Sunday, July 19, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson

Melanie Dobson's newest novel is out.  Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is a novel filled with mystery surrounding the Ladenbrooke Manor.  Read below to find out more about this story and what I thought about it.

From the Back Cover:
Years ago, the body of Oliver Croft, heir of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor, was found drowned in the River Coln.  Authorities searched for answers, but no one was ever held responsible for Oliver's death...
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.

My Review:
I love a good mystery and this book definitely satisfies that craving.  Books set across the ocean in historic London are always a fun read. With their massive manors and old time customs, the stories that take place are usually an interesting adventure for those of us on this side of the ocean.  Having taken the train from London to Stratford-upon-Avon to a see a Shakespeare play back some years ago, it was fun to read a story set in that same area of England.  The story has a negative theme running through it of poor choices and the consequences that come from following fleshly desires.  Each generation seems to make the same bad choice, but lacks the courage to deal with the consequences in a healthy way and stop the cycle from happening again with their own children.  Be aware that there is the mention of premarital sex in this book; although not explicitly stated, the idea is implied.  Autism is another real life element talked about in this book.  It was an interesting inclusion into the storyline.  This is one condition I haven't read too much about in books.  The story was well written and thought out.  My only negative comment is that the story included sex before marriage, and I felt that there wasn't a strong enough statement made about what Scripture has to say about purity.

***I received this book free from Howard Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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