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In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Anne Flosnik is an accomplished, multi-award-winning British actress, with lead credits for stage, television, commercials, industrials, voice-overs, and audiobooks. She has garnered three AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for Little Bee by Chris Cleave, and four Audie Award nominations.
Read an Excerpt
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5–6
August 22, 1899
Sunlight blinked off the rippling surface of Tumbledon Lake and into Margaret Lounsbury’s eyes. She squinted and adjusted the brim of her straw hat to shade her view, then took hold of the oar on her side of the sixteenfoot rowboat.
“Are you ready?” Her father, Daniel Lounsbury, dipped his oar into the water and looked across at Maggie. Pleasant lines fanned out from the corners of his dark-brown eyes. A reddish-brown beard covered the lower half of his tanned face, but it couldn’t hide his smile.
“Yes!” She returned his smile and lowered her oar for the first stroke.
“The sun’s bright today, especially out on the water.” Her father looked across the lake to the rocky shore and lush woodlands beyond. Five years earlier, he and his team had dammed a section of the Debdon Burn, filling the small valley with water and creating this beautiful lake in the northernmost section of the estate. It was just one of his many accomplishments as lead landscape architect for Sir William Harcourt of Morningside Manor.
“Do you have a special spot in mind for our picnic?” Maggie’s mother, Abigail Lounsbury, sat in the rear of the boat with Maggie’s younger sister, Violet, on her lap.
“I found a lovely little glen surrounded by birch trees.” Father turned and grinned at Maggie’s older sister, Olivia, seated up front. “It will be the perfect place to celebrate your birthday. It looks like a fairy forest.”
Olivia’s eyes sparkled. “I can’t wait to see it.”
Maggie’s heart lifted, and she pulled her oar through the water, matching her father’s strong strokes. With the warm sunshine on her shoulders and her family around her, she couldn’t imagine a happier day
The breeze picked up and blew a strand of Maggie’s hair across her cheek.
“It looks like rain is coming our way.” Her mother nodded to the west, a slight crease in her brow. She adjusted her hold on Violet.
Heavy, gray clouds rose above the trees beyond the shoreline, though the rest of the sky remained mostly clear.
Father lifted his gaze and studied the clouds for a few seconds. “I’m sure we’ve no cause for concern.” His confident tone eased Maggie’s mind. There was no one who knew more about plants, animals, and the weather than her father. If he didn’t believe a storm would threaten their afternoon picnic, there was no need to worry.
A graceful white egret rose out of the grass on the far side of the lake and flew across the water toward them. Violet squirmed on her mother’s lap with a gleeful shriek. She looked as though she would climb over the side of the boat any moment if Mother didn’t keep a tight hold on her.
Father chuckled. “It seems Violet would like to go swimming.”
Olivia turned toward them. “There’s not much Violet doesn’t like, except perhaps cooked carrots and going down for a nap.”
Maggie smiled. Olivia was right about that. Violet had started resisting her naps a few months after she celebrated her first birthday, and she’d never been fond of carrots.
“No swimming today,” her mother replied in a serious tone, but Maggie could see the glow of good humor in her eyes.
“Keep up, Maggie,” Father called, stroking his oar through the deep water.
She focused on rowing again and picked up her pace to match Father’s. As they reached the center of the lake, Maggie heard an odd sloshing sound and looked down. Water slapped against the side of her shoe. She pulled in a sharp breath and lifted her foot. “Father, look!”
He followed her gaze, and his eyes flashed wide. He jerked his oar from the water and scanned the hull of the boat.
Mother straightened. “What is it, Daniel?”
“We seem to have sprung a leak.” His voice remained calm, but the muscles in his jaw grew taut.
“What?” Olivia shot a startled glance at Maggie.
Mother wrapped her arms more tightly around Violet. “How large a leak?”
“I don’t know.” Father frowned as he continued to search the floor of the boat, then he grabbed his dripping oar again. “Come on, Maggie, we’ve got to get back to shore.”
Maggie’s hand trembled as she reached for her oar.
Olivia rose, rocking the boat side to side. “Aren’t we closer to the other shore?”
“Olivia, sit down!” Father’s sharp tone startled them all. Olivia sank onto the bench, and Father plunged his oar into the water.
Maggie’s heartbeat pounded in her ears as she strained to keep up with Father’s rapid pace. But even if she could match his deep, steady strokes, would they make it back to the dock before water filled their boat?
What if they couldn’t?
She was a strong swimmer. Father had taught her that skill when she was only seven. She could make it. But Mother and Olivia had never wanted to learn how to swim, and Violet was too young.
Maggie clenched her jaw and pulled the oar through the water, her arms burning from the strain, but their swift pace across the lake only seemed to bring more water into the boat. It splashed around Maggie’s ankles and the hem of her dark blue skirt.
