Blog Book Tour | “Decorum” by Kaaren Christopherson

Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Decorum” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Kaaren Christopherson, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note of Gratitude to the author:

I was happily surprised by what came in the Post for me when Decorum arrived because the author included a few extras for me to enjoy finding tucked inside with my copy of the book! I was very grateful to her for being thoughtful enough to make this book one of my ‘book surprise parcels’ as whenever an author or publisher includes a few unknown extras for me to find in their parcels, it’s a wonderful gift of random joy for me on the other end! Finding the copy was autographed was a true delight, too! I tend to forget to mention this on previous reviews, but seeing the author’s handwritten note or signature is a mark of joy for me! Especially if they sign an ARC not just a finished copy, as it connects the moment of discovering their novel with the moment I’m reading it for the first time! Little bits of joy like these do a world of good for a book blogger who doesn’t expect to find anything except the book she’s reviewing!

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Note on the Cover Art: I was captured by the image of this woman from the moment I first laid eyes upon the cover art. Not merely for reasons of sorting out if it followed the timescape of the novel but there was something ‘curious’ about her pose and the manner in which she held herself in this portrait. I love studying Art History and this particular portrait reminded me of that passion I have for classical artists and the confluence of period specific portraiture giving us a lens backwards into the historical past. The author has more info on her site.

Blog Book Tour | “Decorum” by Kaaren ChristophersonDecorum
by Kaaren Christopherson
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Kaaren Christopherson’s brilliantly observed novel captures the glamour and grit of one of the world’s most dazzling cities during one of its most tumultuous eras–as seen through the eyes of a singularly captivating heroine…

In 1890s New York, beautiful, wealthy Francesca Lund is an intriguing prospect for worthy suitors and fortune hunters alike. Recently orphaned, she copes by working with the poor in the city’s settlement movement. But a young woman of means can’t shun society for long, and Francesca’s long-standing acquaintance with dashing Edmund Tracey eventually leads to engagement. Yet her sheltered upbringing doesn’t blind her to the indiscretions of the well-to-do…

Among the fashionable circle that gathers around her there are mistresses, scandals, and gentlemen of ruthless ambition. And there is Connor O’Casey–an entirely new kind of New Yorker. A self-made millionaire of Irish stock, Connor wants more than riches. He wants to create a legacy in the form of a luxury Madison Avenue hotel–and he wants Francesca by his side as he does it. In a quest that will take her from impeccable Manhattan salons to the wild Canadian Rockies, Francesca must choose not only between two vastly different men, but between convention and her own emerging self-reliance.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781617735219

Genres: Historical Fiction

Published by Kensington Books

on 31st March 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 417

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #KaarenChristopherson OR #DecorumBlogTour

About Kaaren Christopherson

Kaaren Christopherson

Kaaren Christopherson is the author of Decorum—a novel about Gilded Age New York—that began taking form in 1999 during a course on writing historical fiction. From that moment, Connor O’Casey (who had been rattling around in her brain for months) finally appeared one night and said, “All right, woman. Here I am. What are you going to do about my story?”

So she began to put his words on paper, and he hasn’t kept quiet since. Soon Francesca, Blanche, Tracey, Vinnie, and the rest of the characters began arguing, gossiping, loving, and forming themselves into Kaaren’s first novel.

Kaaren has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

She has written fiction since her school days, story poems, children’s books, historical fiction, and time travel, and continues to be active in writer’s groups and writing workshops. In addition to her career as a writer, Kaaren was the owner of a decorative painting business. She loves to travel and prowl through historical sites, galleries, and museums. She is active in several churches in DC and in her local Northern Virginia community, where she shares her home with feline brothers, Archie and Sammy.

A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Photo Credit: Pat Everett Photography

Rules of Decorum:

(part of the book’s synopsis)

A gentleman should not be presented to a lady without her permission being previously asked and granted. This formality is not necessary between men alone; but, still, you should not present any one, even at his own request, to another, unless you are quite well assured that the acquaintance will be agreeable to the latter.

If you wish to avoid the company of any one that has been properly introduced, satisfy your own mind that your reasons are correct; and then let no inducement cause you to shrink from treating him with respect, at the same time shunning his company. No gentleman will thus be able either to blame or mistake you.

The mode in which the avowal of love should be made, must of course, depend upon circumstances. It would be impossible to indicate the style in which the matter should be told… Let it, however, be taken as a rule that an interview is best; but let it be remembered that all rules have exceptions…

My Review of Decorum:

My absolute favourite pages for a novel are the uneven jagged edges where certain publishers make you feel a textural change as you turn through the chapters of a story. The typography and the edges of this novel gave my spirit an uplift of joy to read.

