A Holiday by Gaslight
By: Mimi Matthews
Expected Publication: November 13th 2018 by Perfectly Proper Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, Holiday, Christmas, Victorian
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--A Courtship of Convenience
Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.
A Last Chance for Love
But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.
This is my second Mimi Matthews book, and I feel like I can now say that she is an author that can easily pull me in and make me quickly care about her characters. A Holiday by Gaslight starts in the middle of scene between Ned Sharpe and Sophie Appersett. They've been courting, and Sophie has decided to break things off despite the financially stable position that marrying Ned would put her in. I mean if that doesn't make you interested and immediately asking questions about these characters and what will happen between them I don't quite know what will.
I pretty much liked everything about this novella. I could easily appreciate Sophie's stance of breaking off an engagement to a man that won't interact with her. She knows that her family needs her marriage to a man with stable finances, but she won't lower herself to marrying for convenience without even a hint of the possibility of being happy or content in the marriage. Ned isn't from the same class as Sophie so he isn't sure how he should behave exactly and the bad advice he's received has kept him closed off. This was a great concept to me because a lack of communication between couples due to cultural hindrances is so much of the conflict in books from this time period. I also loved the inclusion of so many timely advances in technology and society.
I thought I was going to find Sophie's sister extremely annoying but in the end I really just wanted more of her story. Her thought process. Etc.
I find that I don't have anything at all negative to say about A Holiday by Gaslight other than wanting more of it. I loved the characters. I loved the setting. I loved the historically accurate tidbits included. A Holiday by Gaslight gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read A Holiday by Gaslight? What did you think? Let me know!