This book is the second in the Daughters of Aynsley series and is best read after A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, but it can also be read as a standalone. Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been the meek middle sister, the one to go unnoticed or to be dismissed as shy and quiet. She has cared for Ned Amherst for years, but he has not reciprocated her interest and only sees her as a sister. Soon Cecilia's mother is pushing her to get acquainted with other young men and to make a match because Ned's past reputation is not approved of by her parents. During this time, Cecilia begins to care about the unrest in the North, where mill workers are not being paid enough to feed their families. She takes it upon herself to write letters to the newspapers in order to raise awareness of these issues. Soon Ned is also working very hard to help the poor and disadvantaged in his Uncle Lionel's law office in order to make up for his past mistakes. When the Peterloo massacre occurs, Ned and Cecilia begin to bond over their concern for the workers. Cecilia tries to forget her love for Ned, but when they both attend a house party that goes horribly wrong, they will realize that God is at work more than they realize. I have read all of Carolyn's books so far, but this book absolutely wrecked me emotionally, more than any of her others. I love how Carolyn expertly portrays so many different personalities, perspectives, and emotions so realistically, just as if she's gone through everything each character has experienced personally. Some of the spiritual struggles the characters go through in the story are personal for me, and the biblical principles Carolyn uses are unapologetically honest and on point. I found myself blinking back tears multiple times as I read because I related to the characters and was encouraged and convicted at the same time. The historical detail included as well as the insight into how people lived, played, and worked in the Regency time period added so much to the story and helped it come alive in my mind. I recommend this book without hesitation to anyone and everyone. I can honestly say that Carolyn Miller is one of the best Regency writers out there, and I cannot wait for her next book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Carolyn Miller and Kregel publishing. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
3 people found this review helpful
Underestimating Miss Cecilia is the second book in the Daughters of Aynsley series by Carolyn Miller. This is the story of Cecilia Hatherleigh, the shy and sweet Aynsey daughter. She is in love with the boy next door, Edward Amherst, who is also the earl’s younger son. This lovely regency story traces their story as they both grow in their relationship with Christ, learn about God’s heart for those in need, and learn how to love unselfishly. Underestimating Miss Cecilia talks of Gypsies, rebellions, and Regency house parties.I loved learning about the different games played at house parties and imagining myself there. But more than the charm of the Regency time, Ms. Miller has a unique way of helping the reader examine their faith as they share in the story of her characters. Her stories are so rich and her characters are so well developed. Ms. Miller carried me back in time and I felt like I am sharing a cup of tea with Cecy’s family in their lovely home in Somerset, England. Cecy is painfully shy and compliant. Ms. Miller does a wonderful job getting the reader into Cecy’s head and seeing things from her perspective. I also enjoyed the perspective of Edward as the prodigal son. Ms. Miller made our Heavenly Father’s grace real through Edwards’s character. I I really enjoyed reading this story. I highly recommend Underestimating Miss Cecilia. I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a review.
1 person found this review helpful
This book was so good! I loved it way more than the first of the series! It has the perfect amount of action, character building, and content. I love how it starts out exciting and draws you right in! I couldn't wait to read how Ned would come back and redeem himself from his scandalous reputation. I definitely was pleased with how each character was built and it was nice to get to know each one's thought process. I liked Cecy's journaling and Ned was a deep thinker. Ned had so much to wrestle with. It was really good to remember the lesson he was learning about God's forgiveness, and learning to forgive yourself instead of worrying about what everyone else thinks of you all the time. My favorite part of the book was the house party. It kept me sucked into the story and picturing them all playing games together was a nice touch! The twist with Cecy towards the end definitely was the icing on top of the cake for making this book not so predictable and a great ending! I will definitely recommend this book! I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.