“Daniel, it’s too far! We’ll never make it!” Mother’s frantic voice sent tremors racing down Maggie’s legs.
“Pull, Maggie!” Father grunted and heaved his oar around again.
Maggie gripped her oar and darted a glance toward the shore. Panic climbed up her throat, stealing her breath. They were only halfway there. Mother was right. Water sloshed up Maggie’s leg and soaked her skirt. Soon lake water would pour over the side and the boat would go down.
“Father!” Olivia scooted forward as far as she could, but there was no escaping the rising water lapping at her legs.
Violet grabbed her mother’s neck and broke into pitiful cries.
Father’s gaze darted from one family member to the next. “We’ll have to swim. Maggie, you take Violet. I’ll help your mother and Olivia.”
Fear froze Maggie. She blinked and tried to focus on the distant shore. It was at least half a mile, maybe more. If Violet would calm down, she might be able to swim with her sister, but how could Father help Mother and Olivia?
Father pulled Violet from Mother’s arms.
“No, Daniel!” Mother reached for her youngest daughter. Her face had gone pale, and her eyes shimmered with tears.
“Be calm, Abigail. Maggie will take care of Violet.” He passed Violet to Maggie.
Her hands shook as she grabbed her squirming sister, but she held on tight.
“We’re counting on you, Maggie.” Love and fierce determination radiated from his eyes. “Safeguard your sister. Don’t turn back for any reason.”
Maggie swallowed hard. “Yes, Father.” She blinked her burning eyes, wanting to say she loved him and she would do her best, but there was no time.
“Go on now.” He helped her over the side of the boat and into the cold water.
Kicking to stay afloat, she rolled over onto her back and pulled Violet onto her chest. Slipping her arms under Violet’s, she pushed off from the side of the boat.
The shock of the cold water and the weight of her skirt and blouse pulled her down, but she thrust herself through the water, holding tight to Violet and kicking as hard as she could.
Oh God, have mercy on us! Save my family!
Tears and lake water flooded her eyes, blocking her view of her family and the boat. Water rushed past her ears, but it couldn’t block out her mother’s fearful cries, her father’s shouts, or her sister’s heartrending calls for help. But she pushed on, her promise to her father giving her strength.
Violet whimpered and tossed her head from side to side, then she lay back on Maggie’s chest, stunned by the cold water and frightening events.
Maggie swam on, listening for her father’s confident call or his strokes in the water behind her. But all she heard was her own heavy breathing and the splashing water as she kicked her way closer to shore.
Finally, her feet touched the muddy bottom, and she dragged herself and Violet out of the water. Her legs trembled and water poured from her clothes, pulling her down. But she forced herself to stay standing. Turning, she wiped her face and scanned the water.
Nothing broke the rippling surface of the lake. No boat. Not one member of her beloved family. Numb with dread, she blinked and stared across the quiet lake.
Where were they? How could they all just disappear?
Violet cried and clung to Maggie’s leg through her soggy skirt. A gust of wind sent a cold shiver through Maggie, and her teeth chattered hard.
Clouds scuttled across the sky, blocking the sun and casting a gray shadow over the scene. Heavy raindrops splattered on the ground, and then the heavens opened and rain poured down on her head and shoulders. Still, Maggie stood, staring across the lake.
Her father had been wrong. A storm had come. A more terrible storm than she could’ve ever imagined.
Maggie searched the lake once more, straining to hear the voices of those she loved, but the only sound was the cry of the egret as it rose from the water’s edge and flew across the lake toward the eastern shore.
She sank down on the muddy shore and pulled Violet into her arms while rainwater and tears ran down their faces.
Four Years Later
Maggie turned the hat block and examined the broad-brimmed, yellow straw hat. Red silk roses circled the crown, with little blue cornflowers sprinkled in between. It looked perfect. She could imagine wearing it to a garden party or afternoon tea in London.
She released a soft sigh and sat back on her stool. Not that she would be going to London to attend events like those any time soon or wearing this lovely hat.
“I like the color combination and the choice of flowers, but you’ll need to add several ostrich feathers if you want to please Mrs. Huntington.” Grandmother Hayes looked across at Maggie from behind the long glass display case on the opposite side of the millinery shop. Her silver-rimmed spectacles rested halfway down her nose, and her rosy cheeks creased as she sent Maggie a knowing smile.
Maggie clicked her tongue and looked back at the hat. “I suppose you’re right.” She didn’t like flamboyant designs with piles of feathers and gobs of ribbons, but that seemed to be what most women wanted, especially those on their way to London for the season.
Maggie took two yellow ostrich feathers from the box on the shelf, then reached for her needle and thread. Grandmother had owned this shop for almost twenty-five years, ever since she’d become a widow and needed to provide for herself. She knew everything there was to know about pleasing her customers, and she’d taught Maggie how to fashion the most stylish hats in Northumberland.
