Lily of the Manor by Anita Stansfield
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Recieved from Publisher to Review
Genre: Christian Regency Romance
Book Description: Broadbent Manor is a home brimming with life and love. With eleven adopted children in her care, young widow Lily Broadbent is in search of the right tutor to instruct and nurture her young charges. So when Frederick Woodstone arrives on her doorstep seeking the position, Lily is quickly impressed by his qualifications—but even more pleased with his gentle manner and immediate rapport with the children that society cast aside. It is clear: Mr. Woodstone is a perfect fit for the family.
From the moment he arrives at the manor, Frederick is enchanted by the lady of the house. Lily is a pillar of strength and compassion, and her striking beauty is undeniable. As the pair works side by side to teach the children, their professional association evolves into something far deeper. But when they stumble upon a young boy in dire circumstances, their relationship is put to the test as Lily makes the impetuous decision to rescue the child—no matter the consequences. What follows is a chain of events that will threaten all that Lily has built for her young family, as the fight for the safety of one small boy becomes a battle between life and death.
My thoughts: Lily Broadbent is an unusual woman with a big heart. Widowed at a young age, she opened her home to orphans, children who could use a home and solid upbringing. Her home is unusual and it takes a special employee to work for an unconventional woman.
Frederick Woodstone needs a job desperately. He felt that the Lord was directing him to the job at Broadbent Manor. He needed a place to feel like he belonged and the Manor was the perfect fit. Teaching 11 orphans after having served as a vicar was providential.
The book is different from the typical Regency. The home, the society, the characters are new. I loved that flawed people made a difference. Not only for themselves, but used their talents to benefit others. To me this book was about appearances being deceiving. Many in society looked down on Lily for her compassion to the less fortunate. She looks different, acts different, and treats her servants with grace and honor. She loves her children, even though they came to her in less than ideal condition.
I also found the thought of not being judgmental. There are so many ways that this story illustrated this principle to me. The book has layers of ideals that make you think. It is not a book that was easy for me to get into. It took a little time and patience for me, but it the end it was worth it.
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About the Author: (Taken from Deseret Book) Anita Stansfield began writing at the age of sixteen, and her first novel was published sixteen years later. Her novels range from historical to contemporary and cover a wide gamut of social and emotional issues that explore the human experience through memorable characters and unpredictable plots. She has received many awards, including a special award for pioneering new ground in LDS fiction, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Academy for LDS Literature. Anita is the mother of five, and has two adorable grandsons. Her husband, Vince, is her greatest hero.