Hohenstein is my first read by Didi Lawson and appears to be her debut novel.
She has set the bar high with this period love story of an aristocrat woman who wishes to throw off the bindings of her class and marry below her so she can have more freedom. Interesting scenario. Further complicated by the aristocrat she's attracted to and the middle class doctor she forms a friendship with. But the overriding difficulty of the tale is her determination to save her ancestral home without being able to access her inheiritance.
To be honest, I couldn't pinpoint the exact time period of the story. There were hints with the mention of certain European cars, but not being versed in that area I couldn't say. I set the story in my imaginiation in the early 1900's, pre WWI.
The characters have depth and strong emotional arcs. The story is well crafted and well told, and obviously well researched. Pacing is consistent. Wonderful side characters.
If a period romance of the sweet, clean, and wholesome variety is what you're after, then you've found the right book.
I look forward to reading more of Ms. Lawson's novels and hope she won't take too long to delight her new fans with the next one.
Anything but a typical aristocrat, young Baroness Marie-Louise is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work, especially when it comes to saving her ancestral estate. Determined to shake loose the shackles of propriety and gain the warm family life her upbringing denied her, she has vowed to marry a man of lower rank. Blue-bloods need not apply.
But when she is forced to turn to a childhood friend for assistance, the handsome, debonair count may prove a temptation impossible to resist. Marie-Louise soon finds herself caught between the comfort of a middle-class doctor and the passion of a nobleman, with the future of her childhood home at stake.