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Summary

Crawdads meets the Crawleys....Threaded through with a meticulously researched, well-crafted mystery, this is historical fiction at its best.” (Fiona Davis, nationally best-selling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue)

From the best-selling author of A Tangled Mercy comes an enthralling novel of secrets, a tumultuous war of ideas, and murder as classes collide in the shadow of Biltmore House.

Biltmore House, a palatial mansion being built by the Vanderbilts, American “royalty,” is in its final stages of construction in North Carolina. The country’s grandest example of privilege, it symbolizes the aspirations of its owner and the dreams of a girl, just as driven, who lives in its shadow.

Kerry MacGregor’s future is derailed when, after two years in college in New York City, family obligations call her home to the beautiful Appalachians. She is determined to distance herself from the opulence she sees rising in the Blue Ridge Mountains, however close its reach. Her family’s land is among the last pieces required to complete the Biltmore Estate. But something more powerful than an ambitious Vanderbilt heir could change Kerry’s fate as, one by one, more outsiders descend on the changing landscape - a fugitive from Sicily, a reporter chasing a groundbreaking story, a debutante tainted by scandal, and a conservationist prepared to put anyone at risk to stoke the resentment of the locals.

As Kerry finds herself caught in a war between wealth and poverty, innocence and corruption, she must navigate not only her own pride and desperation to survive but also the temptations of fortune and the men who control it.

©2020 by Joy Jordan-Lake (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

“Elegantly written and expertly crafted, Under a Gilded Moon soars as high as any piece of literature can reach. You’re transported to a time and place in history that begs [to be] read late into the night.” (Robert Dugoni, international best-selling author of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell and the Tracy Crosswhite series)

“I was swept away by this dazzling, masterfully written tale of the clash of classes and cultures around the Biltmore in North Carolina. Joy Jordan-Lake brings the past alive with impeccable details, raw emotion, and parallels to our present world. A triumph.” (Emily Carpenter, best-selling author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

What listeners say about Under a Gilded Moon

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  • Christine
  • 01-12-20

Thumbs Down

I often wonder if the author or producers actually listen to certain audiobook performances? This one is so awful it's almost laughable. The story wasn't compelling enough to make me continue on.

8 people found this helpful

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  • pippi
  • 03-12-20

Narration is terrible

Holy goodness, the narration is so bad you can’t get past it to hear the story. I love a Hungarian accent, but the choice of this voice for a story told from the perspective of southern girl with Celtic roots seems a distractingly poor choice.

4 people found this helpful

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  • TW
  • 21-12-20

Love

An amazing depiction of our USA history. The characters lives were represented with great detail. You could almost see the hills, the landscape and feel the weather. This book was well written!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Linda S. Moeller
  • 19-01-21

A little ambitious but...

After reading all the negative reviews, I started to wonder if I'd read the same book! To be fair, the author was very ambitious about getting way too many characters on the canvas in the first few chapters. If you gave up after a few chapters, you missed out on a decent story. It also didn't help that we were introduced to so many diverse backgrounds; rich aristocrats, Southern woman, a Sicilian man of dubious background, Southern children, sick father, station master, journalist, a woman from New Orleans plus a host of various workers at Biltmore; many who were also foreigners! It was a lot to handle but Kathleen Gati gave life to each character. This distinction allowed the listener to sort out these people and their personalities while moving the story forward. Overall, the book overcame some uneven writing at the start to become a fairly interesting and entertaining historical fiction. I've listened to several books narrated by Ms. Gati and have truly enjoyed her interpretation of a wide range of characters and this book was no exception.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marina_Jane
  • 18-01-21

intriguing story in a beautiful setting

Thoroughly enjoyed the cast of characters in this story. It felt like a little slice of history.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 11-01-21

Horrible

Its as if the author has never truly been around Appalachian people. So many cliche "hillbilly" sayings strung together in one sentence. Sentence after sentence. So many different characters thrown in within the first few chapters that it's hard to keep track of who is who. The narrator's attempt at all of these accents is awful. Over All I Found This Book Horribly Insulting. I deleted it after only a few chapters in.

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  • N. Male
  • 07-01-21

Horrible narration paired with Horrid storyline

I can only review the first 3.5 hours out of 13 hours -- that's how long I lasted. Sorry Audible, you totally mismatched this book with the narrator. Even though I found Kathleen Gati's voices mostly off for the different characters, this trainwreck of a production isn't all her fault. If within 3.5 hours I can't fathom a storyline or care for any of the characters, I'm done.

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  • paige speer
  • 07-01-21

North Caroline’s dialect

So enjoyed hearing about Asheville and the rise of the Biltmore. This book had many different dialects which I’m sure is hard to master. Living in the South, I guess my ear notices the annunciation of words which were not true to the way “we” pronounce them. The story was wonderful!!

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  • Sonogirl
  • 27-12-20

I wanted to love it

I love Asheville and the Biltmore estate. I was so excited to find this book. I wanted to love this book, but it was really hard to get into. I had to stop after chapter 15, although I wanted to stop way before that. There were so many characters that I was not sure who was who and what was going on. Ugh, so disappointing.

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  • Kym
  • 23-12-20

Could not finish

I had to stop listening to this book in Chapter 13. Soooooo boring, complicated, too many characters and accents. Who is/are the main characters? Who should I care about? Very difficult to follow. Most of the time I felt like I was in the middle of a game of Clue lol. Waste of time... at least I only paid 1.99 x2.