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Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

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Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

01 Jan Posted by in Reviews | 2 comments
Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassenthesecretofpembrookepark
Reviewed by: Rachael Wing
Genre: Fictional, Mystery, Historical, Regency
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: November 25, 2014

“Next came the drawing room and Abigail stared in surprise. It appeared as though the occupants had just been called away. A tea set sat on the round table, cups encrusted with dry tea. A book lay open over the arm of the sofa. A needlework project, nearly finished, lay trapped under an overturned chair. What had happened here? Why had the family left so abruptly, and why had the rooms been entombed for almost two decades?”

Nothing seems to be going right in Abigail Foster’s world. Her father pursued a bad financial investment after her encouragement in pursuing it and lost a large amount of money; Gilbert, her childhood friend and the man she loves, leaves for Italy subsequently after showing an interest in her younger, spoiled sister, Louisa; and she gave up her dowry to help her parents out after accepting the fact that she is never going to be married.

Because of feeling responsible for the loss of her father’s money and being the sensible one in the family who takes care of most matters, Abigail decides to take it upon herself to look for a new and affordable home for them to live in. After much searching, a reasonable yet peculiar offer from an unknown owner is made for them to reside at unoccupied manor by the name of Pembrooke Park – the one drawback being that the house has been boarded up for eighteen years. However, Abigail convinces her father to take up the offer and she makes plans to go there as the rest of the family stays in the city; her mother and sister for her sister’s social season and her father for financial related dealings.

Upon arriving, Abigail wants to know the past of the manor but everybody, including her new friends – William, the attractive curate and his family – seem uneasy when the topic comes up. They only offer a warning: to beware of any trespassers of a certain name that are looking for a supposed treasure hidden inside.

Abigail is drawn by this information in hopes that she may restore the money her family lost and begins to look for this alleged treasure. Though, when Abigail hears strange, spine-chilling noises and notices alarming clues, she knows that she isn’t the only one looking for this treasure. Then unidentified letters begin showing up, hinting at the whereabouts of the treasure and the past happenings that occurred in the manor. Secrets are revealed and even stranger things come to light, but in the end, she finds something more precious than any amount of treasure – she finds true love.

Warning: Make sure your family has a sufficient amount of food to eat before cracking open this book because you will not want to put it down!

I’m so nostalgic to the point where I can’t read another book because I’m still caught up in this one. This is probably Julie Klassen’s best book yet! I adored the gothic flair, the spookiness, and the mystery that kept me up all hours of the night because I needed to finish it. I loved the chilling thrill it had that gave me goosebumps and widened my eyes but wasn’t so extreme where it was too frightening and disturbing. The mystery portion of it all was written out so well to the point where I thought I had the plot figured out but then something enthralling happened and I had to come up with a new theory. Another favorite element of mine in Julie Klassen’s books is her nods to Jane Austen – especially the discreetly placed Jane Austen quote (be sure to search for the exciting quote, Austen fans!) that she sometimes places in her books. This book particularly reminded me of a combination of Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility – two amazing Austen novels. In conclusion, this is my favorite 2014 release, I will definitely be picking it up again! Well done, Julie! I will be counting down the days until the release of the next book.

Rated PG-13: I believe this novel to be intended for older, mature teens and adults as it is a romance novel. Also, there are some chilling scenes that may frighten younger audiences a bit.

Review copy provided by the author. Thanks!



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