After a Fashion by Jen Turano is a pleasant historical Christian romance. It is the first book in A Class of Their Own series. It is set in New York City in 1882. Harriet Peabody is working at a hat shop (she is very skilled). Because of her good looks Mrs. Feinman, her boss keeps her working in the back room. One day, though, Harriet is sent to deliver hats to Miss Birmingham (Mrs. Feinman has wisely decided to avoid the woman). When Harriet arrives with the hats she discovers Miss Birmingham outside in her wrapper (that a robe) along with her mother, Mrs. Birmingham, and Mr. Oliver Addleshaw. Oliver arrived home after trip to find Miss. and Mrs. Birmingham installed in his home. He only asked for Miss B.’s assistance. Miss B. wants an engagement.
Miss Birmingham became obnoxious (seems to a part of her personality) and ends up getting Harriet fired. Oliver needs a lady by his side while negotiating a deal for wool with the Duke of Westmoore. Oliver has decided that hiring Harriet will be easier than trying to deal with another society lady. He offers her a considerable some to play the part of his betrothed for a few weeks. Harriet only agrees because she will need the money until she can find another position (job).
Harriet has never known her mother or father. She was raised by her Aunt Jane who earns money through scams, skimming from the till, and stealing. They were constantly on the move. Jane tried to get Harriet to follow her into a life of crime. Harriet ran away and was taken in by Reverend Gilmore. Reverend Gilmore helped Harriet by getting her a job, a place to live, friends, and a Christian life style. Harriet lives in a boarding house and shares an apartment with Lucetta Plum, an actress, and Millie Longfellow, a nanny.
All three girls are unusual for their time. They march to their own tune. Lucetta may be an actress but she has high morals (which was unusual for actresses) and Millie (very accident prone) loves to learn by reading the dictionary. Harriet is head strong, does not like to lie, and had a very unusual education.
To prepare Harriet for position, Mrs. Abigail Hart steps in. She takes the girls into her home and then starts teaching Harriet. How to walk, which forks to use (they used to have many courses at dinner), etc. However, Oliver will need to keep his wits about him to handle Harriet Peabody. Oliver will also have to deal with his grandfather, Archibald Addleshaw. His grandfather wants him to get married and teams up with Mrs. Hart to scheme. Poor Oliver who is used to only dealing with his business deals is about to have his life turned up side down.
After a Fashion is a humorous, romance novel. There is a Christian element, but it is not shoved in your face or preachy. I have tried to give you an idea of what the book is about without giving away all the details or spoilers. I give After a Fashion 4.25 out of 5 stars. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I have a feeling that Millie’s story will be hilarious.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley (and Bethany House) in exchange for an honest review.
The next book in the series is In Good Company. It will be out on July 7, 2015 according to Amazon. After a Fashion is currently out and available for purchase (I love the cover).
I want to thank you for reading my review. I am currently reading Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini which will be out tomorrow, March 3, 2015. Have a great evening and Happy Reading!