But arthritis had stiffened Grandmother’s hands in the last few years, and now Maggie did most of the intricate work. Grandmother still made a few hats, oversaw the shop, and guided Maggie with design suggestions.
Maggie smiled, tenderness for her grandmother warming her heart. What would she and Violet have done without Grandmother Hayes? She had taken them in when no other relative could be bothered.
“Can we have buns with our tea today?” Maggie’s six-year-old sister rested her chin in her hand and sent Maggie an imploring puppy-dog look. She sat on a stool behind the opposite counter, next to Grandmother.
Maggie pressed her lips together and looked down at the hat in her hands. Violet was a dear, but she had a sweet tooth that never seemed to be satisfied.
Her little sister clasped her hands below her chin. “Please, Maggie. I love buns, and we haven’t had any in such a long time.” Just last week they’d bought buns from Mrs. Fenwick’s Teashop. But to a six-year-old she supposed a week qualified as a long time. “You said you would think about it.” Violet smiled and batted her long, dark eyelashes at Maggie.
Maggie stifled a groan. She hated to say no to her sister, but if they spent those shillings on tea treats, it would mean cutting back somewhere else.
When Maggie didn’t answer, Violet’s face brightened. “You wouldn’t have to stop working. I could get them. I’m old enough.”
The teashop was directly across the street. Violet loved to be trusted with the coins and allowed to make the purchase and bring back the buns in a paper sack.
“Please, Maggie.” Violet’s plaintive voice pulled at Maggie’s heart.
There were so many times she had to say no. Perhaps she could find some way to stretch the budget just a bit more. “All right. I suppose we can buy some buns today. Bring me the canister.”
Violet hopped off her stool, grinning like she’d won the grand prize in a footrace, and hurried past the curtain that separated the front room of the shop from their tiny private sitting room and kitchen in the back. The only other rooms in the building were a small bedroom upstairs that Maggie shared with Violet and another small bedroom behind the kitchen for Grandmother.
The bell over the front door jingled. Maggie looked up as Mrs. Eugenia Huntington and her eighteen-year-old daughter, Elyse, walked in. Both women were dressed in stylish walking suits and wore large, elaborate hats.
Grandmother stood. “Good afternoon, Mrs. Huntington, Miss Elyse.”
Mrs. Huntington returned the greeting, and Elyse nodded to Grandmother and Maggie. Elyse was preparing for her first season in London. Maggie had heard through one of her friends that Mrs. Huntington had ordered enough evening gowns and day dresses for Elyse to fill several trunks. And then, of course, there were all the hats, gloves, parasols, and shoes to go with them.
A pang shot through Maggie’s heart. She would have traveled south, more than three hundred miles, to London and taken part in the season if her parents were still living. She might even have received a marriage proposal by now. Her late father had been a well-respected landscape architect and acquainted with many fine families in London and all around the country.
But the deaths of her parents and sister had changed everything.
The only future she could imagine now was one tied to the millinery shop, where she would spend her days designing hats she would never wear to help provide for her grandmother and sister.
Grandmother came around the end of the counter. “Maggie is just finishing one of the hats for Miss Elyse, but I believe the others you ordered are ready.”
“Yes, these two are finished.” Maggie reached up and took a wide-brimmed lavender hat from the shelf and placed it on the glass countertop. Then she reached for a cream-colored hat with pink roses circling the crown and set it next to the other.
“Oh, they’re lovely.” Elyse beamed as she crossed the shop toward Maggie.
Mrs. Huntington followed, but her brow creased as she regarded the hats. “I’m afraid they’re both too plain.” She nodded toward the lavender hat. “This one needs more flowers and ribbons, perhaps even some netting and lace.”
Elyse turned to Mrs. Huntington. “But Mother, I think—”
The older woman lifted her finger and silenced her daughter. “Your hats must be unique and draw attention so you will stand out from the crowd.”
Maggie clamped her lips together, struggling to hold back her reply. Adding more adornments would draw attention, but it would make the hat look overdone and gaudy. Perhaps she could convince Mrs. Huntington to change her mind once she saw how lovely the hat looked on Elyse. “Why don’t we try it on to test the fit?”
Mrs. Huntington’s frown remained in place, but she gave a slight nod. Her daughter unpinned her hat and stepped forward. Maggie placed the lavender hat on the young woman’s head. They all turned toward the mirror on the countertop and examined Elyse’s reflection.
Grandmother adjusted the angle of the hat, tipping it a bit more to the side. “The color certainly highlights her blue eyes and flatters her skin tone.”
Mrs. Huntington studied the hat. “It definitely needs more flowers and ribbons. And perhaps a trailing vine off the side. We want it to look impressive from every angle.”
