Under a Gilded Moon by Joy Jordan-Lake
publication: December 1st 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
From the bestselling author of A Tangled Mercy comes an enthralling novel of secrets, a tumultuous war of ideas, and murder as classes collide in the shadow of Biltmore House.
Biltmore House, a palatial mansion being built by the Vanderbilts, American “royalty,” is in its final stages of construction in North Carolina. The country’s grandest example of privilege, it symbolizes the aspirations of its owner and the dreams of a girl, just as driven, who lives in its shadow.
Kerry MacGregor’s future is derailed when, after two years in college in New York City, family obligations call her home to the beautiful Appalachians. She is determined to distance herself from the opulence she sees rising in the Blue Ridge Mountains, however close its reach. Her family’s land is among the last pieces required to complete the Biltmore Estate. But something more powerful than an ambitious Vanderbilt heir could change Kerry’s fate as, one by one, more outsiders descend on the changing landscape—a fugitive from Sicily, a reporter chasing a groundbreaking story, a debutante tainted by scandal, and a conservationist prepared to put anyone at risk to stoke the resentment of the locals.
As Kerry finds herself caught in a war between wealth and poverty, innocence and corruption, she must navigate not only her own pride and desperation to survive but also the temptations of fortune and the men who control it.
I am finding that the more historical fiction I read the more I want to read. The Vanderbilt family is a family that I have not read much about so I was intrigued to see what I could learn about this well-off, well-known family. George Washington Vanderbilt is an interesting character.
The language used in Under a Gilded Moon is authentic to the time and at times I had to re-read to understand it all. This pushed me to slow down my reading and I found that I really enjoyed the language, the interactions between the characters, and the story itself. I am so used to reading quickly through a book that I found it relaxing and incredibly enjoyable to slow down and truly read every word of a book.
Kerry, one of the main characters is a wonderful character. She is my favorite. She had to chance to escape the small, mountain town and better herself but when family called, she came back to take care of them. She took a job that she did not initially want to provide better for her siblings and father. Her insight into the people she worked with and those around her gave the reader a better understanding at what was happening. She put together the clues she found in listening to the people around her, observing those she encounters, and remembering things she sees to help solve the mystery of who killed the reporter.
Under a Gilded Moon is a great historical fiction story set in the beautiful North Carolina Mountains. I could picture the views, see the monstrous house, and hear the voices of the people as I read this wonderful story.
** Thank you Ann-Marie Nieves from GetRed PR for a copy of the book via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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