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Description: London, England, 1870
It comes to the attention of curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway that her father is seemingly nonexistent. After realizing that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice becomes determined to find him and pull her family together. But Miss Chattoway’s answers to her daughter’s questions are vague at best and Alice begins to wonder if she will ever discover her mother’s secret.
I loved Alice and Ivy (especially their names!!!!) and their childlike faith and fears. Mrs. Knight was such a darling and acted in a Christlike manner even when life was hard or awkward for her! It was also very revelatory to see that one small decision can affect generations for good or evil, and we are responsible before God for how we choose. The writing style gave this book a delightful old-fashioned feel, but it also was a bit melodramatic which isn’t always my favorite. Not recommended for younger readers because of some very fragmented family relationships, adult descriptions of marriage and abortion, and much “appearance of evil” (though everything is not as it seems).
Best quote: “The grand building was so tall that she had to tilt her head back to see the top. Alice smiled. She was going to stay in a relative palace! Oh, who knew what secrets it might hold! Secret passages, attics full of old relics, basements haunted by ghosts! There was a world of possibilities! Alice was looking for Rapunzel’s tower, which she knew must be there someplace, when Miss Christina put a hand on her shoulder and told her to close her mouth.”
Altogether I found this to be an entertaining read perfect for anyone who loves light romance with a hint of mystery and a touch of melodrama. ;)