Thursday, June 11, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melaine Dobson

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 16th 2015 by Howard Books
 arc - netgalley
"Some people, when they discover the terrible things that happened in their past, drape that knowledge around them like a cloak of bitterness.  They may even dig deep and wallow in it for a season.  Or a lifetime."

I have come to the realization that I love books that jump back and forth in time.  Books that create that atmosphere of mystery, of forbidden love, and secrets too long hidden. Throw in some hidden diaries/journals and I am in my happy place.  There are a number of authors out there that do a wonderful job with this (is there a genre name for this?) and Melaine Dobson has turned into one of my favorites.  Her previous book Chateau of Secrets was a favorite of mine in 2014.

It only took me a couple days to read Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor.  As you can read from the synopsis above there is a lot going on here.  Staying true to the time periods this story flowed along smoothly, the author definitely knows her way around the English countryside. Her descriptions had me visualizing not just the Manor with it's lush gardens and the butterflies, but the surrounding area as well. 

The plot was intriguing, there were enough twists and turns that I didn't see coming.  Maggie, Libby and Heather were all interesting characters, they were unique and realistic,  there was that depth that I love.  I got to know each of these ladies, the author made me care for them and what was happening in their lives.

This is a book about love and forgiveness, about relationships and healing the past while you still can.  This is Christian Fiction but not overbearing and preachy.  Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor was a pleasure to read and will appeal to fans of Kate Morton and Lucinda Riley.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good and I've just recently become a fan of Lucinda Riley so I think I'd like this one as well. Great review!