Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson is a 352 page novel in the Christian mystery genre. It was published by Howard Books and was released on June 16, 2015. To purchase your own copy, click here.
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.
My Two Cents
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is a fast-paced book about love, forgiveness, and the harm that secrets can bring to a family. The storyline goes seamlessly between past and present which allows the story to unfold in a way that makes you want to keep reading. I was drawn in from the beginning and could not put the book down. I wanted to find out the secrets and what happened to each of the characters.
This book has everything you want in a story: Love, mystery, secrets, surprises, struggle, tension, and hope. As a teacher, I could tell that Melanie had done research on Autism and what it looked like for families who had a special needs child before they had diagnosis. She also shows the real-life struggle of parents in which society does not understand their child and thinks you are not a good parent.
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is an extremely well-written book with well-developed characters. There is much we can learn through the relationships of the characters of the book. Melanie’s display of the hurt that is caused by molding people into what we want them to be, not how God made them to be is evident throughout the book. The hurt caused by forgiveness and the regret we have at the end of our lives reminds the reader to think about our actions each and every day.
I give Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor 5 out of 5 stars. This book will keep you captivated from the very beginning.
Thank you to the Litfuse Chicks for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.
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.
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