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richardabbott

richardabbott

Short and sweet: an invitation to read more

Candle's Christmas Chair - Jude Knight

Candle's Christmas Chair was available as a free download, to which I was drawn as a result of a Christmas blog hop. I was slightly dubious at first, since "historical romance" is not really my normal fodder, and the last book I read which had been billed as such had been very disappointing. However, I was encouraged by the extract I had read, so persevered, and was glad that I did.

 

Jude has been careful in her limited use of the Napoleonic War setting, and in particular the difficulty of the general population at hearing news of engagements. Part way through the story a crowd assembles to hear a description of the battle of Trafalgar being read out: news was a shared experience, not a personal one.

 

The main focus, however, is the intersection of individuals rather than the fate of nations. Jude spends most of her narrative time describing the way two individuals come together despite differences in social position, prior misunderstandings, and the mixed responses of those around. Along the way we are treated to snippets of insight into the period and its customs.

 

The book is relatively short - novella rather than novel, and the outcome is never seriously in doubt. In that span there is not a lot of opportunity for elaboration. However, Jude has deliberately pitched Candles Christmas Chair as an introduction to her longer works, and as such it works extremely well.