Alessandra Willow Smythson-Drake, a widow at four and twenty, has sailed back to her family estate in England upon the death of her abusive husband. But escape from the torture she endured during her marriage was not to come easily. Both her sleeping and waking hours are controlled by night terrors and emotional turmoil. Physical scars, one of which is too hideous to hide, force her into seclusion. Simon Thane Bevan, Marquess of Heavensford and childhood friend, re-enters Alessandra's life. What starts as a simple meeting to rekindle a lost friendship quickly ignites his heart into unconditional love. Overcome with anger at the abuse his friend has suffered, he vows to save her from living the life of a recluse. Believing she deserves nothing but solitude and unhappiness, Alessandra trusts no one except her personal maid, and refuses to accept Simon's confession of love as nothing more than pity. The marquess, however, is determined to prove otherwise.
©2012 Christine Maria Genthner (P)2013 Christine Maria Genthner
Saving Allessandra is a beautiful, prosaic tale of recovery and redemption. The story works on many levels, touching the raw emotion and loss of self and self-worth a victim of abuse can experience all the while trying to maintain an appearance and carriage that is proper for the time.
The story is told in a combination of journal entries and descriptive narrative that give the reader a good sense of both time and insight into how Alessandra allows herself to feel and describe what is happening. This can be a difficult method of writing because a journal is very personal and how the character approaches it, and how they write about what happens reveals quite a bit about a person – in what they say, how they say it-- and what they leave out, Christine Maria Jahn does an excellent job of maintaining this balance.
All of this is enhanced by the narration of Pearl Hewitt who does an excellent job of not only reading the book but adding the tone and nuance needed to heighten the emotional levels without going over the top. All in all a pleasant 'read'
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