Jen Turano’s After a Fashion is a delightful romp into the world of historical-romantic-screwball-comedy.
Yes, that’s a mouthful.
But yes, it works.
From the publisher:
Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.
Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when the lady he brought to town to assist him with entertaining his potential business partner reneges on their agreement. When this unreliable, and slightly deranged, lady causes the hapless Harriet to lose her job, Oliver tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.
Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable. She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.
In the inspirational genre, Jen Turano is noted for her humor. Her stories are typically strewn with hysterical characters and unlikely occurrences. This one is no different – though I’d say it’s one of my favorites (so far) of hers.
After a Fashion is not exactly Heyer nor exactly Bringing Up Baby, but thinking of them together would give you a pretty good picture of its tone.
It bears a striking resemblance to works such as Frederica and Arabella, as a story of unlikely romance between individuals from different social strata. The woman is a bit haphazard and out of control — and then ends up delighting an ordinarily rational and organized man. And, importantly, both characters are likeable, kind-hearted individuals.
This is After a Fashion.
The story carries the reader through eccentricities and beyond-silly moments – but it does it well. Its characters are likeable, its dialogue extremely witty, and the entire tone works well for its genre.
If you’re looking for a romp of escapism that just might tickle your funny bone, look no further. It’s a delightful way to spend some reading time if you’re just not up for a dose of realistic reading.
Honestly, this one’s a lot of fun.