A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventures

As I turned the pages of Angela Bell’s debut novel, A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventures, I was whisked away on a whirlwind adventure that combined the wonder of Around the World in Eighty Days, the wit of Pride and Prejudice and the charm of Doctor Doolittle. Beyond its invigorating scavenger hunt through Europe, this novel is a heartwarming tale of two unlikely allies embarking on a journey that will lead to unexpected discoveries and, most surprisingly, love.


Miss Clara Marie Stanton’s family may be eccentric, but they certainly aren’t insane.

London, England, 1860

When Clara’s ex-fiancé begins to spread rumors that her family suffers from hereditary insanity, it’s all she can do to protect them from his desperate schemes, society’s prejudice, and a lifetime in an asylum. Then Clara’s Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings on an apprentice with a mechanical leg, and all pretense of normalcy takes wing.

Theodore Kingsley, a shame-chased vagabond haunted by the war, wants a fresh start far from Kingsley Court and the disappointed father who declared him dead. Upon returning to England, Theodore meets clockmaker Drosselmeyer, who hires him as an apprentice, much to Clara’s dismay. When Drosselmeyer spontaneously disappears in his secret flying owl machine, he leaves behind a note for Clara, beseeching her to make her dreams of adventure a reality by joining him on a merry scavenger hunt across Europe. Together, Clara and Theodore set off to follow Drosselmeyer’s trail of clues, but they will have to stay one step ahead of a villain who wants the flying machine for himself–at any cost.

“You need to embrace the starry-eyed wanderlust God has placed in you. Explore the wonders of the world and let Him be the one to carry it. Let Him be the one to carry us.” ~ Angela Bell

A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventures is one of those books whose covers prepare you for a great read. However, as you open its pages, you’ll discover that it’s more than a charming story that will inspire you to travel around the world. What sets this book apart is its deep exploration of faith and God’s role in our lives. We are never alone and not supposed to carry the weight of this world on our own. As Clara and Theodore navigate the challenges and joys of their journey, they find themselves not only chasing Drosselmeyer but also their Creator as they are reminded of His presence and learn the importance of surrendering control to Him. This message of faith and trust in God’s plan is woven throughout the novel, adding depth and meaning to the story that will stay with you after you turn the final page.

“Listen here. Little Atlas may be your nickname, but it is not your identity. You were never meant to carry the world on your shoulders. You are not God.” ~ Angela Bell

I adored A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventures! Not only do I have a new itinerary for my next trip to Europe, but as I reached the end of this story, I was left with a great sense of hope and peace that God has everything under control and will hold me up as I prepare for the next chapter of my story. Despite people’s whispers and opinions about us, A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventures taught me to embrace the person God created me to be, showcasing all my qualities no matter how quirky others might find them. Normal is boring, and I’d much rather be a part of the Stanton family than the Kingsley’s.

“But we are not without hope, Clara. For it never ceases to exist. Hope’s light lives on in the One who ignited its flame through His resurrection.” ~ Angela Bell

Other delightful aspects of A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventures included the humor, mystery, and romance entwined in the pages of this book. From the eccentric characters and Drosselmeyer’s incredible inventions to the historic locations, there was never a dull moment. And let’s not forget the menagerie of animals Mrs.S collected along the way, which added an extra layer of fun — I’m convinced my mother is Mrs.S.

“You stand upon a crumbling cliff ledge, son. I’m not a good Christian woman until after my tea and toast.” ~ Angela Bell

A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventures is a fabulous book that will be adored by travel enthusiasts, animal lovers, Victorian-era romantics, and truth seekers. It will make you laugh, think, swoon, smile, and eagerly anticipate Angela Bell’s next release!

*Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing me with a pre-release copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.*

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My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Positive content: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Godly content: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sexual content: ⭐️
Violence: ⭐️
Age: 14+

Favorite Quotes: 

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