The Captain’s Daughter (2017) by Jennifer Delamere is the first book in her London Beginnings series. This novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 352 pages in length. With a full-time job, and a 5-year old who was sick with the flu this week, The Captain’s Daughter took me four days to read. I purchased a copy of this novel on June 23, 2017 from Amazon to review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give this novel 4.5 STARS. The Captain’s Daughter is a Historical Christian Romance.
About the Book
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
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This is my very first read of a Jennifer Delamere novel, but it certainly won’t be my last. I found The Captain’s Daughter to be engaging and highly entertaining. The main characters, Rosalyn and Nate, are well written, but I actually found myself enjoying the secondary characters better. The personalities of the secondary characters were endearing and symbolic. They reminded me a bit of many of Charles Dickens’s secondary characters.
Of the two main characters, I liked Nate the best because he takes on problems that remind me a little of myself. Nate was in the military, but at the start of this story he is recuperating from a severe wound he sustained while in India. He feels the entire incident where he was hurt was his fault and wants badly to heal and reenlist so he can “make-up” for his mistakes. Over the course of the novel, Nate is insistent, much to his family’s dismay, that he will reenlist no matter what and will make right what he feels he did wrong. Nate is a worker and a fixer. When something is wrong, Nate immediately wants to work to fix everything for everyone. In this, I really related to his character. I, too, want to fix everything for everyone so no one is unhappy and God is not disappointed. But, this is exhausting behavior. A very smart character by the name of Danvers realizes what Nate is doing and tells him, “absolution doesn’t come through what we can do, does it? It comes from another source. One greater than ourselves” (338). This stops Nate right in his tracks as he realizes he never once went to God for forgiveness. He never talked to God about the situation or his actions in it. He never gave the burden over to God. Nate simply put himself to hard work trying to earn God’s forgiveness. All this does to Nate is exhaust him physically and spiritually.
I really loved this message the most. It definitely came, as all God’s reminders do, at exactly the moment I needed to hear it. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s forgiveness. All He wants is for us to come to Him with our problems, sins, insecurities, failings, worries, etc. He wants us to discuss them together, and to leave our burdens at His cross. He wants to do the work for us. As Jesus says in the Bible, His yoke is light. All we need to do is come to Him and accept that like yoke. What a beautiful message. It was well worth reading this book to be reminded of this again.
I very much appreciated the historical detail to this story. It is beyond obvious that Jennifer Delamere did an extensive amount of research into this story. I felt like I was transported back to Victorian London! The sights, the smells, the cold London winter, the feel of the rickety old theater where Rosalyn works, the stark difference between an upper-class neighborhood a middle-class neighborhood and a poor, low-class neighborhood were all so very realistic to me. I could envision it all so clearly as the attention to detail is superb. I enjoyed feeling like I was right there with Rosalyn and Nate and they went about their days.
I can’t say that I am a big Gilbert and Sullivan fan myself, but I do know of them. To see their different personalities a bit as they worked on their various operettas was a lot of fun. They appear to have been men of two different personality types. One — Gilbert — seemed quite brisk and a bit uptight, while the other — Sullivan — appeared a bit more personable. I did laugh at their expense a couple of times. And, it made me want to watch The Pirates of Penzance again, and do a little of my own research into their works.
Overall, I recommend this novel. I found it to be very interesting and engaging, and impressively well researched. The theme of going to God with our problems is timely and appropriate, and always a great reminder. I am very excited for book #2 in this series, The Heart’s Appeal, which is due out on March 6, 2018. The Heart’s Appeal is Julia’s story — Rosalyn’s younger sister — and sounds like a delight. The few moments we see Julia in The Captain’s Daughter were a few of my favorite.