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Mary Jo Putney

Romance writer Mary Jo Putney has woven in The Rake a historical-fiction tale of personal redemption as well as intrigue among the aristocrats of Britain. This is a second edition with a new title and some edits to “polish” it, in the words of the author.

The capacity for a novel to delve into uncomfortable issues like alcoholism, child abuse, and social inequality while entertaining the reader is displayed with marvellous skill by Ms. Putney. She manages to make sympathetic a man who seems the epitome of all that is base and contemptible.

Some may say, not without reason, that historical romances fail to capture the evils of the societies in which they are set. But the fact of the matter is that such stories are meant to be escapist, even if they include reminders of past and present problems in our world. And we all need a break from reality from time to time.

What sort of literary escapism do you enjoy?