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The summer of 1897 should have been like any other summer for Anna Tattersall. Along with her husband, Will, and their two boys, they spent every summer in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Her time was spent at teas and parties and all the societal happenings among the well to do who summered in Keene Valley. But that all changed when a freak storm sent Anna’s world spinning out of control and she fell into the arms of another man. He was a gentleman of letters who was wealthy, and ever so handsome. Thus begins the story of a young woman coming into her own, discovering her true self and true love for the first time in her life.
Evocative and confident period storytelling, Adirondack makes a fine debut with Johnson, Jr. rendering complex romantic events in strikingly personal terms. Rippling with late 19th-century melancholy, it is the story of a time and place where two people are forced to confront their passion, and here Johnson, Jr. demonstrates a canny ability to navigate love at its riskiest and the most necessary gamble in anyone’s experience. He also instinctively understands the devices of suspense and tension and uses them to maximum effect. Not by stringing a series of contrived events one after another in a tedious stream of clichés, but by creating a pervasive sense of longing that is marked by a heightened degree of sensitivity and tact. Yes, this is Anna Tattersall’s story but in bringing her character to life Johnson, Jr. reminds us that love is a universal phenomenon that has no regard for the boundaries of time or social conscience.
Without a shadow of doubt, there is enough in Adirondack to sate the most demanding of Historical Romance readers. An intoxicating debut by Johnson, Jr. it is recommended without reservation.
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A. Dudley Johnson, Jr. spent several weeks every summer, when he was a child, at his grandmother’s house in the Adirondack mountains in Keene Valley, New York, with his family. Later in life, he attended Emerson College in Boston. He became a television writer and producer for Diff’rent Strokes and Webster. Dudley is a member of the WGA. He went on to produce computer and video games for Disney for many years. Dudley lives in Altadena, CA, with his husband, Barry. This is his first novel.