Maggie rolled her eyes behind Mrs. Huntington’s back. There was hardly room to add any more flowers, and a trailing vine would look ridiculous. She was just about to say so when Grandmother sent her a warning look.
Maggie stifled a sigh. How many times had her grandmother told her she must listen to the customer’s wishes and find a way to please her?
She reached under the counter for her basket of silk roses. “Perhaps we could add a few more flowers on the side.” She chose three smaller roses and tucked them in with the rest of the bouquet covering the crown of the hat.
Mrs. Huntington surveyed the design with lifted eyebrows. “That’s better, and now the ribbons.”
Maggie reached for a spool of green velvet ribbon. “This color would be a good contrast to the flowers.” She looped a few pieces around the roses and stood back.
“That’s a good choice.” Grandmother reached up and tucked the ribbon in at the back.
Mrs. Huntington sighed. “There’s no time to start over. We leave for London tomorrow morning. I suppose it will have to do.”
Heat flushed Maggie’s cheeks. There was nothing wrong with the hat! It was just as fine as any she would find at the shops in London. Maggie and her grandmother subscribed to several catalogs to make sure their designs kept pace with the latest fashions.
Grandmother stepped forward, blocking Mrs. Huntington’s view of Maggie. “Let’s try on the other.” She placed the cream-colored hat on Elyse, while Maggie stood back with her arms crossed.
Elyse turned her head from left to right, examining herself in the mirror. “I like the way the brim is lifted on the side, with the flowers placed underneath.”
Mrs. Huntington stepped to the left, inspecting the view from that angle. “Perhaps some more netting and feathers would make it look fuller.”
Grandmother lifted her silver eyebrows and glanced at Maggie.
Maggie set her jaw and reached for the basket of netting from the shelf behind the counter. She might not agree with Mrs. Huntington, but she couldn’t ignore her suggestions.
Grandmother took some cream netting from the basket and wove a piece in with the flowers. “We can gather this over the crown and add a few more feathers to give it a bit more height.”
Mrs. Huntington nodded. “Yes. That’s what it needs.”
Violet had been waiting patiently during the whole exchange, but now she tugged on Maggie’s sleeve and held up the canister.
“Excuse me a moment.” Maggie turned away from the women, popped the lid off the canister, and took out two coins. Bending down, she whispered in Violet’s ear. “Be careful when you cross the street, and wait your turn nicely in the shop.”
Violet returned an eager nod. “I will.” Then she hurried out the door, setting the bell to jingling.
Maggie watched Violet through the window. Her sister stopped and looked both ways, then dashed across the street and into Fenwick’s Teashop. Maggie turned back to their customers.
“Maggie is just about finished with the third hat.” Grandmother held out the yellow straw hat with the red roses and little blue cornflowers.
“Oh, that’s very pretty.” The young woman’s eyes sparkled as she gazed at the hat.
Maggie rose up on her toes with a pleased smile. At least Elyse Huntington had good taste and knew a lovely hat when she saw one.
Mrs. Huntington wrinkled her nose. “No, Elyse can’t wear that. It’s much too informal for the London season.”
Maggie pulled in a sharp breath. She might not have been to London recently, but she’d seen photographs and advertisements for hats very similar to this one in magazines published there.
Grandmother pushed her spectacles up her nose and looked back and forth between Mrs. Huntington and her daughter. “Surely Miss Elyse will be attending garden parties or boating events, and this hat would certainly be appropriate for—”
The older woman shook her head and pushed the hat away. “It looks like a hat worn by a shopgirl or the village schoolmarm.”
Fire flashed through Maggie. “There is nothing wrong with—”
A motorcar horn blasted outside on the street.
A child’s scream pierced the air
Maggie’s heart lurched, and she spun toward the door.
Nathaniel Harcourt peered out the soot-dusted window as the train slowed and approached the village station.
The conductor walked down the aisle. “Heatherton. This stop is Heatherton.”
The brakes screeched, steam hissed into the air, and the train jerked to a stop. Nate rose from his seat, took his hat and small leather bag from the overhead rack, and started down the aisle. The four-hour trip from London had given him plenty of time to consider the next stage of his journey, but it had done little to ease his apprehension about returning to Morningside.
He stepped down from the train and scanned the platform. Men, women, and children dressed in traveling clothes disembarked behind him, while several others waited to board the train and travel north to Scotland. For a moment he considered climbing back aboard and continuing the journey, but his stepmother’s letter had made it clear. His father was seriously ill, and he should not delay.
The train hissed again, and a steamy cloud puffed out around him. He gripped the handle of his bag and stared across the platform.
A porter approached. “Do you need help with your luggage, sir?”
“Yes, thank you.” They made their way to the baggage car, where Nate claimed his trunk and the porter hauled it onto a waiting cart.
“Would you keep my trunk here at the station until I send someone to retrieve it?”
