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Permilia Griswold grows up travelling with her father on business trips through American mines. Her step-mother wants to see her accepted into New York’s high society. To her parent’s dismay, she begins to anonymously author high society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill”. One day she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, who is a reputable gentleman of society. Asher owns a department store and pretends that it is just something to fill the time. Why are these two pretending they are someone other than themselves?
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Apart From the Crowd
Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn't guaranteed to "take." After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she's finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym "Miss Quill."
Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it's simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she's determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she'll end up at risk as well.
As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there's more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .
Alannie MarshallRaleigh, NCAge: 18-24Gender: Female1 Stars Out Of 5Too Much Dialogue, Not Enough SubstanceMay 17, 2017Alannie MarshallRaleigh, NCAge: 18-24Gender: FemaleQuality: 2Value: 2Meets Expectations: 1I recently finished reading Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano. This book was extremely fast-paced in the dialogue department. I'm talking banter like you wouldn't believe! Normally, I'm a huge fan of witty back and forth, but I think this was a little over the top. The dialogue most of the time didn't really do anything to drive the story forward, and I found myself skipping over some parts because I was getting tired of reading their constant ribbing. The story had an interesting premise, however, which is why I continued with it. However, I didn't feel like the central conflict made sense, nor did I feel that the villain was intimidating. This is partially because it came completely out of left field with not a whole lot of build up. It felt cheap and underdeveloped.
Permilia's side job as a journalist was underplayed and discarded pretty early on in the story. From the publisher's description, I was under the impression that her status as a journalist/wallflower would hold more bearing for the story. Ultimately, it did not play that big of a role, and was quickly scrapped in favor of focusing on the two main characters "witty" repartee. This near endless stream-of-consciousness-like dialogue probably would not have been such a negative thing for me if I felt that the characters had a real connection.
All in all, I felt there was too much going on in this story to be truly enjoyable. Everything that happened came across as trite and over the top, whether it was story, dialogue, or character dynamic. While I have enjoyed Jen Turano's work in the past, this is not one that will be sticking around on my shelves for long. I received this book from the publisher, but I was in no way required to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.
daleenc2 Stars Out Of 5Not My StyleMay 16, 2017daleencQuality: 2Value: 2Meets Expectations: 1I tried. I tried really hard to get all the way through this book, unfortunately, I just couldn't. Permilia was an interesting character. While I think Turano was going for comedy with this character, I also think she went a little too far. Mrs. Davenport, on the other hand, she was hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed her character.
I found the plotline to be bogged down. The plotline of Asher about to die... that was interesting, but I had a really hard time getting caught up in the story because of all the dialog. They consistently talking and, it seemed, describing the action through their words! Often times, something would happen in one chapter and then, one or two chapters later, someone would spell out the situation again.
The plotline of Asher + Permilia was annoying to me. At first, they didn't like each other. But then at the ball, Asher suddenly becomes possessive of her and starts to fall in love? Um. Okay.
My dislike of this story, I must admit, is probably just my preference. On Goodreads, it has a 4.06 rating. Christian Books gives it a 4.5 and Barnes and Noble a 4.4. There are clearly people who like this story. Simply not me.
If you get a chance to read the book, flip through a couple pages before you buy it to see if it's your style or not. I hope you enjoy it and find it more satisfying than I did.
Quiet Reader3 Stars Out Of 5A Victorian-Era Comedic AdventureMay 13, 2017Quiet ReaderQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Permilia and Asher are the newest characters in Mrs. Turano's collection of comedic novels, and while I preferred Lucetta Plum and Bram Haverstein from Playing the Part, Asher and Permilia hold their own. Permilia's preference for swords and helping the poor versus balls and everything the social life brings made her interesting and slightly dangerous- especially since she can get pretty riled when provoked. I did feel that she was a bit too peculiar for my tastes, though it might just be our opposite personalities that made me not able to understand her. As for the hero of the story, Asher Rutherford- he is, perhaps, too city-like for me- however, I think that's the kind of character Permilia got on well with, and they were both good for each other. And Asher is not to be underestimated- he's not a simple dandy, but has a heart and will to be tough and formidable (although I'm not sure he'll ever get that far). The other very quirky characters also made for interesting reading, and although they were all sometimes too quirky and unusual for me (which made things frequently seem unrealistic), I did enjoy them pretty well. I have to say, Mrs. Davenport, Harrison Sinclair and Permilia's fellow wallflowers did make for fun characters- they were probably some of my favorites in the story.
