A Perfect Silhouette

From the publisher:

In 1850, Mellicent “Mellie” Blanchard takes a job at a mill in Manchester, New Hampshire, to help support her family. In search of additional earning opportunities, she approaches a daguerreotype shop owner with the proposal that he hire her to make paper cuttings or silhouette portraits for those who can’t afford an expensive daguerreotype.

When a particularly charming customer–whose broad smile and twinkling eyes catch her off guard–asks to escort her home, the seeds of romance begin to blossom. All the pieces of her new life seem to have fallen perfectly into place, but when her new venture brings her an unexpected opportunity, she is confronted with the truth that all is not as it seems. Will Mellie, who is keeping secrets of her own, find happiness in the new life she has carved out for herself in the busy mill town?

Judith Miller’s newest novel, A Perfect Silhouette, reflects her love of history. In this book, Miller explores what life would have been like in a mill town. Mellie is seeking a job to help support her widowed sister and her family, while.s also running from disgrace. Coming from a privileged background, Mellie finds that she needs to adjust to an entirely different way of life, in addition to learning the skills necessary to succeed at the mills.

Morgan Stark, on the other hand, is hoping to prove his worth and the value of his education to his father, who owns three of the mills in town. In order to do so, he disguises himself as an employee. Despite his father’s wealth and his own true identity, Morgan finds himself attracted to Mellie, and the two soon find themselves in a relationship.

The title of the story comes from the side job that Mellie takes on to help earn more money for her sister–she cuts silhouettes of people in the town’s photography studio.

Throughout the book, Mellie and Morgan must learn to trust one another and to trust God, in addition to gaining the strength to stand up for what is right. I really enjoyed the storyline here, though I didn’t quite buy the reasoning behind Mellie working in the mills. As a woman from a privileged family whose only prior job had been as a governess, it seems unlikely to me that she would travel so far from home to get a notoriously dangerous and difficult job.  Nevertheless, the story was an interesting peek into history. I highly enjoyed it.

Karen

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