Dark Surrender-Erica Ridley

Dark Surrender
Erica Ridley
Intrepid Reads, Mar 1 2014, $9.99
ISBN: 9781939713216

In 1835 at the Livingstone School for Girls in Lancashire, teacher Violet Whitechapel frets for her students and that her life is over since the benefactor died and his heir Mr. Percy Livingstone gives the staff and children one week to vacate. The philanthropy is over as Percy plans to change the school into a sanitarium for the affluent to bury undesirable relatives. When the new benefactor and his surveyor accost Violet and fifteen year old Emma; the former London street urchin turned teacher reacts with paint and turpentine. As the females escape, Emma knocks over candles, which places the building on fire.

In Shropshire Widower Alistair Waldegrave tries his best to keep his daughter Lillian safe from the sun, as the child suffers a life-threatening painful allergy to the star. His efforts only make his nine year old child angry and resentful while the villagers fear a vampire lives amongst them. When Violet arrives in town, Alistair offers her the position of governess to Lily. As she falls in love with the Waldegrave pair, her past comes to Shropshire.

This is a terrific nineteenth century historical starring three emotionally battered protagonists who find healing in their love for one another. The sun allergy is brilliantly executed as the child is for the most part left inside a loving prison while Alistair’s fears and smothering enhance the impact of the chronic illness. Violet’s guilt re the fire round out this trio as each finds solace in one another in Erica Ridley’s delightful Dark Surrender.

Harriet Klausner


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