An illustrious marriage, a fortune, a position of wealth and influence. These are the dreams and ambitions of any Victorian woman of sense. Or are they?
Perhaps not for Arabella Gray.
The death of Abbie’s father, the overseer of a large country estate, leaves her without means or resources, without, even, a place to live. Her landlords, in an extraordinary display of charity, invite her to live at Holdaway Hall. But the invitation is as puzzling as it is generous. Why are the Crawfords, who have never paid her any notice before, so concerned with her wellbeing now?
It’s a question the younger Crawford brothers would like to have answered as well. Certainly Miss Gray is a mercenary upstart. Certainly their brother is mad for fancying himself in love with her. Such a union would make them a laughing stock. They mean to put a stop to it, but when they learn that her past is closely—even disturbingly—connected with their own, they are brought up short, forced to ask themselves some very hard questions.
As Abbie herself soon learns, there is a great mystery at the heart of her landlords’ extraordinary offer. Everything she has ever dreamt of might be hers for the taking, but is the price worth it? More than her happiness alone rests upon her decision. If she refuses Ruskin Crawford’s offer of marriage, will she be able to live with the consequences? If she does, will she be able to live with herself?
In the end, all must ask themselves some very hard questions. What does it mean to be a man or woman of honor and integrity? What does it mean, after all, to be a gentleman? And what, exactly, is the price of a woman’s heart?
About the Author:
V.R. Christensen is a lifelong student of English culture and history, and she draws upon a wide range of knowledge and experience to construct her work. Focusing on the age old struggles that have riddled the human spirit, her intensely emotional stories draw a parallel between our day and those of an age passed, illustrating that, while some things have changed utterly, many others have stayed remarkably the same.
What is being said about Cry of the Peacock:
“..Twists and turns abound in this beautifully told, complex story that takes place in the later years of the nineteenth century… a mystery, a journey of discovery, a peeling of the onion down to its core of truth. …Christensen’s selfish, sometimes cruel men, especially, are so well done that one wants to throttle them. Lighthearted scenes are juxtaposed with dark drama, and carry the reader through to a satisfying end..”
“…a beautifully written tale of romantic intrigue set in Victorian England. …As in her earlier work Of Moths and Butterflies, Christensen skillfully illuminates both the beauty and barbarity of a society in transition, while creating characters whose flawed humanity continue to haunt me.”
“Anyone who loves Jane Austen will love V.R. Christensen’s story of love and life in the late 1800’s with Arabella Gray.”
This is a short story taken from an earlier version of Cry of the Peacock; it offers the back story to Arabella and Marianna Gray’s predicament and their journey to London and a pivotal meeting ….
Now available on Amazon(the link will take you to your local Amazon site) :
Where to find the Author & her works online:
On Amazon (the link will take you to your local Amazon site)