are just so fun, and I genuinely did not see them coming at all.

    Lady Jayne Disappears is a well-done debut. It is fun, refreshing, and a story I can see myself re-reading one day. I’m so happy to discover a new author and that another book is already on the way.

    I received a complimentary copy of this novel, which I chose to review. I was not required to write a positive review, and this is my honest opinion.

  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    4.5 stars TOP PICK

  • Sarah Monzon

    I really love the cover of this book and feel it sets the tone for the story inside. I enjoyed the uniqueness of this books and the skill it took for the author to weave in all the elements through the book.

  • Beth Erin

    Full review on Faithfully Bookish

    "A well-written book always revealed the complex truth about its characters, but more than anything, the basic truth about its author" p. 326

    Lady Jayne Disappears is masterfully written and completely captivating. Each page is an indulgence of beautiful words, every chapter hints at hidden meanings and elusive truths. 

    Aurelie Harcourt is a heroine worthy of readerly adoration. She is genuine, compassionate, and (despite her insecurities) an enormously talented st

    Full review on Faithfully Bookish

    "A well-written book always revealed the complex truth about its characters, but more than anything, the basic truth about its author" p. 326

    Lady Jayne Disappears is masterfully written and completely captivating. Each page is an indulgence of beautiful words, every chapter hints at hidden meanings and elusive truths. 

    Aurelie Harcourt is a heroine worthy of readerly adoration. She is genuine, compassionate, and (despite her insecurities) an enormously talented storyteller. Silas Rotherham is observant, receptive, and protective. He plays his role as leading man with excellence and intelligence.

    This book is simply extraordinary! I highly recommend it and eagerly anticipate future works from this promising author.

    I requested the opportunity to read this through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

  • Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    About this book:

    About this book:

    Series: As of now, no.

    Spiritual Content- Psalm 23:6 at the end; Many Prayers, Thanking, & Talking to God; Many Scriptures are mentioned, quoted, & remembered; Going to a chapel; Talks about God; ‘H’s are not capital when referring to God; Mentions of God & Jesus; Mentions of prayers, praying, & thanking/talking to God; Mentions of a chapel, going to it, worship, & sermons; Mentions of Heaven; Mentions of a house that oozes religion, but has precious little of God; A few mentions of Bibles & faiths; A few mentions of those in the Bible; A few mentions of blessing & being blessed; A mention of hymnals; A mention of a miracle; A mention of an angel; A mention of sins; A mention of monks in a cathedral;

    *Note: Mentions of auras, including a creepy one; Mentions of ghosts & them haunting a place; A couple mentions of devilish smiles; A mention of someone being devilishly rude.

    Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a form of ‘idiot’, a ‘where the devil’, two forms of ‘stupid’, and two ‘witch’s; A bit of sass & eye rolling; Pain & a concussion (up to semi-detailed); A bit of fighting & causing someone pain; Nightmares; Many, many mentions of prisons, deaths, crimes, debts, & debtors/inmates (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a disappearance & (possible) murder(s) and trying to find the killer(s); Mentions of murders, murderers, & hatred; Many mentions of life in a prison (diseases/illnesses, wounds, deaths, & rats, barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of threats; Mentions of pain & a concussion; Mentions of slapping & wanting to slap someone; Mentions of gambling & gamblers; Mentions of alcohol, drunks, & saloons/pubs; Mentions of pipes & smoking; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of children drowning (not really though); A few mentions of stealing & being locked up for it; A few mentions of hunters & hunting; A couple mentions of asylums; A couple mentions of divorces; A mention of throwing up.

    Sexual Content- A couple hand kisses, a fingers-to-lip touch, two head kisses, a cheek kiss, a almost semi-detailed kiss, a semi-detailed kiss, and a detailed kiss; A bit of staring at someone’s lips, imagining, & wondering about a kiss (up to semi-detailed); A handful of desires to kiss someone (up to semi-detailed); Touches, Warmth, Embraces, Nearness, & Smelling (also some unwanted touches, both kinds are up to semi-detailed); Noticing (up to semi-detailed); *Large Spoiler*

    *End of Large Spoiler*; Mentions of out-of-wedlock pregnancies (one child is said to have been “accidental”) & a husband who had more child than his only wife; Mentions of scandals, reputations, & chaperones; Mentions of romantic trysts; Mentions of couples touching & kissing hand; Mentions of kissing & an almost kiss; Mentions of a girl running away to be with her beau; Mentions of flirting & flirts; Mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of blushes; A couple mentions of the possibilities of illegitimate children; A couple mentions of a man trying to ruin a young woman; A couple mentions of crushes; A couple mentions of dates; A mention of a drunken man planting a kiss on a woman; A mention of a man that hasn’t tasted the lips of a woman; A mention of a woman using the power of seduction; Love, falling in love, & the emotions;

    *Note: Mentions of underthings; Mentions of female figures; A few mentions of mothers who died in childbirth; A couple mentions of many infants that died; A mention of thinking that a woman died in childbirth; A mention of a woman’s abundant bosom.

