16 October 2010

Book Review: A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore

Title: A Place of Secrets
Author: Rachel Hore
Publisher: Pocket Books, part of Simon & Schuster UK
ISBN 978-1-84739-142-1
454 pages
Genre: Fiction
Price: £6.99

A Place of Secrets is a wonderful, convoluted story set in present day about Jude, working in London as an auctioneer and valuer of books and manuscripts. When Jude is asked to value a collection of manuscripts and scientific instruments that had originally belonged to Anthony Wickham, an 18th-century astronomer, Jude is intrigued and when she realizes it means going to Norfolk where she grew up, she eagerly agrees.

As Jude spends time learning more about Anthony Wickham and his adopted daughter Esther and about the folly they used for viewing the stars, she realizes she feels a strange affinity to Esther. Jude and her young neice share the same disturbing dream and somehow the dream seems to be connected to Esther's life. How can this be?
It soon becomes a story within a story, as Jude uncovers more clues about Esther. The way the past affects Jude's life - and her family, is central to the story and I was impressed by how everything comes together in a very clever way. I was also fascinated by the details about astronomy (obviously well-researched by the author).
A Place of Secrets is a charming story, with a very satisfying ending. I loved it. I can certainly see why it is included in the current Richard and Judy Book Club list.

No comments:

Post a Comment