Normally, I review books that I can highly recommend to anyone. A Defense of Honor delves into some very unpleasant realistic attitudes, especially during the time period of the book's setting of London in 1816. Therefore, I would only recommend this book to someone who doesn't mind examining the dirty underbelly of society, as well as their own hearts and minds.
As I read the book, I found myself questioning several things, which is most unusual when reading a Christian fiction.
Synopsis of A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor Book1)
Kit FitzGilbert is "The Governess". She is hated by London society, even though her true identity is concealed. Her self-appointed job is to ensure that illegitimate children are financially supported by their wealthy fathers. She and her friends also protect the mothers and allow them a way to re-enter society without the child or society being any the wiser.
A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor Book #1)Kit, Daphne & Jess provide a home for the children which is supported by the funds that Kit extracts from their fathers.
Haven Manor is a large secluded estate that is overseen by a local solicitor, Nash Banfield. The owner has no desire to live there, so Nash allows the women and children to live in the manor. This arrangement benefits all parties because the women take care of the upkeep of the manor, the children have a home away from public awareness or scorn, and the owner's property maintains it's value.
It all works quite well for twelve years. Then, Kit meets Graham, the Viscount Wharton, who is heir to the earldom of Grableton, at a ball she was not invited to attend. When they go their separate ways, he doesn't even know her full name, but he is haunted by the memory of the beautiful woman in the green gown.
When Graham accidentally finds Kit at Haven Manor while searching for a friend's sister, he is thrilled to once again have an opportunity to get to know her. However, even though he now knows where she lives, he has no idea who she really is. In fact, until recently, he had never even heard of The Governess.
Their relationship is tested multiple times as he discovers more about her, the children, and the household. It is highly unlikely that a friendship between the two can continue.
My Opinion the Book "A Defense of Honor"
Even though this is a Christian fiction, it challenged me. The reading was not difficult, but some of the judgemental attitudes of the characters were hard for me to embrace. I don't really understand being able to totally write-off someone you love and dismiss them completely from your life.
After reading certain chapters, I would stop and think about them. Question if I knew someone who had done anything like that. I wondered if the attitudes and actions were very "real-life". As I delved into my own memories, I found that I have known individuals who, in fact, walk away from family members and friends. They seemingly never look back, yet leave broken hearts and pain that can take years to overcome, if ever.
There was another point of opinion I found difficult. The main character, Kit, was judged harshly for the means she used to ensure illegitimate children were financially supported by their biological fathers. I'm not sure I see the great "sin" in her methods, even though I certainly see the danger.
Plus, the ending bothered me. I can't go into detail about that without ruining the book for you, but I would love to know how others feel about the plot's resolve. If you read the book, please come back and tell me what you thought.
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