Author: Angela Bell
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: February 27, 2024
Publisher: Bethany House
Miss Clara Marie Stanton's family may be eccentric, but they certainly aren't insane.
London, England, 1860
When Clara's ex-fiancé begins to spread rumors that her family suffers from hereditary insanity, it's all she can do to protect them from his desperate schemes, society's prejudice, and a lifetime in an asylum. Then Clara's Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings on an apprentice with a mechanical leg, and all pretense of normalcy takes wing.
Theodore Kingsley, a shame-chased vagabond haunted by the war, wants a fresh start far from Kingsley Court and the disappointed father who declared him dead. Upon returning to England, Theodore meets clockmaker Drosselmeyer, who hires him as an apprentice, much to Clara's dismay. When Drosselmeyer spontaneously disappears in his secret flying owl machine, he leaves behind a note for Clara, beseeching her to make her dreams of adventure a reality by joining him on a merry scavenger hunt across Europe. Together, Clara and Theodore set off to follow Drosselmeyer's trail of clues, but they will have to stay one step ahead of a villain who wants the flying machine for himself--at any cost.
Reviewer: Raechel Helwig
My, but that was a delightful read! The cover is wildly enrapturing itself, but the inside was even better.
Miss Clara Stanton and Mr. Theodore/Arthur are wonderful characters, both in their own right. I particularly enjoyed their not-always-so-friendly banter and how Mr. Theodore got on Clara's nerves. But every aspect of their complicated and growing relationship was a joy to watch and follow along with.
Clara's mom was a hoot! I absolutely loved her and her antics. They were so humorous and a riot to imagine.
I related very strongly to Clara throughout the whole story and learned from her own journey. It is so easy to want to grasp control and try to bear everything on our own shoulders, but that is not what we've been called to or for. I loved and appreciated how she learned that, slowly but surely. May the truths she learned remain planted in each of the readers' hearts, including mine. What an adventure this book was, in total!
I laughed countless times, and I paused in reflection even more. There were so many profound truths woven through the pages, and I deeply appreciated every single one. I tabbed a vast amount of pages, both of quotes that made me think as well as ones that made me laugh. It was truly a charming novel, and I smiled so much throughout it. I highly recommend this read, and it was an absolute pleasure to read.
This book was provided courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts expressed are entirely my own.
Reviewer: Katelyn Sponaugle
This is honestly the first time I can say that I was drawn to a book because of its cover, but I was! The look of nostalgia liberally sprinkled with whimsy drew me in, and I loved it even more as I realized how well the cover captured the essence of the story.
A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. It checks all the boxes. Hilarity, delightful absurdity, whimsy, witty banter, a tender romance, delectable wordsmithing—but also substance. Relatable struggles. Raw feelings. Redemption. Restoration. Beautiful portrayal of God’s hand in all things and an authentic look at the journey in our relationship with Him.
I fell absolutely in love with Clara, Theodore, Grand, Mum, and even Granny, who had already passed away. The characters and scenery vividly came to life. It was just all so excellently done. I laughed out loud so many times, but I was also given much to ponder.
Bravo, Angela Bell! Thank you for this treasure. These gems are the reason I read, and this book has just gone straight to my list of favorites. I can’t wait to read it again.
If you’re still reading reviews, read no further. Get it for yourself, and enjoy the ride!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion, which was a pleasure to give.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
I feel like I've been on an adventure with Nellie Bly! Debut author Angela Bell has produced a whimsical, steampunk adventure that will leave you wanting more.
While I had a hard time picturing a mechanical flying owl, I was still caught up in this thrilling story that had a very strong faith element, a slow-burning romance, and a quirky cast of characters that I will miss.
Clara Marie Stanton has sworn off men after her ex-fiance started spreading rumours about the sanity of her family. When her grandfather takes off in a flying owl machine of his own making, she is forced to chase him across Europe in the hopes that her ex doesn't find out who is behind the mysterious owl. When Prince Albert offers a large sum of money to the creator of the great flying machine, Clara, her mother, and her grandfather's apprentice, Theodore Kingsley, are in a race against time to prevent a certain villain from claiming the prize for himself.
I loved everything about this book! The antics of Clara's mother, an animal lover with a penchant for rescuing stray animals, helped keep this novel fun. Theodore's tragic story and Clara's determination to keep her family from harm made the faith element of trusting God in all things exceptionally poignant. I was genuinely sorry to see this story end.
I look forward to more by this author, and I highly recommend this book!
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.
We are listed in The Book Reviewers Directory!