Some years ago we stayed with friends of the Luis Palau Team in Portland, Oregon, and they took us to see the Cascades. It’s a beautiful part of the country and near to where this tale unfolds in the state of Washington.
This novel from Christine Lindsay lived up to all my expectations. Some time ago I’d read her beautiful trilogy with its setting of the British Raj in India. And again this story, set in the early 20th century, captivated me right from the start. Its heroine, Sofi, is faced with the attitude of the time that a woman should do “woman’s work” and not take on anything in the male sphere. It follows that this intelligent woman is constantly struggling with a spate of frustrating desires. With her desire to do something, yet knowing it would surely overstep the bounds of propriety, soon becomes her constant state of mind. A debutante desiring to be an engineer of bridges? Hopeless. And definitely unbecoming!
It doesn’t help when she finds herself experiencing feelings toward a handsome employee of their wealthy household. Especially when she suspects there’s far more to him than he lets on. On the one hand he wants to earn her trust and on the other, he knows he can never expect more, for he has a deep secret he is bound to keep.
The tension builds with a supposedly faithful partner directing her late father’s business. And with a grieving mother hooked on laudanum and a sister full of self-recrimination, Sofi is at her wits end.
Add a Pinkerton detective and an ambitious policeman from Scotland Yard to the mix, and things seem to weigh heavily against the truth ever being revealed. There are many bridges on different levels to be crossed in this tale.
I love Christine’s descriptive words. Some examples:
‘A wisp of cloud snagged on spear-like treetops.’ ‘Spiky red flowers reminding her of paintbrushes.’ ‘A steel ribbon of triangulated trusses.’
Sofi’s Bridge in available now on Amazon and paperback on May 1.
Review by Rita Stella Galieh
Rita has just published a revised second edition of her historical romance, Signed Sealed Delivered, Book One of the Victoriana Trilogy.