Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Melanie Dobson has written a very thoughtful, heartbreaking and at times heart-wrenching novel. This is a family drama that affects several generations of women and the men that they love. Told from multiple points of view, we have 45 year old Heather, who after the death of her father needs to go back to the family home in England and get it ready for sale. Burdened by secrets of her own, she and her daughter Ella begin going through the home and its contents. Heather uncovers her late older sister Libby’s book of drawings of butterflies. As her parents never really shared any information with her concerning her sister and her death, only that she was sick, Heather decides to learn more about the sibling she never knew. We the reader, like Heather, are then pulled into a story of secrets, lies, forbidden love, family sin, sickness, and even murder. As Heather is learning all this, she then realizes that even her secrets are just too costly to keep. This was a riveting read with a Gothic feel and I enjoyed Ms. Dobson’s way of telling the story in both the past and the present, always keeping us on our toes with wanting to find out how each story will resolve itself. Bravo. I look forward to more of her books. I received a copy of this book for an honest review from the author and the publisher, Howard Books, and the opinions are my own.