It is always wonderful to find a new author that you greatly enjoy, and even better when you discover it is the start of a new series! A Name Unknown is set in England just before the start of WWI. Peter Holstein has a German last name, a German mother and Grandparents, and is also very close to the King of England. Is he a traitor or is he loyal to England?
Rosemary Gresham has been orphaned since she was a youth and has managed to survive by becoming one of the best thieves in England. She has helped to put together other orphans to become a family of thieves. She has just got an assignment of a lifetime, to determine whether Peter Holstein is loyal to England or not and for which she will be paid a princely one thousand pounds. Disguising herself as a librarian to help straighten out the disastrous Holstein family library, Rosemary finds herself drawn into Peter’s world. Will Rosemary be able to put her feelings aside to discover the truth? Who is out there trying to cause harm to Peter?
I loved this book. Rosemary and Peter were fantastic characters. I really loved going through Peter’s writing process. I loved that he had a stutter and was socially awkward, and that this could lead to feelings in the village that he was a traitor. I loved that Rosemary was his complete opposite, a tough cookie that isn’t afraid to say what she feels. I also love that Peter had a profoundly deep faith that he was able to share with Rosemary as well as with the King. Faith was woven throughout the story seamlessly. It was a wonderfully written Christian Historical Fiction novel.
It was an interesting period of historical fiction for me. I had never thought about Germans and their descendants living in England having to prove their loyalty. I had also never heard about authors being asked to include national pride in their books – I really enjoyed the afterward explaining this.
My favorite quotes:
“Rosemary Gresham may have been a thief, but she was a thief who preferred to work in broad daylight.” – A great first line!
“Fiction is a way to express mankind’s deepest heart. His fears. His hopes. His failings. His successes. Fiction is truth . . . in a pretty wrapping.”
“Because just like our logic tells us these rocks fall and gather and join the other rocks below, so our faith tells us our prayers whisper in God’s ears and gather and join the prayers of the other faithful.”
“It seems like yesterday. And a century ago.”
“And the best sort of villain is smart and subtle and so very tricky that you don’t even know he’s the villain, because he thinks himself the hero in his own story.”
“Don’t wait around for life to happen to you, Peter. Give it a good chase.”
Overall, A Name Unknown was an intriguing Christian Historical Fiction novel that had a great arc for both of the main characters and also included intrigue and great secondary characters. This is the first book in the Shadows Over England series and I can’t wait to read the next one!
What book have you read about an author at work? Did it make you want to become an author or run the other way?
Book Source: I received a review copy as a part of the TLC Book Tour. Thank-you! For more stops on this excellent tour check out this link.
One lucky winner will receive a copy of A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White. If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book.
As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.
For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.
I will be using random.org (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.
This contest is only open to addresses in the United States and Canada.
The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday August 11th!
Please make sure to check the week of August 14th to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.