Among all the lovely covers created by The Wild Rose Press' talented cover artists, I think this must be one of the finest. Tasteful, elegant yet a little playful, just like the character it depicts, the cover of Rae Summers' 'Dear Julia' is just as much a work of art as the book.
I'm not always the biggest fan of historical fiction, but over the last year I've been introduced to some superb writers who create lively, relevant stories while still remaining respectful to the feel of the era they've chosen, and to my mind this is definitely one of those. The heroine Rosalie is allowed considerably more freedom than I imagine was granted to most young women in the post-war period, but this is ably explained away by the early death of her mother and the eccentricity of her father, leaving her conveniently free to enjoy unchaperoned rides and chess games with the reclusive yet fascinating hero, William Cavendish. Rosalie's initial intention is to rescue him from his loneliness after the loss of his Julia by arranging a match for him with one of the local ladies, but like Austen's lovable meddler Emma, she eventually comes to realise that her interest in him is a little more personal. But is it too late for her to claim her own place by his side?
My only quarrel with this endearing book is that it felt a little on the short side - I liked Rosalie and William so much, I was reluctant to let them go on their way. Thank goodness The Wild Rose Press offers plenty of other delights - including Rae Summers' 'Let's Misbehave' and 'An Innocent Abroad' - to distract me from their loss!