Saturday, December 27, 2014
The Secret of Pembrooke Park - A Review
Author - Julie Klassen
Title - The Secret of Pembrooke Park
Format - ebook, paper
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Practical Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster especially since she has little dowry and the one man she thought she might marry appears to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister. On the brink of financial ruin, the family must try to find housing that is functional, yet affordable. Not having any success, they are startled when a strange solicitor arrives with an offer that appears to be too good to be true - the use of a manor house abandoned for eighteen years. When Abigail and her father arrive at Pembrooke Park they are startled to find everything in it left as if the occupants had suddenly vanished - tea cups and tea service waiting to be poured, a doll's house abandoned in mid-play, wardrobes full of clothes. The young, handsome local curate and his family make the Fosters feel welcome, and while it is obvious that they know more about the manor's past, they only offer a warning: Beware of strangers drawn by rumors of a secret treasure room at Pembrooke Park. Abigail is intrigued and wonders if there is some truth to those rumors especially once she begins receiving letters that hint at the treasure along with pieces of the manor's past. But with each letter Abigail receives, danger grows. What will be the cost of having the lost secrets come to light? Will it cost Abigail a chance at love?
After being very disappointed by this author's prior release, The Dancing Master, last year, I was wary to delve into this one. I didn't want this one to disappoint me like the prior one did.
I was so glad to discover that I'd had nothing to really worry about with this book. It pulled me in from the beginning and held me through the ending. The element of mystery and suspense surrounding the house and the past made this a very enjoyable read for me. I also loved the romance between Abigail and the man who steals her heart.
While there were characters I didn't care for, Abigail's sister, one of the servants, and a couple of others, the fact that they were truly minor characters made them easier to bear. I loved how the pieces of the past came to light and I loved how the true owner's identity remained hidden until the end of the novel.
Sure there were parts that were predictable. But I still enjoyed the book. Overall, this may be my favorite one by this author.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recommended to fans of regency England, Jane Austen, Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, Carrie Turansky, historical fiction
Rating - 5 stars