Monday, March 21, 2016
The Secret of Pembrooke Park...Review
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 eighteen 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?
As I work my way through toppling TBR stacks, I was delighted to discover a Julie Klassen book I'd forgotten was there. Julie is one of my favorite historical authors and I always enjoy her books.
Abigail Foster's father loses most of his fortune in a bad investment and is forced to retrench. An unexpected offer from a distant relative to live in an abandoned manor house comes at the right time. The house is surrounded by a mysterious past as the previous owners left suddenly and the house still looks as it did that night.
Abigail soon begins receiving unsigned letters from the manor's previous occupant and she is led to discover the secrets of the manor, including an alleged secret room and a missing treasure.
I liked Abigail and her strength and substance. The Chapman family was fantastic: I loved Leah and discovering her story and William and Abigail's romance was sweet, even as they danced around each other for far too long. Abigail's mother and sister were selfish and self-centered.
I felt the story dragged and took far too long to find its conclusion, satisfying as it was. This one won't go on my favorites shelf, but it was enjoyable.
Thanks to Bethany House and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Julie Klassen here. You can purchase your own copy here.
* * *