Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her - a longtime friend - has fallen for her younger, prettier sister. When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for 18 years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play... The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure. Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks.... or very real danger?
©2014 Julie Klassen (P)2014 Recorded Books
"Well Written, Well Read"
This story follows the eldest daughter through the financial ruin of her family (sort of) to a mysterious benefactor who invites them to occupy an old mansion bearing a strange history. Although I suspected some of the plot, it twisted and turned enough to satisfy my love of a good mystery and emerged with surprising revelations. The narration of Elizabeth Jasicki is very good, and I found myself volunteering to run errands so I could listen to the story in the car. Well done, Julie Klassen, as usual. Her writing is not cookie-cutter plots.
"A movie playing in my mind"
The author always throws in a twist. Like many books in this genre there is a couple that wends up together, that you can usually guess in the first 1/4 of the book, but Klasson takes you on a ride to do so. The mystery, suspense, and family dynamics kept me engaged the entire time. I love how the author's pace of the story includes such wonderful detail, and yet the story moves along so well, I dare not skim or miss anything. The moments between Miss Foster and a beau were delicious for the mind to imagine, and play like a movie on the big screen. Fabulous writing, great narrator, and can't wait for another book! My book club discusses this book soon and I can't wait!
"Longest secret ever!"
I liked the overall story enough, but to be honest, I almost switched to another book about 5 times. The narrator was good, but she read so SLOWLY! It didn't bother me most of the time, and her voice was pleasant enough that I could deal with it, but it just made the book drag on even more.
I enjoyed the overall story, but it seemed like it could have been told in 6-8 hours instead of over 18! I almost cried when I realized there was a part 2 and had to continue on.
It was very romantic, and I enjoyed that part, though the heroine had a LITTLE too much trouble making up her mind. It was an easy listen and I enjoyed the mystery and the family. I felt that the Christian aspect was a bit forced, though. Like the author had the story all mapped out and then remembered she was a Christian author and threw in some Christianity.
I'm being extra harsh, but it's just how I felt while listening. Some parts moved along faster than others, and I found myself really intrigued at times, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I just think there was a lot of filler, a lot of extra description, and a lot of deviation from the plot that left me wondering why it was even in the book. Left me guessing for the most part, and left me wanting more and much less at the same time.
I expect a LOT from my Christian fiction. I don't make allowances for bad writing just because it's "Christian literature." Check out Tamara Leigh, or Francine Rivers. Much more intrigue, and I always wish the books were longer.... not shorter, as in this case.
That being said, this isn't my first book by this author. I enjoyed her other book, "The Silent Governess" so I will probably check out more by her.
I was looking for a historical romance book that resembles jane eyre and jane austen ' novels. To my personal dismay, most historical romance highlights physical attraction as the driving force of love, which I tend to disagree. This novel, however, refrains from such popular trend of romance and follows a rather sensible and delicate development to render a beautiful love story. with a good happy ending too!
"Excellent!! Riveted from the beginning!"
Story and narration. Never a dull moment, right from the beginning, and the narration was excellent! Couldn't put it down, or should I say turn it off. Just downloaded it yesterday and stayed up late to listen and took a very extended lunch to finish! I was not disappointed and don't feel like I wasted any time! Excellent story, good mystery, not scary, true to life, not overly dramatic, endearing characters, and I was sad to be finished but happy with the characters and their lives. Downloading another of this author's books now with the same narrator, can't wait to start it but must finish some work first :(
"LOVED this book!!!!!"
This has become one of my favorite books! With a captivating story line and a beautiful development of characters, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Such great character development and a story laced with suspense, romance, and fantastic writing. It completely drew me in. The narrator was excellent, as well.
I truly enjoyed the story and the performance. With my long commute each day, finding great books on tape makes a huge difference. And when I find myself listening even after I have arrived at my destination, I know I found a winner You won't be disappointed.
"LOVED IT!! Clean romance, with a mystery."
It is refreshing to listen to a book that is clean. I liked the mystery in the story. I liked the way the author kept you interested, and wanting to know more.
"Love and a little mystery"
A little mystery is very entertaining. I am getting tired of romance novels which seem to be getting raunchier even in Christian books. More emphasis could have been about Christian values although some was in the story.
Again, I have enjoyed the weaving of the plot of this book. The element of mystery and intrigue is thoughtfully and expertly conveyed.
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