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on 24 May 2017
There were a shocking number of errors in my Kindle version of "A Place of Secrets". Complete words were missing, rendering some sentences nonsensical. I was also alarmed by the number of Americanisms. If a book is set in England, the dialogue should retain the English vocabulary. If non-natives are perplexed, the Kindle dictionary is a click away. I would have preferred this book as a straightforward historical saga in the first person. The character of Esther was the redeeming feature of the book. Parts of her story and that of her family could have been elaborated on to create a much more satisfying tale. The modern plot line just detracted by holding up the pace of the story. The contemporary characters spoke and acted like illiterate teens or were simply convenient facilitators and the romantic subplot made Mills and Boon look like great literature. There were far too many coincidences, rendering a potentially interesting storyline into a daydream for those with delusions of grandeur. Not enough astronomy for those with an interest in science and too much astrology for anyone with an ounce of common sense. And what happened to the supernatural burial ground? I was hoping for at least one body buried at the folly. A book of missed opportunities. And too many neatly tied ends.
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on 3 January 2016
This is easily the best book which I've read in recent years. The story is set in Norfolk. It focuses mainly on Jude, a London auctioneer who researches the history of an 18th century astronomer and his adopted daughter who mysteriously disappeared shortly after his death. Jude visits Starbrough Hall, the former home of the astronomer to research scientific instruments and documentation in connection with him for valuation purposes. There is also much focus on a derelict folly in the woods which the astronomer and his daughter used for stargazing in their day. This story takes many twists and turns with many coincidences and family connections coming to light as the story progresses. It also has a light hearted romantic theme. The author brings the whole story and scenery to life. I was able to draw up a picture in my mind of the fictional setting. It is an extremely enjoyable book and the story is very easy to get into unlike some other books. This is the second Rachel Hore book which I've read, the other one being The Memory Garden. However I do much prefer A Place of Secrets!
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on 17 September 2012
This is a complex and multi-threaded tale (dare I say it, possibly almost too multi-threaded), that spans families and generations. Our main heroine Jude, works for an auction house specialising in rare books and goes to investigate a collection at Wickham Hall. Coincidentally Jude's family are from the area, her grandfather once being gamekeeper on the estate and her grandmother, sister and neice still living in the area.

Most of the rare books at Wickham belonged to once owner of the hall, and amateur astronomer Anthony Wickham. While cataloguing the books, Jude discovers diaries of Anthony Wickham's adopted daughter Esther who mysteriously appears in Anthony's life and then disappears after his death. Who is she, and is there a connection between Esther and dreams that Jude had as a child? Weirdly, Jude's neice has started having the same dreams since visiting a folly tower, which was once part of the Wickham estate, and used by Anthony Wickham as his observatory.

As Jude unravels the mysteries of Esther and begins to realise how intertwined her story is with that of Jude's own family, she begins to work through her own problems, a difficult relationship with her sister, and an inability to love after losing her husband in a climbing accident. Love begins to blossom for her with Euan, the current owner of her grandparent's cottage.

Ok this story is peppered with ridiculous coincidences, unbelievably neat loose-end tying and a good bit of mumbo jumbo ghost/dream sequence plot revelation, but hey its fiction, and as far as I am concerned I enjoyed it as a light hearted romantic read. I will most likely read some of Rachel Hore's other books after reading this.
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on 25 June 2014
A place of secrets by Rachel Hore, I found this book like all her others I have read a joy. I don't understand why she has negative reviews. This book like others she has written goes back in time as well as has characters from the present day, this makes her reads one of the best collections.
The story, follows the life of Jude, an auctioneer, from London, she visits Starbrough Hall to evaluate a collection of books for auction. Then the storyline follows a diary she finds hidden away, all about star gazing, I will admit some were not that interesting. But as the story untangled it did get better and I needed to complete.
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on 22 November 2016
Was very disappointed with this book. I really couldn't relate to the fantasy side of the story and just felt the whole story was weak and unbelievable.I so enjoyed the Glass Painters Daughter, A week in Paris and Silent Tide.
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on 18 May 2017
This is the second Rachel Hore book i have read and must say she's a very good writer. A Place of Secrets is a great adventure and it's spellbinding as you learn about all the connections and interactions between the characters. I found it hard to put it down, the only sad thing was it came to an end.
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on 27 August 2016
Bits of the book were interesting, especially the sections on 18th century star gazing and the library, but the rest was pretty uninspiring. The story line was far fetched with lots of coincidences and dreams being used to fill yawning gaps in the story line. The ending felt like 'painting by numbers' in the rush to tie off so many loose ends.
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on 26 April 2016
Loved this book. Well written, easy to follow, if somewhat surprising story with plenty of mystery. Now and again the interest factor of the text did lapse, but it soon recovered. I found difficulty putting this book down which is always a good sign. Looking forward to reading my next 'Rachel Hore' novel.
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on 28 March 2018
Fascinating. An absorbing tale of characters through the ages. I loved it. Really sorry when it came to the end. 😢
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on 20 June 2016
With so many twists and turns this was a good read, I have enjoyed Rachel Hore's books in the past and this is just as good. It is amazing how she can get so many things to tie up just when you think it's impossible, would recommend this.
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