Sunday, July 26, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor By Melanie Dobson

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

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 Thoughts:

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is Melanie Dobson's latest book and it is just WOW! When I read the book description I was taken in by it and knew I had to read it. As a Mom of 3, I have 2 children who are special needs on the Autism Spectrum and so as I read this book I really identified with much of what her parents went through except at that time there was no name or treatment for it, it was said to be because of bad parenting especially by the mother. This story takes place in two times, the present where Heather Toulson is home in England cleaning out her family home after her father dies and then in 1950's and 60's from Libby's birth until the the past catches up to the present. Melanie Dobson does a fantastic job transitioning between the different times and the different characters, the flow is amazing, flawless actually. Melanie Dobson writes with obvious expertise and experience with the Autism Spectrum and all of the good and bad that comes with it.  She writes from her heart about Libby and Libby's special gifts, the gifts she passed on to her family. Oh just a beautiful story. From the start, this story grabbed me from the first page all the way to the end, also keeping me guessing until the end. Melanie Dobson really gives an accurate view of a child with special needs and all the things that come with it, the hard and the beautiful. The gifts these children have, a way of thinking that others cannot understand. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time, the impression left on my heart. I found myself laughing in some parts and sobbing in others. Definitely an emotional book! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction! You will not be disappointed! Melanie Dobson is on my top 10 list of authors I MUST read! I give this book 5+ Stars!

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