Title: The Secret of Pembrooke Park
Author: Julie Klassen
When I first began the novel, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the story as I am used to reading other genres. However, after a few pages, I was hooked for good as I couldn’t stop until I had read to the very end. Set in London early 1800s, readers are introduced to the Foster family and their two daughters Abigail and Louisa. Abigail is closer to her father as he confides in her and relies on her practical viewpoint in household matters as well as financial. Louisa, being the younger of the two girls, is just entering her season of attending balls and parties in hopes of a marriage proposal when her father is hit with disaster. The disaster causes the family fortune to dwindle and forces the family to move out of their home. They accept living in Pembrooke Manor for the time being though Louisa and her mother go to live with Louisa’s aunt so she can attend her season.
There is such depth to the characters, their lives and the mystery from long ago that surrounds Pembrooke Manor it is difficult to know exactly what to share. There is a mystery surrounding the rightful heir to the Pembrooke estate due to the murders that occurred long before Abigail’s family resides there. Abigail is a character who outwardly many consider plain has inner beauty. When she meets the rector of a nearby church, a friendship is started even though each comes from different social standing. Through many twists and turns of the plot Julie Klassen keeps readers turning pages to discover the pieces of the mystery.
The audience will enjoy the journey and the discovery of who is guilty of what crime and what true treasure can be found in the book. I felt like I was slowly climbing a hill discovering clues along the way to the climactic ending written so beautifully by the author. I would have to say this is one classic story that people will enjoy over and over again. Book clubs will find the discussion from this novel enlightening and thought provoking. Don’t pass up this well-crafted, heart-touching story that is born through the adversity and tenacity of the characters! The history that surrounds this time period was of the most interesting nature!
My rating is 5+ stars.
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