(Book Review) The Secret of Pembrooke Park


Secret of Pembrooke ParkReviewed by: Gabby Carlson,  Professional Writing student at Taylor University.

 


Introduction

Title: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Author: Julie Klassen

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Publication Date: Dec 2, 2014

Format: Paperback

Length:456 Pages

OVERVIEW

Abigail isn’t a normal woman in England in the 1800s. She is quite extraordinary. She is not portrayed as an individual who would turn heads on the street. She is unwed at a late age, she has no suitors, and she helps her father run their estates. When financial ruin wrecks a family’s social standing because of poor decisions, the family estate of Pembrooke Park falls into Abigail’s lap. She works vigorously to restore the now-vacant family homestead and the elements that are supposed to support it. Mysteries abound, however, as to the history of Pembrooke Park, and Abigail gets involved in investigations while she is also occupied with the restoration work. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, love enters the picture. Abigail catches the eye of a young pastor who ministers locally. Simultaneously, she finds herself strongly attracted to Gilbert, who many years ago had been her childhood best friend. This love triangle adds tension to the plot.

Pembrooke Park becomes a backdrop once the love stories take over, and that’s a shame because we readers never get the complete story of its history or the full cause of its demise. The set-up at the book’s beginning alludes to horrible conditions, but that storyline is never completed. Thus, for readers who like stories with a strong female lead, a hint of mystery, and a lot of romance, this book will meet those needs, but as a saga with a grand historical legacy, it fails to deliver.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

3 out of 5 stars

Suggested Audience

Young adult and older

Christian Impact

The assumption is that the main characters are Christians. The Christian impact I believe comes through William, the pastor whom Abigail is drawn to emotionally. Klassen uses William to add a Christian element into a book that is focused primarily on mystery and romance.

Gabby Carlson is a freshman Professional Writing student at Taylor University.


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