“Yes, sir.” The porter quickly tied a ticket to the leather handle, then tore the ticket in half and gave the bottom piece to Nate.
He thanked the porter, passed him a few coins, and then started down the street, intent on finding a horse so he could make the final four-mile journey home to Morningside.
Home. . . His chest tightened, and he focused on those walking past, trying to push aside his conflicting thoughts.
It had been four years since he’d left Morningside, crossed the huge iron bridge spanning the deep ravine with the gardens and stream below, then boarded the train in Heatherton to travel south and accept his naval commission.
He’d been determined to distance himself from his family and his painful past, and that was what he’d done. But today he would travel that same road in the opposite direction to keep his promise to the Almighty and try to make amends.
Was there still time . . . or was it too late?
Could he restore his relationship with his father, or would his father’s unexpected illness steal away that opportunity? And what about his stepmother and half sister, Clara? Could he bridge the gap that had always kept them so far apart?
There was only one way to find out. He must finish this last leg of his journey and face his family.
He scanned the village street, and his tension eased a bit. Heatherton looked much the same as it had the day he’d left. Small shops lined both sides of the street, and at the end he saw the sign for the Red Lion Inn. Mr. Hastings kept a stable behind the inn, and with any luck Nate would find a horse he could hire there.
He walked past the small village hospital and glanced at the arched doorway into the side garden. Was Dr. Albert Hadley still taking care of the medical needs of those in the village and surrounding area? He’d always appreciated the doctor’s calm, caring manner and practical wisdom. Nate walked on past Saint Peter’s Church, with its tall spire, quiet churchyard, and neatly trimmed cemetery.
The roar of an engine sounded behind him. He grabbed his hat and jumped out of the way as a speeding motorcar raced past.
The driver looked over his shoulder with a broad grin and waved to Nate.
The fool! He ought to slow down and look where he’s going before he kills himself or someone else. Nate darted a glance down the street, and his breath hitched in his chest.
A little girl, who looked no more than five or six, stepped into the street, carrying a small parcel.
A surge of energy shot through Nate. “Look out!”
The girl’s eyes widened, but rather than turning back, she dashed ahead, directly into the path of the speeding motorcar. The driver blasted his horn, jammed on his brakes, and swerved to the left.
Nate took off running toward the girl, but the car rammed into her, and a heartrending scream tore from her throat. She flew up into the air and landed a few feet away in the middle of the street.
Nate dropped down beside her before the driver had even climbed out of his motorcar. She writhed on the ground, crying. He shot off an urgent prayer as he looked her over. She had not lost consciousness, and he saw no blood. Those were good signs. He laid his hand on her shoulder. “Everything is going to be all right. Try to stay calm.”
The little girl squeezed her eyes shut, sobbing and rocking back and forth as she held her leg.
Villagers ran from the shops and gathered around.
“Isn’t that Mrs. Hayes’s granddaughter?”
“Someone run for the doctor.”
“Let me through!” A young woman pushed past the others. “Violet!” She knelt beside the girl and leaned in close, her back to him.
“My leg!” Tears flowed from the little girl’s eyes.
“What happened?” The young woman looked up at the crowd.
The driver of the motorcar stepped forward, tweed cap in his hand. “I’m sorry, miss. I tried to stop. But I didn’t see her until it was too late.”
“How could you be so careless?” She turned and shifted her fiery gaze to Nate. “We have to move my sister . . .” She blinked and stared at him.
For the first time Nate looked the young woman full in the face, and a shockwave rolled through him. “Maggie?”
Hurt filled her eyes, and she turned away. “We need to move her out of the street.” She looked around at the other villagers, ignoring him.
“I’ll help you.” Nate reached for the little girl.
Maggie’s hand shot out to stop him.
But no one else stepped forward, so he gently scooped Violet off the ground. She cried out as he lifted her.
“What is it, darling?” Maggie leaned in close again, her face lined with agony that matched her sister’s.
“My leg hurts.” A fresh round of tears cascaded down the little girl’s flushed face.
Nate gritted his teeth and looked away. During his naval career, he’d seen many men wounded in battle and transported hundreds of prisoners during the South African Boer War, but seeing his childhood friend and her young sister in this painful situation struck him in a completely different way.
“Step aside.” Dr. Hadley moved through the crowd toward them. “What happened here?”
“Violet was hit by that man in his motorcar.” Maggie pointed to the guilty driver, and the man lowered his head.
“Let’s take her to the hospital.” The doctor looked up at Nate, and his eyebrows rose. “Nathaniel Harcourt?”
“I didn’t realize you had returned.”
“I’ve just arrived on the train from London. I haven’t even been to Morningside yet.”
The doctor gave a firm nod. “It’s good you’ve come. Your father will be glad to see you. But let’s take this young lady to the hospital.” He set off, clearing a path through the crowd. “Make way, please.”
