First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros #18


Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts this meme.

The Spymistress

Today I’m featuring a book that I’m reading for review. 

The Van Lew mansion in Richmond’s fashionable Church Hill neighborhood had not hosted a wedding gala in many a year, and if the bride-to-be did not emerge from her attic bedroom soon, Lizzie feared it might not that day either.

Turning away from the staircase, Lizzie resisted the urge to check her engraved pocket watch for the fifth time in as many minutes and instead stepped outside onto the side portico, abandoning the mansion to her family, servants, and the apparently bashful bridal party ensconced in the servants’ quarters. Surely Mary Jane wasn’t having second thoughts. She adored Wilson Bowser, and just that morning she had declared him the most excellent man of her acquaintance. A young woman in love would not leave such a man standing at the altar.

Perhaps Mary Jane was merely nervous, or a button had come off her gown, or her flowers were not quite perfect. As hostess, Lizzie ought to go and see, but a strange reluctance held her back. Earlier that morning, when Mary Jane’s friends had arrived – young women of color like Mary Jane herself, some enslaved, some free – Lizzie had felt awkward and unwanted among them, a sensation unfamiliar and particularly unsettling to experience in her own home. None of the girls has spoken impudently to her, but after greeting her politely they had encircled Mary Jane and led her off to her attic bedroom, turning their backs upon Lizzie as if they had quite forgotten she was there. And so she was left to wait, alone and increasingly curious.

I’m reading this one as part of a TLC Book Tour. I hope you’ll come back on April 28th and see my final thoughts! So far I’m really enjoying it, I personally didn’t think the first few paragraphs were really going to draw me in, but as I finished the first chapter I was hooked!!

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