The Hangman in a Mirror by Kate Cayley

November 23, 2011
I love historical fiction and this sounded like a very interesting story in the genre. The author's portrayal of 18th century Montreal was stark and dirty with wonderful descriptions. The characters were well-written and very believable, but I never really clicked with them. Françoise is determined and intelligent, but she is also abrasive and manipulative. I never liked her quite as much as I wanted to.

Jean, the young man imprisoned next to her, complimented her personality very well. He had a mixture of fear and courage that felt very real. Except for a brief encounter and a glimpse or two, you don't see much of him until over halfway through the book. From the description this book sounds like a romance, but it really isn't. They do not profess undying love and they hardly know each other. But there is hope, and I love an ending with hope. I don't know if Françoise and Jean were happy, but I like to believe so.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy realistic, gritty historical fiction with strong and interesting characters.

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