Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy form Publisher
TYPE OF NOVEL: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Gothic Suspense, Inspirational Fiction (lite)
SETTING: 1817, Pembrooke Park, Berkshire, England
- Mr. and Mrs. Foster and their two daughters – Abigail (23) and Louisa (19)
- Kate and Mac Chapman and their four children – Leah (28), William (24), Jacob (15), and Kitty (12)
- Miles Pembrooke
- Gilbert Scott
Due to a bad investment, the Foster family is forced to retrench and sell their London town-home. By chance they are offered an opportunity to lease an abandoned manor house from one of their distant relations on some very generous and convenient terms. The ever-practical and responsible daughter, Abigail, offers to set up the new home with her father, while her sister and mother enjoy one more season in London. At Pembrooke Park Abigail finds the house embroiled with secrets from the past…What happened to the original owners? Why was Pembrooke Park left abandoned for 18 years? Is there indeed treasure hidden somewhere in the house? Abigail Foster is desperate to learn the answers to these questions…
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
- I love Julie Klassen novels! I’ve now read 6 titles* by Julie Klassen!
- As a fan of Jane Austen, Julie Klassen always includes plenty of allusions and echoes to Jane Austen in her novels, and I love spotting them! This novel had nods to both Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility.
WHAT I LOVED:
- Abigail Foster: I adored our heroine! She has the dependableness of Elinor Dashwood, the compassionate heart of Anne Elliot, and the insatiable curiosity of Catherine Moreland. Her selflessness, gentleness, modesty, and sharp mind make her truly an admirable and praiseworthy heroine. I loved witnessing Abigail discover her own self-worth and seeing others recognize and appreciate her value (like Anne Elliot, she is often forgotten, pushed over, and under-appreciated.)
- Family and Friendships: In this tale we learn a lot about family history and relationships – ones that are inspiring and ones that are heart-wrenchingly sad. There was a touching message intertwined in this plot about families and how we should treasure our loved ones. Moreover, the making of friends (both public and private) seemed to be a highlighted theme. I greatly enjoyed witnessing several characters make overtures of friendship throughout the book, especially the one we learn about in the end!
- Mysteries, Secrets, and Intrigue: Oh! The Pembrooke family is so mysterious and puzzling! And everyone is so tight-lipped about them! How frustrating! 😉 (Just kidding!) As is her usual style, Julie Klassen loves to leave readers guessing and doesn’t reveal all until the very end! I loved the many family secrets in this story, I had a suspicion or two, but more often than not, I was completely surprised by the unpredictable twists and turns. This story has double the mystery, double the secrets, and double the intrigue for sure!
- Beautifully Blended and Balanced: There are so many components combined in these novels by Julie Klassen – well-researched histories full of facts about the time period, a tender-hearted romance, a bit of mystery and intrigue, and an inspiring faith-filled message. All of these components are interwoven very seamlessly and naturally – without anything feeling disjointed or overpowering.
- Old Flames: I loved the budding relationship between Abigail and William (he was such a likable and earnest character), but I also loved how they both have prior love interests – Abigail’s childhood friend, Gilbert Scott and the girl who previously broke William’s heart, Rebekah. Learning about these past relationships and seeing these love interests return again to the forefront definitely enhanced the tension a little in this romance! I loved it!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- *cricket chirp* *cricket chirp* Nothing! 🙂
In another arrestingly beautiful tale, Julie Klassen takes readers to an abandoned yet picturesque English manor filled with history and mystery. The Secret of Pembrooke Park is a stellar and magnetizing read, and I am all eager anticipation for the next two novels Julie Klassen plans to publish later this year – Lady Maybe and The Painter’s Daughter! Happy thought, indeed!
Win One of Four Fabulous Prizes
Win 1 of 4 Fabulous Jane Austen-inspired Prize Packages
To celebrate the release of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, Julie is giving away some lovely prizes!
Three lucky winners will receive one trade paperback or eBook copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, and one grand prize winner will receive one copy of all eight of Julie’s novels: Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary’s Daughter, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Tutor’s Daughter, The Dancing Master, and The Secret of Pembrooke Park, one DVD of Northanger Abbey (2007) and a Jane Austen Action Figure.
To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment below sharing which of Julie Klassen’s books is your favorite, or which book of hers do you most want to read! I think my two top favorites areThe Silent Governess and The Secret of Pembrooke Park!
To increase your chances of winning, visit any of the other blog stops on the The Secret of Pembrooke Park Blog Tour and check out Julie’s unique guest posts will be featured on a variety of subjects, along with fun interviews, spotlights, excerpts, and reviews of the novel.
- This giveaway is open to residents in the US, CAN, and UK. Thank you, Julie!
- This giveaway ends March 9th!