Señor Ramon by Eliza Jane Clancey
Published by Spinetinglers Publishing
I was lucky enough to win this book in an online competition run by the publishers, so was unsure if it would be to my taste. I need not have worried as it turned out to be a ripping good yarn!
The story begins in a more genteel age than the present, as Lucy and her widowed mother try to survive in straightened circumstances following the death of her father. They have to move house, sell furniture, and generally tighten their belts in order to make ends meet. Lucy's Uncle Tom finances a trip to Paris as a treat for the three of them and whilst there, they meet a Mrs Radcliffe, an English lady who is on holiday from her home in Argentina. They exchange addresses and do not expect to hear from her again but upon their return a letter awaits them. Mrs Radcliffe suggests that mother and daughter travel to Argentina to visit her and Lucy could be a tutor for her daughter during that time. The idea appeals to Lucy's mother and she starts to plan her daughter's future in Argentina, where she is sure a position as governess can be obtained with a well off local family.
They set sail for Buenos Aires, a journey which would take two weeks to complete, and during the voyage Lucy strikes up a friendship with one of the stewards and they promise to write to each other. An advert is placed in the local newspaper looking for a suitable job for Lucy and shortly they are contacted by a lawyer acting on behalf of a widower with two young children, who runs an estate near Merida. A visit to the estate for a meeting between the interested parties is arranged, and the adventure continues.
Señor Ramon, his mother and his daughters all play a big part in deciding whether Lucy secures the position, and the twists and turns of the story keep the reader guessing as to the eventual outcome. An intriguing book, very well written and very entertaining.