This has to be one of the most intriguing books I’ve read in a very long time. The Secret of Pembrooke Park contained all the wonderfully-dramatic elements to keep me turning the pages and guessing right up to the very end. If you’re looking for a story with strong characters and fun dialogue, where mystery lurks and twists continue to surprise you, look no further. This is it!
Needless to say, I was impressed by this book. As a writer, I appreciated the quality and craftsmanship of the words. And as a reader, I was thoroughly entertained. The plot points, as well as the characters, were bold and surprising at all the right places. And yet, when the situation called for it, they were soft, sweet, and simple too. The story was balanced very well in my opinion and the romance pulled at my heart.
The only thing I can say against it is that I wished it was a tad shorter. It was a bit long for my taste. The 460+ pages took me a little while to get through, but it wasn’t for lack of interest or enjoyment. 😉 And I enjoyed the setting. How could I not? Who would not be intrigued by an abandoned house, such as this elaborate manner full of old family secrets?
One evening while I was reading, it was storming outside. Between the book, the pouring rain, and the late night hour, I won’t deny it felt a little eery. I’m not used to mysteries, can you tell? 😉 I loved this one, though. It had a classic “Jane Eyre” feel to it that I know I won’t forget. And it ended beautifully. I’ve read a few by Julie Klassen before, but The Secret of Pembrooke Park is by far my favorite of hers. At least until the next book. 😉
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until 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 acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.
This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances—and her dowry—Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house.
As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks . . . or very real danger?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A little about me…
I worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now write full time. Three of my books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA awards.
I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.