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The House of Closed Doors

The House of Closed Doors [Kindle Edition]

Jane Steen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Product Description

In Nell Lillington's small Midwestern town of the 1870s, marriage is the obvious fate of a young woman of some social standing. Yet Nell is determined to elude the duties and restrictions of matrimony. So when she finds herself pregnant at the age of 17, she refuses to divulge the name of the father and even her childhood friend Martin is kept in the dark.

Nell's stepfather Hiram sends Nell to live at the Poor Farm of which he is a governor, to await the day when her baby can be discreetly adopted. Nell is ready to go along with Hiram's plans until an unused padded cell is opened and two small bodies fall out.

Nell is the only resident of the Poor Farm who is convinced that the unwed mother and her baby were murdered, and the incident prompts her to rethink her decision to abandon her own child to her fate. But the revelations to which her questions lead make her realize that even if she manages to escape the Poor Farm with her baby, she may have no safe place to run to.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 510 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Aspidistra Press; 1 edition (25 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008EWNCC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #280,945 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jane Steen was born in England and, despite having spent more years out of the British Isles than in, still has a British accent according to just about every American she meets.

Her long and undistinguished career has included a three-year stint as the English version of a Belgian aerospace magazine, an interesting interlude as an editor in a very large law firm, and several hectic years in real estate marketing at the height of the property boom. This tendency to switch directions every few years did nothing for her resume but gave her ample opportunity to sharpen her writing skills and develop an entrepreneurial spirit.

Around the edges of her professional occupations and raising children, she stuck her nose in a book at every available opportunity and at one time seemed on course to become the proverbial eternal student. Common sense prevailed, though, and eventually she had the bright idea of putting her passion for books together with her love of business and writing to become a self-published author.

Jane has lived in three countries and is currently to be found in the Chicago suburbs with her long-suffering husband and two adult daughters.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading the storyline, the book didn't disappoint!

I enjoyed the characters and the setting in the American Mid West, very much. Factual events such as The Great Chicago Fire have been woven nicely into the plot and the author has taken care to present situations such as the Poor Farm and the social constraints and language of the 1870's accurately.

Nell's character develops and matures with motherhood and there were plenty of twists and turns with the plot to keep my interest and the pace going.

I thought the book entertaining and well balanced - neither too short nor too long and thankfully free from typo errors. I hope there will be a sequel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Closed doors open hearts 25 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A thoroughly enjoyable romantic historical novel set in America in the late 1800s where choices for a young woman were limited by background and convention.

Our heroine Nell having lived a sheltered and privileged life, decides she wants to experience life before or even if she settles down and marries. Nevertheless she succumbs to the temptation to flirt with a personable young man who enters her life and almost without realising it can have happened finds herself unmarried and pregnant a scandalous state of affairs.

Deciding she must stick to her guns and remain single she resolutely refuses to name the child's father, (although how nobody manages to work it out seeing she meets so few men is a bit beyond me) Her own harsh stepfather happens to be a governor of a poor farm, an institution for the unfortunate members of society, mentally infirm, feeble minded, unwed mothers and sends Nell there to await the birth of her child decreeing that once it is born it can be adopted.

Although the circumstances and surroundings are far from Nells own background, living in the institution is not nearly as bad as she imagined as it is compassionately run by Mrs Lombardi. Nell who is an accomplished and keen needleworker and stitcher is encouraged to work as the farms seamstress, and working thus gives her satisfaction and the company of another inmate with whom she builds a strong friendship - Tess, abandoned by her family for being "feeble minded" It is clear from her description that Tess has Downs syndrome, she is feisty. bright and loving, I loved Tess.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 1 Oct 2012
By Jane D
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Was very fortunate to get this while free on Kindle download, but boy would I pay for it or buy it for a friend! A really interesting tale about a young american girl who gets pregnant and refuses to name the father so as not to have to marry him. This story has absolutely everything in it, murder, intrigue, secrets, lies, even a wicked step father! I had to limit the amount that I read at any one time as I so did not want it to end. I can't wait for the sequel (cause I know it is on it's way) there are so many directions this story could go.

Beautifully written with just enough historical details to give a really good visual impression of an era and place that I do not have much experience of. Thank you Jane Steen, this really is a smasher x.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nuanced and charming mystery 15 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I readily admit that 1870s United States of America is not a time period I’ve ever read about before, and I might not have chosen it as reading material, simply because I’m much more interested in ancient and medieval history. But I’m glad I read The House of Closed Doors. A good author is marked by a skill to make even topics that we might find not to our tastes interesting and exciting. As far as excitement goes, The House of Closed Doors is not exactly a high-octane thriller, and more of a slow-burning mystery unraveller. The mystery unspools on a carefully measured timescale which I found to be judged just right – I was given just enough to feel satisfied but enough remained unresolved to prompt me into Just Another Chapter syndrome.

I really wouldn’t have thought I’d be interested in the story, based on the blurb, but the author made me invested in the character of Nell, and combined with the pacing of the plot I really wanted to find out where the mystery would go and what would happen to Nell. I must admit, I guessed the big secret behind the mystery strand fairly quickly after that plotline comes into play, but it’s not glaringly obvious – I just had a gut instinct about it.

What did surprise me was that the uncovering of the mystery part ended when it did. My usual expectations for the pacing of a mystery plot is that the big reveal plus confrontation forms the climax near the end, with a little left over for the aftermath and wrapping up of loose ends. In The House of Closed Doors the big reveal occurs sooner, and then there is another build up towards the confrontation. I wasn’t too sure about the post-confrontation part of the novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree 1 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
We are proud to announce that "The House of Closed Doors" by Jane Steen is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great story
This is a great story and was very addictive, the story and characters are very well written.

Would recommend to everyone.
Published 17 months ago by L CLEMENTS
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and well written story
I downloaded this book for free on my kindle as part of my new author search and this author is definitely well worth finding. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Penelope Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars The house of closed doors
Loved this book couldn't put it down recommended it to all my family and friends amazing amazing amazing amazing amazing
Published 21 months ago by TRACY FRY
5.0 out of 5 stars the house of closed doors
what a great read.throughly enjoyed it.great story i loved the charactors.its well done and well writen and always shocking i want more as i will miss the charactors.well done
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
as others have said a great book.
I loved the book especially the fact that the girl could rise above her harsh stepfather and make a life for herself and her baby.
Published 21 months ago by tiz
4.0 out of 5 stars Different
An unmarked mother who has a stepfather with a secret he needs to keep hidden. Quite fast moving and well worth a read.
Published 22 months ago by jo watts
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
I loved the book especially the fact that the girl could rise above her harsh stepfather and make a life for herself and her baby.
Published 23 months ago by olayinka oronti
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book,
A story that is well written and gripping, it fires the imagination and grips from the start, realy couldn't put it down.
Published 23 months ago by Eileenoge
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read.....
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. The storyline is great and the pace to match both the plot and the times it is set in. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Judith@zest
4.0 out of 5 stars Really gripping read
I really enjoyed this book and at times cared so much about Nell I couldn't put it down. The only reason I haven't given it five stars is that the style was a bit too American in... Read more
Published 24 months ago by M. A. Topping
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