Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: "The Secret of Pembrooke Park"

A regency romance with layers of mystery, The Secret of Pembrooke Park is Julie Klassen’s most intriguing story yet. I just kept reading, my mind trying to sort it all out. Though I did guess bits, Klassen kept me mildly uncertain and guessing to the end where everything worked out just right. I recommend this perilous tale!

Trying to set things right for her family who suffered a serious financial set-back because of her investment recommendation, Abigail Foster encourages her father to accept an unusual housing offer. For unknown reasons, the anonymous owner wants Abigail’s family to live at Pembrooke Park for at least one year for a very low rate, household help included. The Fosters know little about the history of the manor but do know that the Pembrookes are distant relatives. They make plans to move in, sending Abigail ahead, alone, to help the servants prepare.

When Abigail begins to hear rumors about the estate that her servants, under threat of losing their jobs, refuse to confirm or deny, she starts seeking answers on her own. Journal pages written by a former inhabitant arrive in the mail to make her even more curious—and to provide clues. Bumps in the night, grave warnings from mysterious sources, strange behavior of town residents, and the suspiciously timed arrival of one of the actual Pembrookes all spur Abigail’s investigation on. Does Pembrooke Park offer hope for her family or threaten to destroy it? She has to keep seeking the truth.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this honest review. It was an intense adventure with unusual characters set in a favorite historical time. Fans of books like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights will want to discover The Secret of Pembrooke Park.

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