Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Book Review: Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

About the Book:

Libby Doyle, a free spirit who spends much of her time dancing with the butterflies in Ladenbrooke's gardens, has captivated Oliver Croft's heart. But after Oliver drowns, Libby also vanishes, and her parents, Walter and Maggie Doyle, are left to wonder what really happened between their daughter and the boy who lived next door.

Forty-five years later, after Walter's death, Libby's sister Heather returns to her family's cottage in the English countryside, in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, to sort through her parents' things. What she uncovers is a string of shocking secrets that lead her to wonder if anything Walter and Maggie told her about her childhood was true. As Heather sorts through the belongings left behind in the cottage, trying to separate truth from deceit, she has an uncomfortable reunion with her first love. Together they unravel a mystery that will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery to reveal just how the Doyle and Croft families are entwined.

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

My Thoughts:

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson is a stand-alone novel with beautiful storytelling, a haunting mystery, and a dash of romance. Although I predicted a few of the twists, the novel is well-written and captured my attention from the start. I found myself surprised by the ending.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor bravely addresses some serious topics. Generational patterns, deceit, and consequences play out through raw and painful situations. While reading, I sometimes found myself getting really sad. It seemed like tragedy after tragedy occurred in the characters’ lives. While I appreciate the authenticity, it made me so sad that I don’t think I would read this story again.

I recommend Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson to readers looking for a well-written, captivating mystery.

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