Nate followed the doctor, carrying Violet. Maggie walked beside him, her eyes fixed on the doctor’s back, her posture rigid. It made sense that she would be upset about Violet’s injuries, but why was she angry with him? He wasn’t responsible for the accident. He glanced her way. “I didn’t know you’d returned to Heatherton.”
She arched one eyebrow. “We’ve lived here for the last four years.”
Surprise rippled through him. How could that be? He’d searched for her after the boating accident, but he’d not been able to find her. “They told me you’d gone to Scotland to live with relatives.”
“Your parents sent us to my great-aunt Beatrice in Edinburgh, but she had no desire to care for us. A few weeks later, she sent us back to Heatherton to stay with Grandmother Hayes. We’ve been here ever since.”
So Maggie had been in Scotland, but his stepmother had told him she was in Glasgow, not Edinburgh. The address she’d given him had turned out to be a butcher shop, and the proprietor said he’d never heard of Margaret Lounsbury
After that ill-fated trip to Scotland, Nate returned to Morningside and confronted his father and stepmother, demanding to know what had happened to Maggie and Violet. But they both claimed they knew nothing more about where the girls had gone.
He looked back at Maggie. “So you live here now with your grandmother?” That thought lifted his spirits, but the feeling quickly deflated as he observed her cool, impassive expression. Why did she seem so distant? It was almost as if she thought he was somehow responsible for today’s pain and problems.
The doctor pushed open the side door to the hospital and ushered them inside. It took a moment for Nate’s eyes to adjust from the bright sunlit street to the dim doctor’s office.
“Bring her in here.” The doctor walked into the next room and motioned toward the examination table.
Nate gently placed Violet on the table and stepped back. Maggie moved closer and took her sister’s hand. The little girl’s tears had slowed, and she looked around the room with a curious expression. Her eyes were blue but much lighter than Maggie’s smoky blue-gray eyes. Still, he could see the family resemblance in the shape of Violet’s nose and mouth.
The doctor turned to him. “Thank you, Nathaniel. I appreciate your help.”
Nate shot a questioning look at Maggie.
For a brief moment he saw the uncertainty in her eyes, or was it hope that he would stay? She quickly masked her emotions and looked away.
“I’ll wait in the office,” he said. “I’d like to hear how Violet is doing before I go.”
“Very well.” The doctor turned back to his patient.
Maggie’s gaze softened, but she shifted her focus to her sister.
Nate walked into the adjoining office and crossed to the window. Leaning on the windowsill, he looked out at the street. Three children ran past, and a cart pulled by a strong bay drove on toward the center of the village.
How long would it take the doctor to do his examination and discover the extent of Violet’s injuries? He glanced at his watch. It was just after four. There were still a few hours of daylight, plenty of time for him to find a horse and make his way to Morningside.
But even if it took longer than expected, he wasn’t leaving until he knew Violet was going to be all right. Waiting for word from the doctor would ease his mind and give him a chance to show Maggie that, though they’d been separated for more than four years, she could still count on his help and friendship.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Anglophiles and especially fans of Downton Abbey are sure to enjoy Shine Like the Dawn but this novel’s appeal isn’t restricted to its delightful and charming setting. The storyline is an engaging combination of tragedy, mystery, and turmoil sprinkled with sweet recollections of childhood and a budding attraction. Carrie Turansky brings these authentic characters to life and immerses readers in the culture of Edwardian England’s villages and estates. A message of hope and faith shines through in this entertaining story. I requested the opportunity to read and review this book through Celebrate Lit tours. The opinions expressed are my own.
Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky sweeps readers back in time to 1903 Heatherton, England. In 1899 the Lounsbury family (Daniel, Abigail, Olivia, Maggie, and Violet) are enjoying Olivia’s birthday by taking a picnic across the lake. They are far into the lake when the boat starts taking on water. Unable to row the boat back to shore in time, they start swimming to shore. Unfortunately, only Maggie and Violet make it back alive. Four years later, Maggie and Violet are living with their Grandmother Hayes above her millinery shop. Nate Harcourt is returning home to Morningside Manor after a four years absence to see his father before he passes away. Maggie and Nate used to be good friends before she lost her family. She has not forgiven him for not being there for her when they died. Nate inherits his father’s estate and Clifton Engineering Works. Nate promised his father that he would care for his stepmother, Helen and stepsister, Clare. Helen, though, does not make this task easy. Maggie received her father’s journal after his death, but just recently started reading it. She finds out that someone had reason to harm him and he was threatened shortly before his death. Could the boat have been sabotaged? After a fire destroys the millinery, Nate invites Maggie, Violet and Grandmother Hayes to stays at Morningside Manor. This could be Maggie’s opportunity to find the evidence she needs. Nate is grateful to spend time with Maggie and, hopefully, repair their old friendship. Will Nate help Maggie with her quest? Shine Like the Dawn is a well-written and researched novel. Carrie Turanky captured the setting and the historical period. The author brought the characters to life and gave them real personalities. We are given characters to love and a couple to dislike. The book had a good pace, but I thought it was slightly too long. Shine Like the Dawn captured and held my attention. The Christian element is light (not preachy). Maggie had closed her heart to God and let in anger and hurt instead. She does not understand how God can let good people die and suffer (something I struggle with myself). One of the main messages in the novel is to let God in to heal your heart and comfort you. I give Shine Like the Dawn 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciated the mystery element that was present in the story. It enhanced the novel. There are other issues in the story (I could not describe everything in my summary). Nate learning to run his father’s company, workers wanting to strike, Maggie struggling to forgive Nate (she only knows her side of the story, romance between Nate and Maggie, Violet injuring her leg, the rebuilding of the millinery, and Lilly’s romance with Rob are some of the other storylines. The novel has a lovely and fulfilling conclusion. Shine Like the Dawn is a good book for readers who enjoy Christian, historical books (set in the Edwardian period). This was the first book I have read by Carrie Turansky, and it is not my last.
