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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Review: Under A Gilded Moon by Joy Jordan-Lake

Under A Gilded Moon 
by Joy Jordan-Lake

Thank you Lake Union Authors and GetRedPr for this copy.

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: December 1, 2020
414 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Biltmore House, a palatial mansion being built by the Vanderbilts, American “royalty,” is in its final stages of construction in North Carolina. The country’s grandest example of privilege, it symbolizes the aspirations of its owner and the dreams of a girl, just as driven, who lives in its shadow.

Kerry MacGregor’s future is derailed when, after two years in college in New York City, family obligations call her home to the beautiful Appalachians. She is determined to distance herself from the opulence she sees rising in the Blue Ridge Mountains, however close its reach. Her family’s land is among the last pieces required to complete the Biltmore Estate. But something more powerful than an ambitious Vanderbilt heir could change Kerry’s fate as, one by one, more outsiders descend on the changing landscape—a fugitive from Sicily, a reporter chasing a groundbreaking story, a debutante tainted by scandal, and a conservationist prepared to put anyone at risk to stoke the resentment of the locals.

As Kerry finds herself caught in a war between wealth and poverty, innocence and corruption, she must navigate not only her own pride and desperation to survive but also the temptations of fortune and the men who control it.

My Review:

I have grown to have a love for historical fiction since joining Bookstagram and this story for some reason really piqued my interest.  From the very beginning we meet the spark that is Kerry, heading back home after receiving a telegram about her father's failing health.  From the onset of the train ride, we get a taste of what we are going to get within these pages... and that is the the many differences in society - especially the wealthy and privileged against the poor and innocent (Biltmore vs Appalachia).

What we end up with is a lesson in forgiveness, fortitude and a cast of characters that leave you really thinking about where you might stand.  I truly appreciated the historical notes at the end describing the background to some of the characters.  The author is also adding historical photos regularly to the Behind the Scenes section of her website ( and I'll certainly be checking that out.

I really appreciated how this was a bit of a genre mash up - combining historical fiction with that thrilling, suspenseful mystery.  And quite honestly, I really fell in love with Kerry's character.  She certainly didn't ask for her gift and I felt for her in so many ways... but what a delight in what kind of adult she is despite and because of it.  Certainly had a couple of gaspy moments towards the end there. And the author really brings the atmosphere to life, engaging you til the very end.


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