In this historical novel I have called an American Downton Abbey, author Joy Jordan-Lake gives us a snapshot of the glamour, intrigue, and tumultuous conflict of social classes in the Gilded Age. The famed Biltmore Estate, the backdrop of the novel, is depicted as either a relaxing haven, a hiding place, or a gateway to power for a fascinating cast of characters.
Built by one of society’s unimaginably wealthy families of the late 1800s, the Biltmore was America’s most opulent estate. It’s hard to underestimate how its construction affected the Appalachian mountain culture and people of Asheville, North Carolina—hardworking folk who were mostly on the other side of the financial divide.
I recently had the chance to visit the Biltmore, and I was blown away by the sheer grandeur of the landscaped acreage, the gardens, and the home itself. I could feel the presence of both the guests and the immense number of staff who were on-site to serve them.
Under a Gilded Moon is a gorgeous novel that perfectly encapsulates that period in history and the conflicts between these communities, with a touch of intrigue to make it all the more compelling. It contains themes still relevant today, which is the hallmark of historical fiction I love.
— Danielle Marshall, Editor