Signed Sealed Delivered by Rita Stella Galieh
Arkhouse Press, September 2011
Available at Koorong and Word
Signed Sealed Delivered is about Megan Trevallyn, a London governess who finds herself the victim of a jealous and conniving employer. The book starts in 1840 and is written in a style similar to the period. This took a little bit of getting used to.
I have to admit I struggled reading the first few chapters because I was so upset for poor Megan and the injustices dealt to her. I could only read small amounts at a time because my heart couldn’t take it! I became thankful that the book was written in the more distant style because it was heartbreaking enough without being too closely acquainted with Megan’s emotions. Finally, when I thought I could endure no more, small mercies started coming her way and I was able to sigh in relief.
Rita has created quite an intriguing tale. Whilst I didn’t connect with Megan and Charles – the love of her life, I eventually found myself desperate for their reunion. So many things stand in their way, the least not of which is the evil Cornelia. And I really do have to use the word evil here – she is truly the villain of the story, intent on thwarting every aspect of Megan’s life for her own selfish means. There is nothing likeable about this woman at all – but of course, there isn’t meant to be!
Ultimately, Megan finds herself deported to Australia and her life there does not turn out as bad as she feared and generally she finds herself in useful and fortunate positions (for a convict). A lot of time passes but she holds onto her faith and the hope that her condition will be restored. I was truly glad that Rita had the guts to show Megan’s composure crack and give in to a moment of weakness, as under the circumstances, it would be hard to believe she would have done otherwise.
Signed Sealed Delivered is a remarkable and dramatic story. However, I felt some coincidences in the story a little too convenient to be believable. I also would have liked more time spent on the initial romance between Megan and Charles because it happened so fast I wasn’t convinced of the depth of their affection for each other.
Helen is a strange combination of fiction editor and web strategist. That’s because she loves fiction and the internet – and analytics! A former business analyst and IT support manager, Helen now spends her time parenting her three children as well as running her editing and web agency businesses. As a book reviewer and fiction editor, her one true love and specialty is Christian romance fiction.