The writing style did seem to over-explain things a bit too much, which, coupled with the sometimes too silly characters, wasn't that great. Also, I wasn't overly fond over the way the story started. The story starts off at a grand ball- very interesting, but it went on for way too long, and I began to wish for it to end. I felt that I would have liked to have read about Permilia alone first, find out her personality under normal circumstances and all about her family and friends, get all that established, and then move on with the story and the events that are going to take place.
The mystery, however, was interesting, and I thought the conclusion and all that progressed was a very fulfilling, slightly funny and altogether a good ending for the story. The storyline in and of itself was, I thought, unique and original, just like its characters, and I only wish I could have gotten into it more, to give it a better review.
It was also interesting to read about this time period from the point of view of such a unique character. The beauty of the time period is represented, along with its frustrating and sometimes confusing rules and the ways it could have stood improvement.
On the whole, (despite my dislike for some of the elements in the book) it was enjoyable reading a lighthearted comedy for a change (since I don't normally read a lot of that type of book) and I look forward to perhaps reading the next books in the series.
Note: I got this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Super duper small print!5 Stars Out Of 5Just Light, Fun Reading...May 11, 2017Super duper small print!Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Over the years, I've read Jen Turano's books as they've come out. The first of a new two book series Apart from the Crowd is what I read last week. Behind the Scenes centers around Miss Permilia Griswold (could she have a worse name?).
The story begins with a ball in New York City's high society--one of the events of society's season. Miss Griswold is likable--a Cinderella of sorts surrounded by her ugly stepmother and unkind stepsister. One big difference in this Cinderella tale is that Miss Griswold's father is only absent, thankfully, and not dead.
At the ball, she overhears threats made about a man's life and she attempts to warn him. This book did make me laugh out loud as Ms. Griswold attempted to save Mr. Rutherford when she overhears a threat on his life, but which he doesn't give any credence.
This story is a bit like high school--you have the in crowd and the outsiders. And as the story goes on, you realize the significance of the two. It's hard for me to imagine what it was like to live in the late 1800s. This story is such a fairy tale, but it's a fun one. Cinderella has always been one of my favorites. And this story does not disappoint.
I would however recommend reading Ms. Turano's novella At Your Request first. It sets the stage for Behind the Scenes and there's a scene in the book that makes much more sense. At Your Request can be downloaded for free on CBD. And besides, it's just fun to read as well! I discovered the novella after reading the first novel and wish I had discovered it first!
The writing flows in Behind the Scenes and I didn't get bogged down reading it at any point. Permilia made me laugh and smile. It's just simply a light-hearted, fun read! If you have enjoyed any of Ms. Turano's books in the past, I'm sure you will enjoy this one as well!
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing for review, but these thoughts are entirely my own. I enjoyed this book and its moments of escape!
JoyONew HampshireAge: 18-24Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5You had me at wallflower.May 11, 2017JoyONew HampshireAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5You had me at wallflower. ; ) Who doesn't love a good wallflower story? I think many readers will be able to relate to Miss Permilia Griswold, Mr. Asher Rutherford, and company!
I loved that the first third of the story took place at the Vanderbilt ball! It was enchanting, thrilling, and beautifully detailed. Amusing and quirky characters make this a light read despite the murder attempts. ; ) The final scenes brought happy tears to my eyes. What a wonderful resolution!
This struck me as a novel of acceptance. Asher learned to accept help from Permilla as well as accepting himself for who he really was. Permilla had to come to terms that her plan was not necessarily God's plan for her life. The poignant truths of this novel are sure to touch many hearts!
Four Stars - A funny and charming story! Behind the Scenes is the first book in Jen Turano's new Apart from the Crowd Series. The next book, Out of the Ordinary, will release on November 7th, 2017. I'm looking forward to Miss Gertrude Cadwalader and Mr. Harrison Sinclair's story!
I received a copy of Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.