Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Litfuse Publicity: Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson

on July 23, 2015

About the Book:

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.

Find out how to buy your copy here.

About the Author:

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

You can visit Melanie at her website, Facebook and Twitter.

My Opinion:

Not often does a book keep me up all night, however Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor did and it was well worth the lack of sleep that I had to go through the next day! I think I’ve seen this type of book referred to as a time slip book, meaning that at one moment the reader is in the year 1954 and then the next the reader is transported back to the present day (of course this isn’t the only book to use these feature), and thankfully it was quite easy to follow along and know when the switch was coming. There is a thread of generational sins when Libby’s mom becomes pregnant out of wedlock and then the same happens for Libby – I don’t want to give a lot away but the healing and reconciliation in the book is so inspiring as is the growing faith of all the characters involved.

When the book transported me to 1954 I could feel myself becoming one with the English sea side village and then the countryside, Melanie’s use of desciptors made me feel like I was there or could jump through the pages and be there. I could sense the fear, the animosity, and ultimately the love that wove themselves through the families in the story – while not everything works out with a positive ending for us in the real world – sometimes it’s nice to escape into one where it’s all neatly tied up in the end. What kept me up though at nice was the mystery that Melanie expertly wove into the story as well as the difficulties Libby’s parents experienced with what we would now associate with autism. It all wove perfectly together and created a beautiful story.

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