Jody Rive La Greca's inspiration for writing Afternoon Tea is her passion for the Victorian Age. She says, "Human nature is timeless, and reveals the same dimension of emotion and intrigue in any era."
Her novel is about love, struggle and differences of the haves and have-nots in society taking place in the year 1895.
The setting is beautifully detailed in and around New England's picturesque towns. Lawrence Gray, 83, visits the grave of his beloved wife, Emily, where he places red roses every Sunday even though she had died 40 years before. A neighbor, Meg Bailey, continuously watches him from her kitchen window and is intrigued by his devotion.
Fanny Brund, the town historian, invites Meg to her home for tea and goes back to 1895 where she seeks the truth about Emily Gray's untimely death. She looks to uncover a secret that may change Meg's life.
Descriptions of a debutante ball, a devious "red lady," and an old-fashioned wedding are all beautifully depicted. This was an interesting historical time when medicine was quite primitive and "tinctures" were mysterious potions which magically healed.
La Greca brilliantly develops her characters to be graceful and elegant when manners were boundless, dress was significantly important, and the adventures of all classes were intriguing. The struggles of the poor are tremendous, and the lives of the rich are full of imagery.
This could be a modern day portrayal relating to challenges of success and the rewards of unwavering devotional love. Even though this is a bygone era, the book enchants you from beginning to end. The author laces a romantic triangle that will tug at your heart with a surprise ending.
LaGreca has captured the Victorian Era exquisitely, like a fine painting or a glass of aged wine.
La Greca also is an award-winning poet and ends her book with "A Grain of Sand," a poem dedicated to her sister.
A must-read for the amorous romantic.
Update on what we are doing March 6, 2009
The review is one which is being circulated far and wide. I was informed by the author today that she is going to be having 4 books published this year. Quite nice indeed.
Things are getting busy with the headhunting and have only had a little time to do other things which I would rather be doing like reading and writing. However, money is important.
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