I really enjoyed reading “An Independent Woman”, written by Anna Jacobs. The story is set in 1918 right after the end of the Great War in England. Ernest Fleming is a slum lord, gambler, womanizer and all around pitiful person. It begins with Serena Fleming, his daughter, caring for her dying mother. Serena knows that the end is near and before she dies, her mother reveals a secret that she has been harboring – the fact that Ernest Fleming is not Serena’s real father.
Serena has spent her life cowering under the hateful and vicious actions of her father and she is overwhelmed with gratitude that she is not descended from this madman. Serena’s brother Frank has been listed as missing in action and presumed dead and she has no reason to stay under Ernest’s thumb. She is to come into her inheritance from her aunt when she turns thirty which is in a few weeks. She plans her escape from the Fleming house carefully so that Ernest has no clue that she is planning on leaving and fighting for her inheritance.
Meanwhile, Marcus Graye has come home from the war wounded in body and spirit. The Hall has been his family’s home for years, but the dissolute actions of his uncle and cousins have left the manor house in more ruin than grandeur. He and his family have been conned and cheated by Ernest Fleming too and the family lawyer is attempting to find out the true condition of the estate. Marcus and Serena are thrown together by the viciousness of Ernest Fleming and they determine to outsmart him and his hooligans.
I thought that this book was a wonderful read. First of all I always enjoy books written about this time period and I especially enjoy novels about Britain and its lords and ladies. Women’s suffrage is becoming a rallying cry for women at this time and this plays a role in what transpires as the story continues. I highly recommend this book.
I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.