    -Aurelie Rosette Harcourt

    -Silas Rotherham

    1st person P.O.V. of Aurelie, normal 3rd of Silas

    Set during 1861

    416 pages

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Pre Teens- One Star

    New Teens- One Star

    Early High School Teens- Two Stars (and a half)

    Older High School Teens- Three Stars (and a half)

    My personal Rating- Three Stars (and a half)

    What an

    book.

    I went into this one not knowing much; I honestly wasn’t ever sure that it was a historical. (It is.) I wanted to try it out, however, to see if I should be watching this author after reading her debut book.

    And you know what? I think I will be.

    The prologue threw me right into this story in a first-person point of view of Aurelie, then while we’re catching up by going back a few months prior, I was itching to get to the end just to see what would happen, to get to the present day of the story.

    Aurelie completely won me over very quickly. She’s constantly trying to figure out everyone’s story. She is, as she puts it, “sensitive to story ideas.” I loved how she starts praying specifically for a new friend’s future husband before even thinking about herself. I loved all of Aurelie’s prayers and seeing her faith, but I do wish we could have seen a bit more of Silas’ faith and his family. {Side note: The pen-name is under

    Droll. 😉 }

    This novel did have some instant attraction, which I’m never a fan of, so what romance was in this book was more than I would have liked at times.

    There actually was some humor, which I wasn’t expecting. Sometimes this book had a Gothic feel to it, so it could be dramatic.

    As the book went on I began to see a pattern: Aurelie would write a twist in the story, we (& she) get a twist in the plot. I won’t lie, though, I was a bit sadden by a big twist towards the end—and then there was another twist that I wasn’t overall thrilled with. I do approve of certain twists right at the end with a certain dimpled man and our writer, however.

    Truthfully, I wanted a happier ending. Calm me a sap, but I like everything wrapped up with a giant bow in my fiction stories whenever there’s family troubles. It

    all wrapped up, though, so I’ll give it that. For a debut novel, the plot (& all the twists) kept me on my toes and since I mostly enjoyed it, I’m curious to learn about the author’s next novel.

    Link to review:

    *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

    *I received this book for free from the Publisher (Revell) for this honest review.

  • Carrie Turansky

    I enjoyed this English historical romance with mystery and lots of unexpected twists and turns. I listened to the audio version, and it had an excellent English narrator, but I think I would've enjoyed it even more if I'd read the paperback version so I could slow down a bit and keep all the characters straight. It is a complex story with a Gothic feeling and reflections of Dickens' Little Dorrit. The mystery kept me guessing until the last chapter, and the romance was sweet and satisfying. High

    I enjoyed this English historical romance with mystery and lots of unexpected twists and turns. I listened to the audio version, and it had an excellent English narrator, but I think I would've enjoyed it even more if I'd read the paperback version so I could slow down a bit and keep all the characters straight. It is a complex story with a Gothic feeling and reflections of Dickens' Little Dorrit. The mystery kept me guessing until the last chapter, and the romance was sweet and satisfying. Highly recommended!

  • Victoria Lynn

    Whew!

    Review coming soon.

    //R E V I E W//

    This book was an exhibition of craftsmanship that I have not seen in a long time. The beautiful descriptions, glorious word pictures and the even more amazing, twisting plot make this a masterpiece.

    The overall story was incredible with a plot that twists in ways that are unpredictable, heartbreakingly beautiful, and simply genius. I never once knew what to expect. It was complicated and multi-faceted which kept me interested as I turned page after page. The

    Whew!

    Review coming soon.

    //R E V I E W//

    This book was an exhibition of craftsmanship that I have not seen in a long time. The beautiful descriptions, glorious word pictures and the even more amazing, twisting plot make this a masterpiece.

    The overall story was incredible with a plot that twists in ways that are unpredictable, heartbreakingly beautiful, and simply genius. I never once knew what to expect. It was complicated and multi-faceted which kept me interested as I turned page after page. There was something indescribable about it. Politano obviously not only has a talent, but also a gift.

    I loved the fact that the main character was a writer. Her ability to paint stories, write with beautiful poetry and grace was something that I found incredibly attractive. Her backstory was complicated yet beautiful. The story was written in such a way to make the reader feel its beauty with such a poignancy.

