Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser

It's summer in the city.  New York City, 1895, and it's hot- and when the going gets hot, the wealthy go... to the sea side.  For the mega wealthy society crowd, that would be Newport Rhode Island.  Trust me- you haven't seen nouveau until you've seen the riche of this set.

Nancy Moser takes you there by rail and by steam ship, first class or not- depending on who your friends are.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Mrs. Scarpelli and her daughters, the perfectly responsible Lucy (24) and the almost sixteen not so responsible Sophia work in a Manhattan sweat shop in the garment district.  One evening they receive notice that they must find a new apartment, as their over crowded tenement is scheduled to be torn down to make way for a new park.  And so the story begins.

I have always loved books about women who sew and the Scarpelli's have talent to spare (except in these economic times they must use all of their skills to put food on the table and a roof over their heads).  Mama makes hats, Lucy is a natural with design, and Sophia, although extremely spoiled and headstrong, is fast learning her way around a sewing machine.  I found her love of dime novels endearing, which saved me from getting too annoyed with her petulant character.

An Unlikely Suitor is replete with uncomfortable but fascinating Victorian fashion, jealousy, suitors (unlikely ones), disapproving matrons and danger due to an evil villain named Bonwitter.

I really enjoyed leaving the heat of the City, along with the Scarpelli's, and could almost feel the sea breeze on my face as they explored the cliffs of Newport.  How wonderful to discover that, in spite of some of life's pin pricks, dreams just may come true.

Ms. Moser's love of story, sewing, architecture and historical accuracy sparkles like the sunrise over the Atlantic.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Unlikely Suitor
Bethany House (May 1, 2011)
Nancy Moser


Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery a Christy Award winner, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novels are Masquerade and An Unlikely Suitor. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the

Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at and and her historical blog:


New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.

One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?

Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?

And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class--but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?
As the lives of three young woman--and their unlikely suitors--become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

If you would like to read the first chapter of An Unlikely Suitor, go HERE.


Rachna Chhabria said...

Hmmm... An Unlikely Suitor sounds wonderful. Somehow I like the title a lot.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Rachna,I think you'll like this one. It's young and fresh- in a Victorian way. :) Good characters and plot- all the things you like!!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I just adore the title An Unlikely Suitor. It has a quaint sound to it.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Thanks Rachna. Yes, this one takes you back to a grand time, where social rules ruled and etiquette was king (or queen)...

It was a fun respite/great summer reading.