Publisher: Bethany House (2014)
Paperback (451 pages)
Also by this author: The Painter's Daughter
Reading Challenges: 2016 Backlist Books, Read 2016
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?
It really isn’t a secret that I love Regency-era historical Christian fiction. Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors in this genre so it should not come as a surprise that I loved The Secret of Pembrooke Park.
Abigail was a great character. However, she struggles with feeling unimportant and worthless, especially when compared with her younger sister, Louisa. She also feels completely responsible for her family’s falling fortunes.
When Abigail and her father leave London to see about the possibility of Pembrooke Park, it seems too good to be true. The only conditions on letting the estate are they must be present when the house is open, stay in residence for an entire year, and not allow entrance to anyone by the name of Pembrooke.
The Fosters are in dire need and so they accept. Abigail and her father go to look at the estate where they meet Mac Chapman, the caretaker, and his family. It is decided that Abigail will move into Pembrooke with the staff and Mac Chapman to watch over her while her father returns to business in London where Louisa is enjoying her season.
It is as Pembrooke Park that Abigail meets the young parson William Chapman who also happens to be Mac’s son. He isn’t very knowledgeable about the estate’s history, but he is able to tell Abigail a little. Mac knows more and he is keeping his mouth shut on the matter.
Things get more interesting as we learn about the hidden treasure and meet more characters. The more we learn about Pembrooke Park, the more interesting it becomes.
I was completely enthralled by this novel. It is an amazing book and I cannot explain how much I absolutely loved it without spoilers. Just know that I love it loads.