Joanna Davidson Politano. A Rumored Fortune. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2018.
Whenever someone does particularly well on anything (a project, a book, you name it), it’s sometimes hard to believe that they will ever reach that level again. Fortunately, for this week’s author, her second book is just as strong as her debut novel!
Ms. Politano releases her second novel, A Rumored Fortune. Tressa Harlowe and her mother return to their family’s home to the unexpected news of her father’s death. Throughout the years, her father rarely spoke of the family’s fortune, only of the lore connected with their legendary vineyards. Unfortunately, Tressa soon finds the house overwhelmed with visitors, who believe they have a claim on the supposed fortune, even as Tressa herself has no funds to pay for the family’s food, the vineyard’s workers, or the upkeep on their mansion. With the assistance of the new vineyard manager, Tressa must decide how to keep the vineyard alive, whether by following her father’s advice or daring to try new methods that may offer a chance at long-term harvests. With fortune-hunters on their trail, Tressa discovers an ongoing connection between her family, the vineyard, and her family’s fortune that uproots everything she thought she knew about her life.
Ms. Politano once again writes a captivating tale set in Victorian England. Tressa’s story feels fresh and new, even as it captures aspects of classic literature and compelling Christian historical fiction.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading A Rumored Fortune! Ms. Politano builds upon the success of her first novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, while developing an entirely new story, setting, and cast of characters. Trevelyan Castle makes for a fascinating setting for this story, while the vineyard becomes a character unto itself. Personally, I have to congratulate Ms. Politano and her publishing team for developing an accurate summary for this novel, as this story could be very hard to describe in a succinct way. The concept of “the poorest heiress in Victorian England” manages to capture the essence of this story in many ways and makes for a compelling premise from the very first page. The novel depends on an incredible amount of detail to build out its mystery-oriented plot, while still feeling accessible and succinct for the relative complexity of the storyline. Ms. Politano also includes details that firmly set this novel within its location and time period, which this reader particularly appreciated.
Fans of Ms. Politano’s previous work, Lady Jayne Disappears, will definitely want to read A Rumored Fortune. Readers who enjoy Christian historical fiction novels set in Victorian England will also find this book to be well worth trying. Likewise, those who appreciate compelling storytellers and in-depth plotlines will find this novel to be unique and worthwhile to read.
Special thanks to Revell and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of A Rumored Fortune! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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