Monday, April 29, 2013
The Heiress of Winterwood - Sarah Ladd
The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors) by Sarah Ladd had all the components of a novel that I should eagerly devour, and I sat down to read it with great anticipation. Perhaps these unrealistic expectations contributed to its downfall, for I found myself flying through the pages in search of an ending that never quite arrived. That's not to say that this is an unenjoyable read, for the narrative is truly well written and peppered with complex characters and interesting plot twists. Still, I found I reached the end of the novel with feelings of apathy as to the outcome of the story.
Sarah Ladd's debut novel takes place in 1814 on the moors of Danbury, England. Due to a deathbed promise to a dear friend, Amelia Barrett finds herself raising the infant daughter of Captain Graham Sterling, who has yet to return from sea. Amelia is willing to break her current engagement in order to raise little Lucy, who has stolen her heart. But in order to remain heiress of Winterwood, she must convince a man she has never met to accept a most unorthodox proposition. The lies and deception that unfold from this plan lead Sarah, Graham and Lucy down a dangerous path.
The Heiress of Winterwood hit all the right notes for historical romantic fiction. There are beautiful settings, flawed characters, and nuggets of insight into the lives of those in 1800s England. The author describes Winterwood Manor with great detail and while I appreciated this precision, at times I longed for a bit of dialogue to break up the descriptive narrative. In the end, the story wraps up nicely and with a few surprises. Overall, this is a good read and I would recommend it if you're a fan of historical fiction. It was not my favorite foray into this genre, but I will gladly read Ladd's next offering.
Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy via Booksneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.