Francesca witnesses the most soul-aching of events right in front of her: the drowning of her parents and brother when their yacht disappeared beneath the surface. It set into motion a time of great strife and a life shift by proportion of living the way in which she had grown accustomed within her family. Intervening kind souls (who felt they were being kind, I should say) felt they were better acquainted with how to move her from a time of death to a period of growth away from tragedy. They removed her from her familial home and dictated what she could and could not do. It wasn’t of her personality to outwardly cast herself against this tidewater of influence, but she was secretly awaiting a moment where the fire inside her could finally emerge at a definitive age where no one could tell her anything against her own mind and bearing.

Christopherson envelopes us in the beautiful background of this century, she gives us a firm observational viewing of ordinary life amongst both the lower and upper classes whilst rounding out the flavour of the era by her use of dialogue. This is the kind of historicals I eagerly await each year to discover, for they are whisper quiet in their building climax of drama and they are delish in devouring due to the nature of how the story unfolds. You do not want to rush through a reading of a book like this one because part of what whets your appetite for it’s contents is pausing on the words and seeing how everything becomes tangible. What is not to love? It is reminiscent of classical literature where a slow brewing of events and a long narrative of scope is happily entreated inside. By the strokes she gives painting her story into my imagination, she dearly reminds me of the observational technique of Jane Austen’s Regency.

There is a quick-step recovery to the pace of Francesca’s life, as we start to waltz with her as she’s making choices where both her friend Vinnie and I did agree on one particular vein: Francesca is making too rash of a decision when it comes to being wed! Not that she is unlike her contemporary peers, no, some women cannot wait to meet someone past a certain age; their confidence in themselves and in the method of how their life is being threaded together through their years of youth can at times become so tethered to matrimony they cannot see a life outside it. Francesca is a bit insecure in walking outside the lines of etiquette and society; she puts a strong focus on presentation and perception.

There is quite an intricate spider web of intrigue weaving through Decorum as all is not as fanciful and bright as the appearances therein might beseech! The underfooting it is taking for Francesca and Mr Jerome to uncover exactly what is the history of her betrothed is a bit of a reaching back through the past to fettle out a truth that is quite hidden from view. This entices you to beg to question, how well does she know Edmund and can she truly trust someone she might be considerably taken unawares in danger? How dangerous can a woman become when an estate of fortune is fully at her disposal?

I appreciated the internal journey Francesca took whilst coming true to form in age by understanding the differences between where growing within your soul is paramount to growing within your years. She lost her parents at such an age as to require a bit more guidance from someone who could have helped her understood that if you do not first understand yourself, your going to flounder at understanding others. Yet this isn’t just an introspective novel on how one young woman re-affirms her position and re-embraces of her familial legacy, it’s about moving out of the gallowed past and into a future of your own choosing. That’s the splendor in the pages – to watch how Francesca sets the starts to collide inside a galaxy of where love wins out over honourable distrust.

I daresay, I happily look forward to re-reading this lovely treasure of a story!

Why I was consumed by the artistry of this story:

From the very first chapters onward, Christopherson grants you this consumption of opulent eloquence within her historical fiction novel where the time you’ve spent within her character’s shoes is one of joy. (see tweet in which I simplified this compliment) She found a way through the heart-strings of emotion and the churning fight to survive a tragedy which can nearly render anyone into a state of numbing reality to such an alarmingly rate of realism, you cannot help but yearn to know what becomes of the fate Francesca shall inherit. Your stirred physically into this place where sometimes you need more than a sure head on your shoulders and a willingness to move mountains placed in front of you.

Christopherson does a grand job at giving us an ensemble cast that doesn’t feel lost in the shuffle of narrative directions. She gives each their due time on stage and allows us to soak inside their individual backstories as the novel takes it’s shape. Nothing felt compromised, and if anything at all, a lengthening of joy was eclipsing my reading hours.

I will most definitely keep my eyes on the look-out for Christopherson’s next release, as surely a novelist like this is one I will evermore appreciate reading.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

{ click-through to follow the tour & find more reader’s impressions! } This review was delayed due to lightning storms which caused a variety of technical issues which left me offline for the greater portion of late August through mid September, which is why I had to re-schedule my review. After I re-scheduled my tour stop to the last day of the blog tour, I took ill and therefore my review became extensively postponed until today as I caught two viruses within the past fortnight. }

Decorum Blog Tour hosted by HFVBTs.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments on behalf of this review. Especially if you read the novel or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same novel to read on a blog tour.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Decorum”, book synopsis & Rules of Decorum quotation, author photograph of Kaaren Christopherson and the tour badge were all provided by HFVBTs (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box banner created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

I’m a social reader | I tweet as I read:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Honeymoons & Weddings, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, New York City, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Unexpected Inheritance, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

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