A single thread of moonlight by Laura Wood

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Laura Wood has written a charming retelling of the classic Cinderella tale in A single thread of moonlight. Iris was the apple of her father’s eye until he remarried. Her new stepmother and two stepsisters are cold, and when her father died in mysterious circumstances, she fears for her life. She runs away to London where she is fortunate enough to be taken under the wing of a seamstress and the embroidery skills her mother taught her make her a valuable employee. Then handsome Nicholas Wynter comes into the shop one day and Iris is given the chance to have revenge on her stepmother. Posing as an heiress, she goes to her old country home to help Nicholas’ own plan of vengeance and at the same time try to reclaim her inheritance.

Wood manipulates the well-known story of Cinderella, with a feisty heroine who is courageous enough to run away from danger and then make a living for herself. The wicked stepmother is portrayed well as evil and conniving, but the reader will have some sympathy for a woman who must look after herself and her daughters in the late 19th century, when she cannot own her own property. And of course, Nicholas Wynter is a swoon-worthy hero and the romance between the pair sparkles.

This is another feel-good story from Wood with witty dialogue and wonderful background of a fashion house with gorgeous clothes and upper-class life in a country mansion. Readers may enjoy others by Wood like Under a dancing star, The agency for scandal and A season for scandal and would find it worthwhile chasing up Eva Ibbotson’s lovely romances.

Themes: Romance, Women, Upper classes, Great Britain - 19th century.

Pat Pledger