    The characters were lovely, multi-faceted, deep and well developed. Between Aurelie Rosette Harcourt who had a nature as lovely as her name and then Silas Rotherham, who was a gem, the book felt so complete. I do not develop crushes on book characters. But this one certainly tempted me to. Add to this a vast ensemble of diverse and unique characters and you have one fabulous book.

    Something genius on the part of the author was that you could never tell who the villain was. There were many villains and there were none. The fact that there was no way of knowing the outcome made this book an enjoyable roller coaster of a ride from start to finish.

    Joanna Davidson Politano

    The setting was also fabulous. Politano gave us a rich and detailed glimpse of a country manor and the life that surrounded it just as easily as she delved with us into the depths of a debtor’s prison and the streets of London.

    I just cannot come up with a way to describe the writing. Let me leave it at this, you will have to read it to believe it. And I hope you do. Politano deserves high praise for her debut fiction novel. Incredible. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Recommended for ages 16 and up for some mature themes throughout.

    Content: Unfaithful marriages, children born out of wedlock and some evils surrounding these issues were major plot points. There was also a romantic scene or two that was on the verge of going too far. This was the only reason I docked it half a bookmark.

  • Michelle Griep

    Did you see that? Do you see what I did here? I'm giving this book 5 stars. That, my friends, is a rarity. I admit it. I'm a jaded reader, so I don't pass out the ol' fiver very easily.

    But sweet, precious heavens . . . this book was so worth it.

    The story is captivating. The setting made me feel as if I were there. And let's talk just for a moment about the writing, shall we? Author Joanna Politano is an expert wordsmith -- the kind that makes me want to hang up my writerly hat because how on ear

    Did you see that? Do you see what I did here? I'm giving this book 5 stars. That, my friends, is a rarity. I admit it. I'm a jaded reader, so I don't pass out the ol' fiver very easily.

    But sweet, precious heavens . . . this book was so worth it.

    The story is captivating. The setting made me feel as if I were there. And let's talk just for a moment about the writing, shall we? Author Joanna Politano is an expert wordsmith -- the kind that makes me want to hang up my writerly hat because how on earth can I match her awesome skills? And this is her debut novel! Wow. Just . . . wow. This little shooting star soared into my top 5 author list of all time.

    Okay, enough gushing. Let's get to the story. There is quite a bit of intrigue going on in this gem. Who is Nathaniel Droll? Who killed Aurelie's father? What really did happen to Lady Jayne? And those are just for starters. The more you read, the more hooked you get into trying to figure things out.

    Hero Silas Rotherham is the perfect match for Aurelie. Ahh, but will she end up with him? You won't know until the very end.

    Two thumbs up for this book and I can't wait for the next novel Ms. Politano puts out. You can be sure I'll be pre-ordering it!

  • Linda

    "Fiction was not always a lie, but a truth told in parallel to real life. A pill of advice disguised in an easy-to-swallow tale."

    And there's a tale to be told here. A tale of fathers and daughters and the written word.

    Death knocks softly on the wooden door of Debtor's Prison. Aurelie Harcourt's father has suddenly been released from the ties that bind him here. Penniless, he leaves his daughter but two things after his untimely death: his famous pen name of Nathaniel Droll and a shocking connec

    "Fiction was not always a lie, but a truth told in parallel to real life. A pill of advice disguised in an easy-to-swallow tale."

    And there's a tale to be told here. A tale of fathers and daughters and the written word.

    Death knocks softly on the wooden door of Debtor's Prison. Aurelie Harcourt's father has suddenly been released from the ties that bind him here. Penniless, he leaves his daughter but two things after his untimely death: his famous pen name of Nathaniel Droll and a shocking connection to an unforementioned wealthy family of his.

    With no other recourse, Aurelie leaves the tower room that she shared for years with her father. A carriage awaits her in the darkened street outside the prison. Two gentlemen lug a heavy trunk containing her father's works onto the carriage's platform. Dread soaks into Aurelie as well as the deluge of rain that has come upon them. What will become of her now?

    Joanna Davidson Politano introduces us to a very unusual cast of characters numbered in the awaiting Harcourt family. The mansion seems to wear a cloak of distinctly Gothic dimensions. Aunt Eudora, the family matriarch, never fails to let Aurelie know that she is about as welcome as a cactus on a barefoot night. Politano weaves secrets back and forth teasing the reader with the need to know. At the core of the secrecy gnawing at Aurelie is whatever happened to her mother? And who besides Aunt Eudora may know the real truth?

    Aurelie uses her gift of storytelling throughout the book. It's a clever approach implemented by Politano to enhance the multi-layered aspects of this interesting storyline.

    I received a copy of Lady Jayne Disappears through Giveaways on Goodreads. My thanks to Joanna Davidson Politano and to Revell Publishing Group for the opportunity.

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