Shine like the dawn is a powerful story of faith, trust repentance and forgiveness. This story takes place at the turn of the twentieth century where you have Maggie and Nathaniel who were good friends but went separate ways or shall I say she left and he looked for her and could not find her. Years later, as the hand of PROVIDENCE would have it, they both end up back in town (isn't GOD so very good?). He is so very happy to see her but guess what folks, she isn't that much pleased to see him - why you may ask - well let me tell you - now you know I can't ruin the story for you - or at least I wont - you have to read the story - it is an incredible story - and so worth your time - and I am being so honest from my heart telling you this y'all - than in all of this there is a mystery going on. There was an accident - or was it? hmmm - There is industrial unrest, people have lost hope and they need JESUS, luckily our characters have HIM, but they need to rely, trust in HIM ( AMEN?). So, will they work it out, find out who did what? get past her hang ups? Trust JESUS not herself? Maggie you see, didn't see money she just saw people and she treated everyone the same - just like JESUS - in that day and time was very unheard of - so she was a very special person. This is one special book - it pulls on your emotions and your brain cells - it really gets you thinking. Do not pass on this one - it is too good. I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook and Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
Shine Like Dawn by Carrie Turansky Maggie Lounsbury lost her family four years prior to a terrible drowning accident. She raises her youngest sister. She has a lot riding on her shoulders, including supporting her sister and grandmother. Maggie deals with a lot of emotions – bitterness, grief, sadness. Which a lot of us can relate to if we suddenly lost our loved ones instantly and had no way to save them. Nathaniel Harcourt comes home to make things right with his ailing father. He stayed away from Morningside Manor for several reasons, one of them, his stepmother. His stepmother is very controlling. Nathaniel also has a half-sister who he tries to develop a relationship with. When Maggie and Nathaniel are reacquainted, he senses her disdain towards him and he doesn’t understand why. Nathaniel and Maggie have a lot to overcome, they have a lot of bridges which need to be healed, and shrouding them is a mystery of Maggie’s father’s death. This mystery draws the two of them closer. They find that the feelings they had previously are being sparked again. Can they overcome everything and move on? Can love be the bridge to heal all wounds? Carrie Turansky has weaved a remarkable story of faith, forgiveness, wisdom, and love. She shares with her readers a story of hope, a hope that will shine with a new dawn – with a new day. This was a very profound story with so many elements, that any reader will fall in love with this novel. Shine Like the Dawn is one of Carrie’s best novels yet! There were so many life lessons in this book that I loved. I am going to share the quotes that I found truly meaningful, especially as I have been going through my own difficulties in my life. “You must never let fear stop you from doing what the Lord call you to do.” “Overcoming evil with good was a high calling and one he would need to make a matter of prayer. It would certainly take God’s grace and strength to apply it in his present situation.” “It would take God’s intervention to change men’s hearts and the power of the Spirit, working in and through him, to see good come out of these painful times.” Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
This author always has such a beautiful voice in her stories! I felt like I was in the era and could see the details of the land, clothing, etc, that she describes. The story pulled at my heart strings and drew me in from first page of the prologue! Danger lurks throughout and keeps the pages turning. I loved the mystery! Margaret is a strong and lovable character that has her reasons for not wanting to be friends with Nate anymore. Nate is just trying to figure out his place in life while dealing with family that isn’t very supportive! So many secrets and hurting people who need to sort out their lives. Great reminders to me of God’s grace and forgiveness. I highly recommend this story! I was given the book by Celebration Lit. These opinions are my own.
