Tuesday, June 9, 2020

"The Secret of Pembrooke Park" by Julie Klassen

I do believe this is the first book by Julie Klassen I've ever read!  I've seen her books around the blogosphere and bookstagram for YEARS, but it wasn't until a friend loaned me this one this spring that I finally got to read one.

All in all, I did enjoy it.  It wasn't wonderful, but I also stuck with it the whole way.  I do feel like about 100+ pages in the middle were unneeded.  I could practically see the author getting a note from her editor saying "Should be longer -- expand the middle" and throwing up roadblocks in front of her characters so they'd have to detour for a while.  I really don't like it when I can "see" an author inside a book that way, so... knocked off some points for me there.

Also, did we need five or six conversion conversations?  No, we did not.

But I liked the main character, Abigail Foster, a great deal.  She made a lot of tough choices, and was very sensible -- she reminded me a lot of Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility sometimes, though she lacked Elinor's clear sight.  But anyway, if you like stories of mysterious old mansions that hide secrets, family drama, and lots of romance (really more romance than I tend to enjoy, honestly), then you'll dig it.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for a lot of smoochy scenes and people *wishing* they were smooching, plus some violent behavior that gets described by its victims and a scene of great peril.


  1. This review. xD I feel this. I feel this deeply.

    "Also, did we need five or six conversion conversations? No, we did not." We gotta figure out organic conversion depictions, fam. We gotta.

    "People *wishing* they were smooching" xD xD xD I must, under no circumstances, ever address a healthy view of normal sex urges within a Christian context; but I sure as anything am going to profit off of giving said sex urges to my characters AND THEN BASHING THEM FOR IT MWAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA.

    1. Olivia, yes, we gotta. This is part of why I love Katherine Reay and Hillary Manton Lodge -- they often have characters who are already Christians, but if they have a conversion discussion, it's very organic and ordinary and not cut-and-paste or obligatory.

      Actually, the people in this did have pretty healthy sex drives and approached their attraction to each other in a good way, I thought. I mean, it IS a romance story, so I was not weirded out by there being romance, per se, just... I'm not the biggest fan of romance stories. But I thought it was handled pretty nicely, actually. Less repressive, more explorative and cautious?


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