Book Review

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

“’Love without fear . . .’ Miss Foster murmured, considering the notion. ‘It doesn’t sound very practical, I’m afraid. For the more one loves, the more one has to fear losing.’ He looked at her, a grin tugging his mouth. ‘Impractical, maybe. Difficult, yes. But what a beautiful way to live.’”

Fiction, Romance, Historical
Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date:
December 2, 2014
Number of pages:

From the Publisher:

“Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play…

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances–and her dowry–Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?”

My Review:

I have had this review sitting on my computer ever since the book was released in December of last year. Why I have never posted it, I will never know.

So here you go:

Warning: Make sure your family has a sufficient amount of food to eat before cracking open this book because you will not want to put it down!

I’m so nostalgic to the point where I can’t read another book because I’m still caught up in this one.

This is probably Julie Klassen’s best book yet!

I adored the gothic flair, the spookiness, and the mystery that kept me up all hours of the night because I needed to finish it. I loved the chilling thrill it had that gave me goosebumps and widened my eyes but wasn’t so extreme where it was too frightening and disturbing. The mystery portion of it all was written out so well to the point where I thought I had the plot figured out but then something enthralling happened and I had to come up with a new theory.

Another favorite element of mine in Julie Klassen’s books is her nods to Jane Austen – especially the discreetly placed Jane Austen quote (be sure to search for the exciting quote, Austen fans!) that she sometimes places in her books. This book particularly reminded me of a combination of Great Expectations and Sense and Sensibility – two amazing  novels.

In conclusion, this is my favorite 2014 release, I will definitely be picking it up again! Well done, Julie! I will be counting down the days until the release of the next book.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I believe this novel to be intended for older, mature teens and adults as it is a romance novel. Also, there are some chilling scenes that may frighten younger audiences a bit.

Book Trailer:

Minnesota Book Award

Find The Secret of Pembrooke Park on:



Barnes and Noble

Baker Publishing Group

Other Books by Julie Klassen:

Lady of Milkweed Manor

The Apothecary’s Daughter

The Silent Governess

The Girl in the Gatehouse

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

The Tutor’s Daughter

The Dancing Master

Lady Maybe (Coming July 2015)

The Painter’s Daughter (Coming December 2015)

Connect with Julie Klassen:

Julie’s Website

Julie’s Facebook Page

Julie’s Goodreads

*Reviewer’s personal copy. All opinions are my own. *

*The Dancing Master cover borrowed from Bethany House Publisher’s website:*


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