Daphne McKinley is a single heiress in 1918 with a secret: she writes melodramatic “dime novels” about adventures in the Old West based on true-life stories as told to her by a family friend. She doesn’t need the income, but she writes for the joy of storytelling. She writes under the pseudonym “D. B. Morgan” for two reasons: she doesn’t want to embarrass her family, who might feel such novels were beneath her, and she feels her books might not find a publisher if it were known she was a woman.
Unbeknown to her, Joshua Crawford, the real life grandson of the main character in Daphne’s stories, is on his way to Bethlehem Springs to search out the reclusive D. B. Morgan and make him apologize and correct the defamation of character of his grandfather.
Daphne and Joshua are both in for the surprise of their lives!
I found A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher a delightful read. It was fun to get a peek at the kinds of decisions an author wrestles with in regard to plot and characters, and I appreciated Daphne’s personal struggle with the responsibility and weight her words carry even in fiction.
A Matter of Character is the third and last and my favorite of Robin’s “Sisters of Bethlehem” series, though it could easily be read alone.
(This review will be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)