Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
I have a lovely surprise for you! I had the chance to converse with Ms Fordham about her latest Historical Romance “A Lady in Attendance” – which as you know, I’ve recently have read and shared a review of during the blog tour happily hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours! I have missed hosting guest features this year on Jorie Loves A Story and I am hopeful I’ll be able to host a few more before the close of 2021. Interviews and guest posts give me the chance to dig a bit deeper into the stories which either interest me to read or have left me musefully happy to contemplate the meanings behind the stories I’ve read.
Today’s featured author is one I was quite anxious to read for the past few years and I am wicked grateful I was able to become introduced to her style for this tour. She happily answered my questions and gave keen insight into how she approached writing the story – both for the historical accuracy and backdrop of inserting dentistry and the women who were hired by them in the context of the storyline. I also found it quite interesting how this slow brewing romance dipped into the waters of Romantic Suspense and how that turn in the text was influenced by early readers who helped guide her towards the conclusion we all have today.
There is a quiet resonance of life and friendship in how Fordham approached writing about Hazel and Gilbert. Theirs isn’t a traditional friendship in the sense they had sought out each other and/or were willing to develop a relationship – platonic, romantic or otherwise – as theirs was a working relationship which seemed to bridge itself into a friendship whilst the two of them hadn’t quite noticed it happening. Fordham changes the lens of the story from Hazel to Gilbert – shifting our perspectives and giving us a more insightful pause on how each of her characters are observing each other. In that way, Fordham has found a lovely way to pace this story – as given Hazel’s determined choice not to reveal her past and Gilbert’s insecurity with being around a woman whose confident in her own right – it allowed for a story to find its own voice and cadence in the simpler moments which so oft go overlooked.
Fordham allowed Gilbert, Hazel and dear lovely Ina to guide us into their story bit by bit. They were each trying to find a way to walk into a future on their own terms but with the fears everyone has at some point in their lives. About what kind of future was waiting for them – if they would find someone to walk through life with and if they had, would that person see them and accept just as they are without putting a condition on that acceptance? Fordham knitted into the background of the story a pulse of faith and fortitude for her characters; as she gently lets them mention their walk in faith as much as how they leant on their faith to move forward in life. None more than Hazel though of whom was battling through the regret and judgements which she herself had cast against her own character.
This was unexpectedly both a Historical Romance and a Historical Romantic Suspense novel – wherein, towards the final quarter of the novel, Fordham shifted the main focus from a #HistRom to a Historical Suspense novel which took root out of Hazel’s past and led us into a complicated web which was quite the arduous task to unravel. It was how she choose to use certain characters to become the truth-tellers in this story and how unexpected characters you hadn’t put too much weight on to do the right thing – were the ones who championed justice in the end. It just proved that all the characters you are introduced too in the story have more than one purpose and reiterated the messages of faith and a fortitude of forgiveness throughout the story.
-quoted from my review of A Lady in Attendance
I am hopeful those who are following the tour will enjoy this conversation as much as others who regularly read my blog and visit with me as I share my readerly life. Now, without further adieu – let’s get into the conversation, shall we!?
Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.
As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?
Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose–to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving–and perhaps find love along the way.
Places to find the book:
Also by this author: A Lady in Attendance
Published by Revell
on 1st June, 2021
Format: Trade Paperback
The novels of Rachel Fordham:
The Hope of Azure Springs (2018)
Yours, Truly Thomas *I won a copy! (2019)
A Life Once Dreamed (2020)
A Lady in Attendance (2021)
an imprint of Baker Publishing Group
Converse via: #INSPY, #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction and #HistRom/#HistoricalRomance,
and/or #ChristianFiction, #INSPYRomance and #INSPYbooks,
+ #RachelFordham and #HFVBT
Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge