A Name Unknown

A Name Unknown

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge...

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Title:A Name Unknown
Author:Roseanna M. White
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Edition Language:English

A Name Unknown Reviews

  • Shantelle

    Oh my goodness, gracious! I'm crying...

    Roseanna M. White is one of my new favorite authors, I think. She pens historical fiction with such grace and unique-ness.

    , book one in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND series, is an interesting, humorous, and heart-touching tale - with a nice amount of suspense.

    Set in the Edwardian era, this novel follows the adventure of Rosemary Gresham, who's been a thief nearly all her life. In order to care for her mismatched family, she must prove that Peter H

    Oh my goodness, gracious! I'm crying...

    Roseanna M. White is one of my new favorite authors, I think. She pens historical fiction with such grace and unique-ness.

    , book one in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND series, is an interesting, humorous, and heart-touching tale - with a nice amount of suspense.

    Set in the Edwardian era, this novel follows the adventure of Rosemary Gresham, who's been a thief nearly all her life. In order to care for her mismatched family, she must prove that Peter Holstein is guilty. She must uncover his secrets and steal his good name.

    ... But what happens when he proves a friend? When happens if

    steals her

    ?

    was a thick book, a little slow at points. But ultimately, so lovely! Rosemary is posing as a librarian. Peter is a novelist. It's simply grand. ^_^ I loved watching their friendship develop and grow. Laughing with them in their banter. Learning to trust. To love. To have faith.

    Peter is a completely endearing character. His stutter and how he deals with it makes him both admirable and sweet. He has a tender strength that I adore. He isn't perfect by any means, but he is a godly man with a heart that is true. Watching a studious, gentlemanly, dear man such as himself fall for the broken thief that is Rosemary was utterly precious. *smiles*

    And Rosemary! I quite liked her. And had such a grand time with her on this adventure. The lessons. The growing. The danger and drama. Rosemary is a feisty thing, but ultimately longs for what we all long for - love.

    Her family. ^_^ I believe the second book in this series is to be about Rosemary's "sister", Willa, and I'm ever so excited for that!

    It was just a well-done book! Had me guessing and wondering. Chills prickling over my skin because of the nefarious characters lurking around. Trying to figure out how this could work out alright. Loving journeying with these lovely people, even as World War I looms on the horizon. And THAT ENDING. It all came to a conclusion so dramatically, beautifully, and sweetly. And I just wanted to cry. *happy tears* It made my heart ache in a sweet way. Oh, such a tender tale of faith and love.

    was a wonderful book, all around, but the ending truly made it for me. I eagerly await the next book in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND,

    !

    A Name Unknown

  • Hannah

    I loved it! I have a soft spot for books and writers in fiction, and this story, centered around a too-full home library in need of organization. Be still my heart! Add to that a stammering, kind-hearted hero, whose quiet thoughtfulness might just be able to dent our heroine's tough exterior.

    The story is so deftly layered as far as plot goes that it's difficult to talk about my favorite parts because of spoilers! I loved the intrigue brought on by Rosemary's assignment. I loved seeing her grow

    I loved it! I have a soft spot for books and writers in fiction, and this story, centered around a too-full home library in need of organization. Be still my heart! Add to that a stammering, kind-hearted hero, whose quiet thoughtfulness might just be able to dent our heroine's tough exterior.

    The story is so deftly layered as far as plot goes that it's difficult to talk about my favorite parts because of spoilers! I loved the intrigue brought on by Rosemary's assignment. I loved seeing her grow as a person and learn to let her walls down. :)

    I can't wait for book two!

  • m a r y l i z

    What does one say about perfection?

    This book is a winner, friends. Even by looking at the cover, I had the feeling this book was going to be good (because duh, any book with books on the cover HAS to be good).

    But the cover was just the beginning...

    / / /

    Hahaha...haha...ha.

    Do you even want to get into the infinite reasons why I love this book???

    -

    First off, you know a book is good when you have to devote separate categories for each character. I haven't done this in a whi

    What does one say about perfection?

    This book is a winner, friends. Even by looking at the cover, I had the feeling this book was going to be good (because duh, any book with books on the cover HAS to be good).

    But the cover was just the beginning...

    / / /

    Hahaha...haha...ha.

    Do you even want to get into the infinite reasons why I love this book???

    -

    First off, you know a book is good when you have to devote separate categories for each character. I haven't done this in a while, BUT THESE CHARACTERS ARE SO WONDERFUL THAT I HAVE TO.

    Rosemary is a complex character with intricate motivations. She's a thief, and she's been charged with the job of a lifetime: to steal someone's very name. She heads out to Peter's estate with the intent of proving him a traitor to Germany. Of course, Interesting Things happen when she has to put on the facade of being a librarian in order to work there. *winks*

    Rosie's just one of those characters you

    to love. Sure, she has her rough edges--boy, does she--but that's what makes her so real. She's spunky, witty, opinionated, often blunt. But also soft-hearted, compassionate, and loyal. As one character so perfectly puts it, "Delicate when it suits you. Strong always." (TRUTH)

    Not to mention she's just hilarious all around and lands a pretty solid punch. ;)

    -

    *cue the flailing* If ever there was a character I would marry...it would be Peter Holstein. NOT EVEN KIDDING.

    (Now if only he were a little younger. *grumbles because he's thirty* XD)

    Peter is so. darn.

    Don't get me wrong, I looooooove me some snarky antiheroes...but there's a part of my heart that will forever adore the sweet, gentlemanly type. And Peter perfectly fits that role. He has a stutter (which, frankly, is

    ); he has a MASSIVE, SWOONWORTHY LIBRARY; and he writes. HE WRITES. *cue more flailing*

    He's considered by most to be a recluse, and the popular opinion is that he's a German sympathizer. (Ughh. Really, people? Just because of his

    ?) Due to the imminent threat of war, he realizes that his heritage could cause quite a few problems for him if he doesn't find a way to prove his loyalty to Britain. Not only that, but if anyone finds out he's the famous adventure novelist, it may tarnish his reputation as a writer. Allllll the complex motivations, folks. *rubs hands together*

    Over the course of the book, my heart just is completely lost to Peter. What with his teasing banter with his friends Gryff and Rosemary, his sweet interactions with sweet Elowyn, his caring concern for...well, everyone, and his wonderful faith in God, he's just THE BEST.

    Of course, he has his flaws--namely never paying attention to people when he's writing (#relatable) and getting a little irritable at times. Haha! But he really is one of my new favorite characters. HE'S JUST A PRECIOUS LITTLE HUMAN BEAN AND I LOVES HIM.

    -

    Yes, I know I just talked about two people very in-depth. But this deserves being mentioned separately. The people that populate this novel are so

    . Roseanna White certainly does an incredible job with breathing life into this novel. Rosemary's family. The villagers. The household staff. The royal family. They're all so real and marvelously done!

    -

    YES, PRECIOUS. ALL THE BOOKS. I about died of happiness with the library stuff, all the writers mentioned, and the bookish discussions. It was bookdragon heaven.

    -

    *points up to blurb* Need I say more?

    -

    This is really important to me as a reader, to have books that stick with me after I read them. WELL.

    certainly does just that. Rosemary's journey to faith is incredibly poignant, and it brought me to tears at a couple points. This is probably one of the best-handled faith arcs I've read. Ever. I'm having a hard time thinking of one that was more touching or masterful.

    -

    The author obviously did her research! I loved all the British dialogue (er, most of it), the beautiful descriptions, the entire

    of this book. It legitimately FELT like I was in early-20th century Britain. ME LOVES IT.

    -

    Yeah, while we're at it, let's just mention that Roseanna's writing style is perfect. Because it is, people. It is. She somehow manages to write a story that doesn't get you lost in the details yet still paints gorgeous pictures. I will admit, I'm a wee bit jealous of Roseanna's mastery of showing vs. telling. This is a book I will undoubtedly reread just to get a glimpse of perfectly engaging writing.

    -

    OH MY GOODNESS. These two = the most darling couple. I know, I know...I say this quite a lot. ;) But I love Peter and Rosemary together so much! They complement each other perfectly, offsetting each other's qualities and helping each other see/correct their weaknesses. Not only that, but their romance is NOT based off externals.Something which I always find extraordinarily refreshing. They don't have an insta-love story either. They start off a little rockily, but slowly become friends over the months they know each other.

    (The short version: they are precious.)

    - You thought you were actually going to see something in this section? WELL, THINK AGAIN.

    - (Okay, I lied. :P) Some of the British terminology got a little old, and I felt that the plot wound down a bit too quickly. BUT that honestly didn't detract much at all from my enjoyment of the book! Just a few personal preferences.

    / / /

    CONTENT: Lots of British "cursing." (Blazes, blighted, blasted, dratted, etc.) I don't personally consider it swearing, but it might bother some people. Characters share one semi-detailed kiss and three or four undetailed ones near the end. There are two kisses on the cheek, one kiss on the hand. Also brief mentions of mistresses a couple times, though nothing is gotten into. I would probably recommend it those 14 or 15+, mostly just because of the depth of writing/little bit of romance.

    I think it's safe to say that I love this book. AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL. *glitter explosion* This author has made an impression on me, and it's a good one.

  • Jazzy

    HERE’S MY REVIEW!

    b e a u t i f u l - t h i n g s

    the characters - y'all know how much these cinnamon rolls mean to me in a story. If an author is planning on including anybody in their story (I mean I guess you'd have to... unless it was a story all about landscape and bushes *shrugs*), they better be warned that they either have to go big and dangerous or go home bc this girl doesn't do weak little characters with no backbone and no voice, okay? Okay...

    HERE’S MY REVIEW!

    b e a u t i f u l - t h i n g s

    the characters - y'all know how much these cinnamon rolls mean to me in a story. If an author is planning on including anybody in their story (I mean I guess you'd have to... unless it was a story all about landscape and bushes *shrugs*), they better be warned that they either have to go big and dangerous or go home bc this girl doesn't do weak little characters with no backbone and no voice, okay? Okay... can we just appreciate HOW PERFECT THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE IN THIS STORY? LITERALLY.

    Rosemary is L.I.F.E. goals. SHE'S:

    a thief / passionate / loving / arrogant / outspoken / strong / extroverted / and so very, very empathetic (when she deems it a good time to be) / quick to act

    The one thing that really drew me into loving her character was her passion. She saw something that needed to be changed, and with all her power she tried to change it; she didn't just sit back and hope for someone else, more capable to come along and do it, no! There was this energy within her that just compelled her to do things that she didn't necessarily want to do, but it needed to be done and so it was. Sure, she had her flaws. She's messed up and mislead... but that's the beauty of humanity, right?

    Her voice was so strong, she was so stubborn it was SO invigorating, it made ME want to step up and do something to change the world, even if it was small... she had this way about her that was just so exciting, I couldn't wait to see what she did or said next. Everything had a point to it, there's no such thing as stuff-n'-nonsense with Rosemary. She was straight to the point and hard-headed and IT JUST CLICKED WITH ME BECAUSE I'M SO LIKE THAT.

    She's just that person that will be the first to speak up, the first to act, the first to accuse, and the first to throw a punch (even if it's with her untamable sass).

    Peter was a Cinnabon, allow me to protect him forever amen.

    curious / intelligent + simple at the same time / passionate, but not impulsive / introverted / writer / hermit, by all means

    Peter was just amazing. He was this precious burrito that was just filled with love and exotic wonder that left people thinking he was loopy. And, Y'ALL, he had a speech problem which made him soooo cute, literally cannot contain how precious and pure he is. Seriously. Can we just take a moment to appreciate his shy qualities, his thoughtfulness, his inability to communicate... gracious, let's just all build a wall around him and protect from this cruel world who would DARE to speak ugly about my baby.

    Being a writer, I can relate to Peter as well. WHICH WAS JUST DANDY. Him being literal gold, I just couldn't not love everything about him. I mean. HE HAD A BEHEMOTH LIBRARY. CAN I GET AN AMEN???

    The dude was mega introverted and it was just so great. And the way he handled situations... he's such a quiet thinker, but he takes in all the little details he can calculate the entire event with such discernment, he is just SO COOL. And yet everyone in the book was so convinced he was just this dumb person that couldn't think for himself... and he wouldn't fight back. I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU PETER, DON'T YOU WORRY MY PRECIOUS CHILD.

    And while I can go on about the rest of the characters, I do believe I still have the rest of the review and write and who knows how long that will take if I talk about EVERYTHING I love about this book??? AND SOME? Priorities, my people. We are a civil community here and there will be order.

    the plot- This was just all glorious. The plot of this book was just... so fun and it was thrilling but not too heavy, and I was kept guessing and wondering, but not frustrated. I have a lot of love for this story, not only because of the characters (although I adore adore adore them too). It felt driven and I could tell that the author had a lot of passion for the story in and of itself.

    A group of street rats. A search in a library. A hermit writer with secrets. Political theft.

    It's beautiful, is it not?

    IT IS.

    england- I'm such a sucker for stories in other countries, especially Europe (who doesn't??), so THIS beaute basically settled so perfectly with me, it's kind of creepy. Kind of. OH, and how it was showing things that lead up to WW1, that was pretty cool. I've read a lot of WW2 books so this was a bit new for me, but y'know what? I loved it so... :)

    the family elements- These characters were hardcore when it came to family. Didn't matter what kind of family they grew up in, especially Rosemary and her siblings. They loved so hard and were extremely loyal but with a realistic flare of siblings rivalry and it was just so relatable and sweet and I can cry just thinking about them.

    the sass- Let's be honest. I probably enjoyed this entire book because of Rosemary's (and the occasional Peter's) sassitude. It got lit, y'all xD

    oh the beauty of luv- the romance. The romance was bloody adorable and I cannot contain myself any longer *squeals* IT WAS EPIC AND SWEET AND JUST GREAT. It was great. Because.... because you have Rosemary, outspoken, determined, hardheaded, and just Rosemary... And then you had sweet, kind, gentle, dear, dear Peter. AND IT WAS MAGIC. It was literally gold. I can't tell you how many times I screamed because of their cuteness. And it was a pure kind of cuteness that was..... AGH.

    the spiritual message- THIS MADE ME CRY. LITERALLY. I WAS CRYING. Well, not throughout the whole thing, but more than one part brought me to tears. I loveloveloveeee the message portrayed in this story, especially with Rosemary. I can relate to her SO MUCH, so this really hit core for me. How the Lord just shaped her and guided her, it was so beautiful. So sweet and tender and heartbreakingly beautiful. I'd give this 19,438 stars just for how well God's love was portrayed.

    just all the people were amazing.

    there were so many leads and elements that just GAH befuddled me in the best way bc mystery

    the writing was really really great- This was a HUGE thing for me. I adored the writing, which is weird for me to say about a Chris-his-fic novel. But I'm not kidding you, I could read these books for ages -- errrm mebbe -- and not got tired of it.

    And now I think it's safe to say that this book was just perfect and you should really just go read it now. Because I don't have an "Ugly things" list for you.

    Other than it ended, but y'know.

    - c o n c l u s i o n -

    This is a wonderful novel that will change your life. It had an epic storyline, endearing characters, a thrilling mystery, and amazing vibes (and a hilarious sass level). I enjoyed this book so much, it will probably always be on my favorites shelf because #perfection. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES!

    Uhm.

    And how, pray tell, does one heal from such DEVESTATING PERFECTION?!?!

    RTC, luvs ;)

  • Sarah Grace

    4.5 SHINING stars!

    *NOTE: please excuse the fangirly review; believe me, I tried to write something professional and coherent . . . but it didn't work.*

    Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all. This. Book. This is simple loveliness. From the cover, to the characters, to the writing style, to the history . . . just all of it!

    Ms. White is an incredible author. This is exactly the kind of book and kind of writing style I LOVE to read, and would read all the time. (Only problem is, I'd run out of books. :/) Her poe

    4.5 SHINING stars!

    *NOTE: please excuse the fangirly review; believe me, I tried to write something professional and coherent . . . but it didn't work.*

    Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all. This. Book. This is simple loveliness. From the cover, to the characters, to the writing style, to the history . . . just all of it!

    Ms. White is an incredible author. This is exactly the kind of book and kind of writing style I LOVE to read, and would read all the time. (Only problem is, I'd run out of books. :/) Her poetic, yet down-to-earth writing style is so lovely and engaging, and the history she mixes in throughout is neither dull nor boring, but really quite fascinating. I love a book that can teach me something without detracting from the story. The salvation message was woven through brilliantly, and even made me cry. Sometimes the faith message ends up feeling shoe-horned in, but not so in this case. Just lovely!

    The characters were literally the best ever. Rosemary was witty, sweet, smart, and flawed enough to made her perfect. I was so attached to her character in only a few chapters, that I just HAD so see how her story ended. I felt her pain, her joys, her frustrations. And then Peter. OH MY WORD! I am not the kind of person who gets a crush on every nice fictional (or real, for that matter) guy, but I'm just going to admit it: I kinda have a tiny eensy weeny crush on Peter . . . He has a stutter, and can hardly speak; is a writer and gets so lost in his fictional words, that he can hardly be disturbed, even if you were to shout fire. (Which believe me, did happen and it didn't work. :P) He's just so incredibly NICE and polite and chivalrous; his relationship with God, and his faith throughout the book was just beautiful and inspiring. And, *cough cough* he has a cleft in his chin . . . I MEAN WHAT EVEN!?! But anyway; I shall stop going on about him now. He's just the perfect character - because he wasn't perfect.

    Of course, the secondary characters, like Penrose (HA! He's hilarious and annoying all in one!), Mrs. Tegue, Treeve, the other servants, Mr. V, Willa, Barclay, Georgie . . . all of them were so fantastic!

    The story was just amazing. The mystery was intriguing and fascinating, and that plot twist at the end . . . WHOO! You basically had to completely rearrange your view on the story. The romance was SO beautiful! Slow, sweet . . . perfection! The action was fun, and helped to keep my interest.

    And the ending . . . *cackles*

    All in all, this was an amazing book! I did dock 1\2 a star, because it did get slightly boring in the middle, and I kinda lost interest. But the rest was amazing, so don't let that scare you off! ALL Y'ALL! Go find a copy of this book and READ IT!

    Content: There was basically nothing. A few sweet, pure kisses, a bit of mild attraction (not graphic at all!), and a bit of action, guns, punches thrown, that kind of thing. All very mild. I'd recommend this for ages 15-16+ for interest level.

  • Olivia

    This has to be one of the prettiest book covers I've seen!! I don't fangirl over that many bookcovers, but folks this one is GORGEOUS!

    But the story itself will blow you away. It's unique and held my attention on every page. I loved both Peter and Rosemary, but Peter...*sighs happily* One of the best hero's I've read ;) There were several twists at the end that I didn't expect, and added to the excitement in the last couple chapters.

    Spiritual content was great...not very much at the beginning, bu

    This has to be one of the prettiest book covers I've seen!! I don't fangirl over that many bookcovers, but folks this one is GORGEOUS!

    But the story itself will blow you away. It's unique and held my attention on every page. I loved both Peter and Rosemary, but Peter...*sighs happily* One of the best hero's I've read ;) There were several twists at the end that I didn't expect, and added to the excitement in the last couple chapters.

    Spiritual content was great...not very much at the beginning, but very profound as the book went along, especially one particular scene with Rosemary...no spoilers, I promise ;)

    The sweetest of all was the romance! It moved at just the right speed, and there was really only one kissing scene that was slightly-detailed. I expected much more, so it was a nice relief from the normal fiction out there. For other content, there were some "blasted" and other similar forms of the word....used much too often (1. because I don't like the words since they are euphemisms and 2. because repetition can get tiring ;))

    The setting and threatening of war was fantastic! LOVED it ;) And the scene with Prince Edward, and all the British-ness throughout...absolutely smashing! Only one complaint to the British accuracy--the term "pants" was used instead of "trousers" :P

    I'm looking forward to the rest of this series!!

  • Victoria Lynn

    Review coming soon. . .

    //R E V I E W//

    “If he was a spy, he was a master of it. And if he wasn’t...what in blazes was he?"

    This book was a delightful throwback to an age of fiction that most would consider long past. With its quaint verbiage and flowery descriptions, one can detect an echo of literature from the time of the classics. White obviously appreciates the literature from a bygone age and by setting her book in London in the early 1900’s, she captured that time period quite well within he

    Review coming soon. . .

    //R E V I E W//

    “If he was a spy, he was a master of it. And if he wasn’t...what in blazes was he?"

    This book was a delightful throwback to an age of fiction that most would consider long past. With its quaint verbiage and flowery descriptions, one can detect an echo of literature from the time of the classics. White obviously appreciates the literature from a bygone age and by setting her book in London in the early 1900’s, she captured that time period quite well within her writing style as well as the story.

    The descriptions and world-building were worked in such a way to give the reader the entire satisfaction of seeing nearly everything with clarity, without muddying the rest of the story. This did make the book to seem a bit long by today’s standards, but because I was enjoying it so much, I didn’t mind in the least.

    The characters were delightful, quirky, and flawed, as they should be. Rosemary was headstrong, and had quite a bit of wit about her that kept me, and the other characters, on their toes. Peter was wonderfully kind and chivalrous, but with enough flaws to make him not only realistic but loveable. I was happy to find that Peter wasn’t the stereotypical male love interest in the respect that he was perfect and therefore desired her respect. And Rosemary’s frustration with him was often so relatable, that I felt torn between the characters.

    “Don’t wait around for life to happen to you, Peter. Give it a good chase.”

    The mystery/suspense side of the story was a bit tricky to comprehend and a certain plot twist really threw me for a loop and made me have to rethink the entire plot to get it right. I love it when a book can do that. Catch me by surprise.

    The Authoress obviously did a fantastic job with her research. The amount of history within this volume was so interesting that I not only learned quite a bit, but was also enjoying my history lesson. Thank you, Miss White. There were many details about the early rumblings of WW1 that I never knew. This mixed with the mystery, intrigue and the slight flavor of a spy story was enough to keep me turning page after page.

    Messages of loyalty, morality, family, friendship, trust, and conviction abound throughout this book and the way that Roseanna M. White portrayed Rosemary’s struggle with the salvation message was delightful. Nothing felt forced, and it flowed naturally with the story.

    “Look, Mr. Holstein. We’ll all stand with you - but in order to do so, you got to stand too. For yourself.”

    One of the reasons I had to dock half a star was because, while the writing was stellar in many respects, there were a few hiccups to the research that pulled me out of the story. One reason was just a few pieces of dialogue that sounded too modern for the time, but hardly anything to complain about considering the rest of the book. The only other reason for the half star off was the plot seemed to move a bit slow for me. The beginning didn’t grab my attention right away, but I am glad that I kept reading it! The treasure trove of story that followed more than made up for any slow start.

    All of that being said, White’s attention to detail, historical setting, loveable characters and the intriguing plot has me beyond excited for book 2 in the Shadows Over England series! Thank you, Miss White, for bringing us some lovely, classy stories to read!

    Content: Nothing graphic took place in this novel. A kiss is described in a pure way and there is a bit of fighting that goes on at several points. A punch or two are thrown and someone is threatened with a gun.

  • R.F. Gammon

    Review to come!!!!!!!

  • Katie  Hanna

    *rubs nose* That was . . . an enjoyable but very confusing experience, & now I am not at all sure what I think.

    - Peter. He's Smol™ and Soft™ and In Need of Protection™. Not in a dumb way, though; in an endearing and believable way (major speech impediment plus nine or ten forms of diagnosable social anxiety). To top it all off, HE IS A WRITER. A writer who

    people talking to him while he's trying to figure out his next plot point (can I get an amennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    *rubs nose* That was . . . an enjoyable but very confusing experience, & now I am not at all sure what I think.

    - Peter. He's Smol™ and Soft™ and In Need of Protection™. Not in a dumb way, though; in an endearing and believable way (major speech impediment plus nine or ten forms of diagnosable social anxiety). To top it all off, HE IS A WRITER. A writer who

    people talking to him while he's trying to figure out his next plot point (can I get an amennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn?) He's also super heckin' stubborn. Which was cute. <3

    he's thin and scrawny and blond, which, I don't know . . . kinda adds to the cuteness factor??

    - Now, I know a lot of my friends fell in love with Peter while reading this book . . . I have to say, I really DIDN'T, mainly because Peter is wayyyyyyyy too much like me and you can't seriously fall in love with the male version of yourself. [I mean, you can try? but?] I definitely understand the appeal, though. ;-)

    - Rosemary. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. This is where it gets tricky. I liked her. I'm not sure if I LOVED her. I certainly couldn't

    to her, because she was so very energetic and talkative and go-ahead and just plain WILD, and that's not me at all. I did, however, find her combination of "sharp corners on the outside, soft gooey butter on the inside" to be refreshing. And sweet.

    - Also, I'm 99% sure she was inspired in some way by the original Mary Poppins (book version, not movie version). I mean . . . skinny, vinegar-tongued, dark-haired Cockney woman shows up at a rich bloke's house in a gust of wind and a cloud of rain, with an offer to set all the confusion within to rights? You can't tell me that was an accident. You CAN'T TELL ME. *grins* And I adore the Mary Poppins books, so. <3

    - The romance wasn't exactly my favorite? Idk why. It was cute, though. And yay for starting-out-as-friends!!!!

    - Rosemary's backstory was A+. *nods*

    - And this brings me to what I perhaps loved best about this novel: its completely serious discussion of the very real socioeconomic inequalities of early-twentieth-century Britain. Most historical fiction authors basically get around the simmering class conflict by pretending that every single British person was RICH, had always been rich, and always would be rich. Eh . . . nope. [It honestly annoys me, the way they just blithely throw money at alllllllllllllllllllllll their characters.]

    - This author, on the other hand, fleshes out both halves of British society--those with plenty and those with nowhere near enough--and explores their attitudes and prejudices against each other.

    she doesn't pretend "the poor deserved to be poor and the rich deserved to be rich." She actually questions the overarching, entrenched system that kept them each in their place. THIS IS VERY, VERY GOOD.

    - I also loved the way she developed Cornwall's local culture--even throwing in bits and pieces of the Cornish language!!--instead of just acting like it was exactly the same as the rest of England. Regional variation for the win. For that, my historian's heart is happy. <3

    - Not enough description / too much "surface" description that didn't really give me a unique picture of the surroundings. I'm sorry, guys. I know I sound like a broken record for complaining about this in every single review. But I NEED MORE.

    - This may just be me being A Catholic Person Who Doesn't Read A Lot of Protestant Stories, but . . . um . . . Rosemary's conversion didn't exactly sit well with me??? I just. I don't know. I simply have a distaste for plots where one character's [Peter's] faith is completely solid, the other person's [Rosemary's] is utterly nonexistent, and the object of the story is to get the faith-less person to "level up" so he/she can marry the faith-filled party. THERE. I SAID IT. I want a middle ground. I want to read a romance where

    parties believe in Jesus, but they're

    struggling & questioning & fundamentally screwed-up. Because THERE ARE AN AWFUL LOT OF US OUT THERE, YA KNOWS. *sigh*

    - On that note: Mrs. Teague's change of heart at the end felt really, really hollow to me. If you're such a good Christian, ma'am, then ACT. LIKE. IT. Don't pretend to be stony-hearted and closed-off for the whole dang story and then be like "NOW I AM READY TO LISTEN TO ALL YOUR TROUBLES & LEAD YOU TO CHRIST" at the end. Just . . . no.

    - I kind of hated the fact that Peter agreed to be a propaganda novelist at the end. For that matter, I was uncomfortable with the entire discussion of the WW1 conflict. Because it was presented in a "Britain is innocent, Germany is the sole aggressor, we must defend our homeland" way. Now, it

    true that German civil society under Bismarck [and after] was incredibly rigid & militarized, and that British civil society was comparatively liberal and peaceful and open. THIS IS TRUE, and I was really glad the author brought it up! Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . British

    was not one whit less aggressive than Germany's. (Scramble for Africa, anybody?) And it was

    imperialistic rivalry which, more than anything, was responsible for heating up the tensions that led to WW1. You simply can't put all the blame on Germany.

    - All right. Here's where we come to my Big Problem with the Entire Story:

    *heavy sigh* So yeah. I am one confused muffin. There was stuff I loved, stuff I liked, stuff I was annoyed by, and stuff that made me BOILING MAD. And that . . . is about the sum total of my thoughts on this story, I think.

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