Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Scarlet Woman

by Lorna Peel




GENRE: Historical Fiction/Historical Saga






Can an idealistic young doctor and a fallen woman find love when Victorian society believes they should not?


Dublin, Ireland, 1880. Tired of treating rich hypochondriacs, Dr Will Fitzgerald left his father's medical practice and his home on Merrion Square to live and practice medicine in the Liberties. His parents were appalled and his fiancée broke off their engagement. But when Will spends a night in a brothel on the eve of his best friend's wedding, little does he know that the scarred and disgraced young woman he meets there will alter the course of his life.


Isobel Stevens was schooled to be a lady, but a seduction put an end to all her father's hopes for her. Disowned, she left Co Galway for Dublin and fell into prostitution. On the advice of a handsome young doctor, she leaves the brothel and enters domestic service. But can Isobel escape her past and adapt to life and the chance of love on Merrion Square? Or will she always be seen as a scarlet woman?


By four o'clock on Sunday afternoon, she was fit to drop as she arrived at the Harvey residence on Merrion Square. Mrs Black brought her upstairs to a tiny attic bedroom which she was to share with the other as yet unnamed parlourmaid. She longed to simply crawl into the narrow single bed allocated to her and sleep, but she had to go back downstairs to the servants’ hall to meet the other servants at dinner.
Mr Johnston sat at one end of the long dining table and Mrs Black sat at the other. Mrs Harvey's lady’s maid, Edith Lear, Mrs Gordon the cook, Claire – the other parlourmaid – and Bessie and Winnie – the two housemaids – sat along one side. Down the other side, she was placed beside Frank, the footman, and Mary, the tiny kitchenmaid. She couldn’t help but notice a large number of servants for what was actually a very small household.
They all seemed friendly, asking her where she had been born, why she had come back to Ireland after her mother’s death, and telling her the Harveys were a good and fair couple to work for.
As early as she dared she excused herself and climbed the stairs to the bedroom with a small oil lamp. Unlike the rest of the house, Mrs Black informed her, none of the servants’ bedrooms was lit by gas lighting. There was no rug on the bedroom floor either, only a small threadbare mat, and the window and door were draughty. She smiled all the same, as she unpacked her few belongings and ran her fingers over the two uniforms. She really needed two of each, but the others would have to wait until she received her wages. Being a parlourmaid was going to be hard work but it was infinitely better than being a prostitute.


In 1880 Dublin Ireland, Dr. Will Fitzgerald & Isobel are trying to escape society's opinion and pressure. Will left his fathers medical practice to help poverty stricken Dublin. This is where he meets Isobel.

Isobel has worked in a brothel in order to survive. She has been treated cruelly by men her whole life. When these two meet their lives are forever changed in the most greatest way. They try to make it work given they are both from different classes and the society of this time is so brutal and judgmental.

I thought is was a beautifully written story for the time area and where it took place. Isobel & Will, two different people from different worlds find friendship & love despite their differences. I felt the story was exciting and interesting!



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Lorna Peel is an author of historical fiction and mystery romance novels set in the UK and Ireland. Lorna was born in England and lived in North Wales until her family moved to Ireland to become farmers, which is a book in itself! She lives in rural Ireland, where she writes, researches her family history, and grows fruit and vegetables. She also keeps chickens and guinea hens.


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