I confess that my favorite books are the ones where not only am I connecting to the characters, but through the character’s the author’s teaches me something about myself. Josi S. Kilpack has a gift for writing characters like that. Miss Wilton’s Waltz tells the story of Lenora.
“Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls boarding school. She is different in Bath more comfortable with herself and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there.
When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine, Lenora’s newest and most troublesome student, is Mr. Asher’s niece.
When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.”
If you’ve read Josi’s book The Vicar’s Daughter, Lenora is Cassie’s sisters. It’s not necessary to read Cassie’s story first, but I do think it gives you insight into Lenora’s past and temperament that adds depth to the story line. There are portions in the book where Josi gives us glimpses into ‘Leanora of Leagrave’ who “demanded nothing”, she’s a delightfully flushed out character.
Following Lenora’s journey was a fascinating immersion into the mind of a person with anxiety, and though painfully shy in my younger years, anxiety is a characteristic Lenora and I don’t share. I thought Josi’s portrayal was beautiful and compelling.
Her use of the relationships throughout the book not just between Lenora and Aiden, but between all the character’s, including Catherine and Aunt Gwen, is a tender illustration of how our actions good and bad affect those around us. We can elevate a child, calm fears and pull someone out of their shell. I frequently thought through this book do I build people up or tear them down?
I grew up in a big family as a quiet and shy girl with rather boisterous siblings and a beautiful bubbly younger sister. I instantly connected to Lenora. However, people who know me now might be surprised at such a description of my younger self. I remember so clearly when I like Lenora decided that I wanted to be heard, wanted to demand, at least a few things.
This book taught me that I can be heard and be kind, right is not always easy, and wrong is sometimes right. All with a dynamic plot and passionate characters. Call it what you want; a triple threat, the whole package, I’ll just call it great story telling. –N.C.
ps- I had this song from my college days running through my head while writing this post and thought, hmm fits in more ways than one: