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The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie…

The Secret of Pembrooke Park

by Julie Klassen

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Wow, great read for anyone who's ever enjoyed Northanger Abbey or Jane Eyre! Secret of Pembrooke Park has a delightful mix of Austen-like hardship, family, community, and tension, while balancing some Bronte-style mystery. It makes for an awesome combo.

Abigail Foster is a practical, sensible heroine. Although her life is far from content from being in the shadow of her beautiful sister, struggling with her father's financial worries, lack of prospects, and moving, she doesn't complain. Instead she adapts to her new surroundings, the eerie Pembrooke Park, curious to understand its mysteries and tragic history.

Along the way, she finds new friends and suitors. Especially the strong and kindhearted local curate, William Chapman. As a reader, I was eager to finally know the deep secrets of Pembrooke Park. However, I was even more impatient for William to confess his feelings! He was perfect. Handsome, gentle, good sense of humor. The tension was too much. I was clinging to every conversation between William and Abigail.

I have to thank the Goodreads Choice Awards for introducing me to this book and author! I have a new favorite in both areas. Highly recommended to Regency romance fans. Great way for me to start my 2016 reading. ( )
  vonze | Sep 19, 2017 |
I love a good intrigue in my books and the mention of the secret room and hidden treasure definitely kept my interest! I also liked the interactions between Abigail and Mr. Chapman and Mr. Scott. The sister, Louisa, sounds very spoiled and self-centered.

I believe the author was drawing from her love of Jane Austen and allowed Louisa to emulate Lydia Bennett--flirting shamelessly and developing a bad reputation. The mother reminds me of Mrs. Bennett--favoring her youngest over the rest. Abigail is very practical--much like Elinor from "Sense & Sensibility." She understands the family's financial state and strives to do whatever is necessary to keep the household afloat.

I think I would be good friends with Leah, Mr. Chapman, and Abigail. The three individuals all value people over possessions.

Some scenes, however, felt somewhat improper for this period. A woman generally isn't left alone with a man, and certain wouldn't allow him in her bedroom or in private parts of the house.

All in all, I did not feel that this book was one of Ms. Klassen's strongest works, but she did do a fair job tying up the loose ends. Would I read this book again? It's hard to say. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. ( )
  caslater83 | Apr 23, 2017 |
Julie Klassen did not disappoint !! Amazing story. I couldn't put it down. ( )
  nu-bibliophile | Nov 18, 2016 |
It’s been two years since my last Julie Klassen novel, and it seems The Secret of Pembrooke Park was her longest. Thankfully it was well worth the read, with regency adventure, romance, and a hint of Gothic horror with the mystery of the strange goings on at the house. Hints of the classics, such as Northanger Abbey and other literary greats add to a generally satisfactory new novel.
I did feel that the mystery was drawn out for a little too long at times, and could have been ‘wrapped up’ more quickly. Also, the failure to follow up on leads, or pay attention to important clues could be somewhat frustrating. It must be said, however, that although I believed I had guessed the identity of some of the characters, these guesses proved largely incorrect- so the mystery was complex enough to be satisfying.

Mrs Klassen clearly does her homework, so her stories tend to be free of certain elements which I find irksome in some Regency stories: Such as the British characters’ speech being riddled with American terms and phrases, or the superfluous American hero, expressing the almost inevitable distaste at the lifestyle and social attitudes of the upper classes.

The Christian themes of the story as well as the moral struggles of the characters were plausible and true to life. Genuine without being ‘preachy’, but not so vague that it seemed watered down. My only complaint-similar to that made by others, was that the behaviour of the character did not always seem consistent with what would have been acceptable during the time period- such as Abigail going out alone for a walk at night- and starting a cosy conversation with William in his underwear. Also, I did find some of the details were not entirely plausible. Surely someone would have asked questions on seeing a teenage boy bleeding to death from a gunshot wound?

Altogether, The Secret of Pembrooke Park is a quality Regency Romance, and a recommended read for those who don’t mind something over 450 pages.
I received an ebook version of this title free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for review. I was not required to write a positive one and all opinions expressed are my own.
( )
  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
Excellent book with all the features of a book you can't put down. I mostly wanted to finish to see who Abigail decides to marry. I'm glad that her heart went to William even before she knew his status had been elevated closer to hers. She also grew very quickly in the Lord from the beginning to the end. ( )
  eliorajoy | Apr 8, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764210718, Paperback)

Julie Klassen Is the Top Name in Inspirational regency Romance

Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her--a longtime friend--has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, 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 to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled
with treasure.

Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:17 -0400)

"In Regency-era England, secrets come to light at the abandoned manor house Pembrooke Park. Will Abigail find the hidden treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?"--Provided by publisher.

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Bethany House

2 editions of this book were published by Bethany House.

Editions: 0764210718, 0764212788

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