Book - 2018
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It's 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes, it upends the lives of the Wilde family. Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother's death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. And Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war's end they'll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily. Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum. As Charley starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, 2018
ISBN: 9781492665274
Branch Call Number: FICTION Kea
Description: 434 pages : illustration ; 24 cm


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A forbidden love between a colonial girl and an enemy soldier makes an indelible mark on a centuries-old home in Long Island.

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Oct 01, 2018

Told in the form of a parallel narrative, the tale opens with Charley beginning her task of restoring and curating a pre-revolutionary-era home in a small town on Long Island, and preparing to convert it into a local museum. In addition to its historical significance to the local residents, rumor has it that the house was also associated with a murder in the 1750s. In alternating chapters, the true story regarding Lydia Wilde and her family's experience billeting a French prisoner of the Seven Years' War is revealed.

Another well-done work of historical intrigue by Kearsley. It was a treat to learn not only more about this particular war, but also about the complex process of historic building restoration and object curation.

Sep 06, 2018

3.5 - 4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy historical fiction that jumps back and forth in time.

When Charley moves to Long Island to take care of her niece and her deceased brother's home, she takes a job at a historic home to turn it into a museum. As she works within the home, they uncover the hidden history of the people who lived there. Among the people who lived in the home Lydia and a detained French officer Jean-Philippe. As Charley uncovers the past, the story is told through the past and the present, and mysteries will be uncovered.

The dedication is incredibly thoughtful and important. This was my first Kearsley novel, I loved the alternating time periods, and the bits of mystery woven in with the historical fiction. I loved how elements would carry from one time period to the next: draft deserters, important locations, specific cultures, and even just little things like a storm blowing in. I thought that the story was overall pretty satisfying, but a little bit slow. It felt a bit anticlimactic for me, though I didn't dislike the ending. I liked learning more about the French and Indian War, and life during that time period. I liked the teeny hints of supernatural activity. Overall I would recommend if you enjoy historical fiction that jumps back and forth in time.

Aug 28, 2018

Absolutely Loved this book, well written and historical. Didn’t want it to end. So good

ArapahoeKathy Jun 30, 2018

This historical romance has dual storylines. It's historically captivating, with the setting in 1759 Long Island, along with a modern adventure with Charley as a Long Island museum curator. I always like Susanna Kearsley novels but this is her best yet.


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Oct 06, 2018

I wasn’t sure “pussycat” was how I would describe him, unless that included grizzled, wily barn cats that had fought their way through several lives and earned the notches on their ears to prove it, and could spot fresh quarry by the faintest twitch beneath the hay.

Oct 06, 2018

for a man who liked to stand and talk as much as William did, he never truly stood for anything. Which wasn’t wholly accurate. He stood for many things, but in a shifting way. He was the perfect model of a man of business, showing to all men the face they wanted most to see. With men of learning, he would mirror their own interests, speak of books and of philosophy, and yet with men who worked along his docks he could as easily share stories that would curl a barmaid’s hair, and leave both groups convinced that here, indeed, was someone they could trust and like. A man like them.

Oct 06, 2018

“You know, back when I went to school we never learned about us having slaves in the north. It was all just the Underground Railroad and Lincoln, and how we were good and the south was so bad, and then I read this article on slavery in Brooklyn and it said at one time New York had more slaves than any city except Charleston.”


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