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A Place of SECRETS: A Novel Paperback – January 31, 2012
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“Sumptuous prose, deft plotting, lush settings, troubling personal histories, tragedy, heady romance and even a smattering of 18th century scientific wonderment mark Hore's fourth novel as her most accomplished and enthralling yet.” ―Daily Mirror
“Hore once again shows her gift for bringing the past to life: her understanding of memory, stories and craft is as strong here as in The Memory Garden.” ―Waterstone's Books Quarterly
“Rachel Hore's intriguing Richard and Judy recommended read, which is layered with a series of mysteries, some more supernatural than others.” ―Independent
Top Customer Reviews
Auction house appraiser Jude Gower answers the telephone one afternoon at Beecham's Auctioneers in Mayfair and finds herself embarking on a dream job. At Starbrough Hall in Norfolk, England, she is to examine and price the manuscripts and instruments of an eighteenth-century astronomer. She is welcomed by Chantal Wickham, and since both have lost their husbands, Jude feels close to the older woman almost immediately. Hard times are forcing the Wickhams to sell the astronomer's works; they've already sold most of their land and the old tower that was built as an observatory by Anthony Wickham, the astronomer. It was in the tower that Anthony Wickham and his daughter, Esther, made their most amazing discoveries.
Although Jude has spent most of her life in London, her family once lived in the neighborhood of Starbrough Hall, and she feels at home there. She meets Euan, a well-known writer and naturalist, and spends as much time as she can with her sister and six-year-old niece-- who's having disturbing dreams... the same dreams that Jude had as a child. The further Jude delves into the life of Esther Wickham, the more she begins to wonder if these dreams are passed down from generation to generation. Can she possibly find the answers she needs to make the dreams stop before someone is hurt?
A Place of Secrets fleshes out the standard romantic suspense skeleton very well. Jude is a widow who's spent the past few years putting her dead husband on a pedestal. No man she's met can measure up to her memories. Euan is the perfect hero: handsome, articulate, talented... and jealously guarded by Jude's sister.Read more ›
Jude Gower works for a London auction house in the rare books and manuscripts department and works to find antique books for the Beecham's Auction house to sell. She is called to determine the value for books at a country seat called Starbrough Hall. She begins her research of books and manuscripts in the Starbrough Hall's library and discovers the writings of a young woman who lived at Starbrough Hall.
I enjoyed this book but it is not something I would read again. There was just so much going on in the book that made it seem never ending. There was the dynamic of Jude and her sister, Claire; they don't get on very well and that was a constant throughout the book. Claire's aversion to Jude was never explained that well and it did not advance the story. Also I find dream scenes to be hard going and I don't like the use of dreams to explain a story; there were quite a few dreams in this book. Jude had dreams and her neice had dreams. There were constant references to those dreams which I found dragged the story down.
The book took quite awhile for me to read and although it was not a bad read; I cannot really recommmend it highly.
The Wickham family, owners of Starbrough Hall, embrace her presence, despite their sadness at having to give up their treasured library. They introduce Jude to their extensive collection of manuscripts and volumes on astronomy, along with several pieces of equipment from a long-dead ancestor. Hard times have made it necessary for them to sell off some of the property, including a tract with a tower on it that generations have called the folly. Its draw is irresistible, yet there remains an eerie aura about it. Nonetheless, there is no denying its wonderful position for stargazing. Its condition, though, can be treacherous.
As Jude catalogues the library, she becomes intrigued by a story she discovers about a young woman nobody in the family can quite explain.
"No one knew where Esther had come from --- or where she went. Like a comet, there was just the brief bright glimpse of her life in her memoir, only for her to disappear once more into shadow.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. The storyline kept me interested and the writing style is reminiscent of Kate Morton. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Kindle Customer
Jude's journey of healing starts when she visits Wickham hall in her childhood home county Norfolk, to appraise an astronomer collection for the auction house she works for. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Bookfan
I just finished this book and thought throughout the book, "what a wonderfully thought out process and creation of writing this story/book has. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jeanene
I found the story to be written in a most tedious style.. None of the relationships really made you interested in any of the main characters. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tazmania
While on holiday in England, the owner of a Bed and Breakfast where I stayed, introduced me to one of Rachel Hore's books. In the last five months, I have read three of her books. Read morePublished 15 months ago by AAW
I had to force myself to read this. It did not get interesting until about 75% of the way through.Published 18 months ago by sheriberi