This is my favorite Carrie Turansky book yet! (And I’ve enjoyed all her novels) In Shine Like the Dawn, Turansky has quite simply outdone herself with the characters, the setting, and the theme. Shine Like the Dawn is Carrie Turansky’s best novel to date. With a vividly drawn setting, lovable characters, and even a little mystery and historical tension, you will certainly find it difficult to put down once you’ve started reading! The tender message of trusting God with even the most painful parts of our past is sweet and sincere, never preachy, and the romance will steal your breath. It’s a stand alone novel but I for one wouldn’t mind returning to Heatherton for a visit or two, should the author feel so inclined... (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)
Will lies in the past ruin their future? I've read three of Carrie Turansky's books from the Highland Hall series and I enjoyed them, so when I got the chance at this one I jumped at it. Starting with the lovely cover I was quickly drawn into the story and I think I can say that Shine Like The Dawn is probably now my favorite Carrie Turansky book. Even though Margaret “Maggie” often drove me crazy with her determination to stay angry and unwillingness to listen, I quickly came to like the characters, and was immersed into the storyline. The romance was just right, adding to the story rather than consuming it, and I truly loved the mystery aspect. There are more than one dangerous confrontation in this book that left me reading as fast as I could to see what might possibly happen next. Shine Like The Dawn is Christian Edwardian romance at its best. If you love historical fiction, especially set in picturesque England, with insight cleverly woven within an exciting and entertaining story I would definitely tell you to check out Carrie Turanksy's newest novel, Shine Like The Dawn. (I received a copy of this book through the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
Margaret Lounsbury works in her grandmother's millinery shop and cares for her younger sister. Even though four years has transpired since the death of her parents and oldest sister, Maggie still finds herself reeling from the loss. When the opportunity arises, she is determined to find out what really caused the tragic accident. Nathaniel Harcourt returns from his time in the Royal Navy only to spend brief moments with his father before he dies. As the sole heir to his father's vast estate, Nathaniel is determined to pay off the money owed to Maggie's father. The only problem is, she refuses to accept the debt. This was my first experience reading a book by Carrie Turansky. While the book had a slow start, I found it quite enjoyable. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
Carrie Turansky has done it again! She has brought us an Edwardian novel about loss and love, strife and forgiveness. Margaret Lounsbury had her bright future shattered in one horrific afternoon. Now she works in her grandmother's millinery shop taking care of her younger sister, Violet. She just can't let the past go though. Was her parents accident really an accident and where had her childhood friend, Nathaniel been when she needed him most? Nathaniel walks back into her life after the death of his father, William Harcourt. Nathaniel now must take over the running of the estate, Morningside Manor, and his father's engineering business. All while trying to figure out why his old friend, Margaret, seems very cold and distant. Will these two once friends ever enjoy the companionship they had as children or will it blossom into much more? Can Maggie trust in God again and allow him to lead the way?
I have only read one other book by Carrie and I did enjoy it. So was excited to get the chance to read this one. I think she has gotten better as she has written more books. This book opens with a scene that will grab you and then keeps you wanting to read to see what will happen. There is mystery woven in that keeps this book exciting as well. I adored Maggie, she is such a sweet character but I bit stubborn. I wanted to say to her so many times, “hey, give Nate a chance.” Nate is a wonderful hero who is strong but also sensitive and dealing with the expectations placed on his life. Faith is woven seamlessly throughout the book, which of course I love. This was a book I didn’t want to put down. I highly recommend this one to historical romance lovers. A copy of this book was given to me through The Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
Shine Like the Dawn abounds with mystery and second chances. Taking place during the early 1900’s, we are witnesses to the fatal circumstances that change Maggie Lounsbury’s life forever. Four years later, Maggie has moved on with her life as best as she can when her very best friend Nate comes back from his service in the Navy. Nate’s ancestral home and family was very closely tied and interwoven with Maggie’s but due to some conniving on Nate’s family’s part, Nate was unable to be there for Maggie thus destroying their trust and friendship. I liked how Nate came back and wanted to amend the wrongs that were made and rekindle the friendship and possibly more with Maggie. Maggie is hurt, understandably, and confused. She is not trusting of God or anyone else in particular. It seems her life is one tragedy after another, but some of her decision making (based on her feelings) left me at times perturbed with her. After a few more things go awry, Maggie begins to see Nate as the dear friend he once was and begins to give her heart to him as well. But the road to true love is not easy for them as doubt and suspicion begin to surface. What really stood out to me was the mystery of this novel and what really happened those four years ago to Maggie and her family. I was not able to guess the intentions of the villain nor if the so called bad guys had anything to do with the tragedy. This had some elements of being a gothic novel and I had a hard time putting the book down to sleep. There were some great lessons to be learned such as the trying and testing of our character and commitment to those we love especially in the hard times of our lives. And that includes our faith as well. There is much more that was happening in the background of this novel as well and I am recommending this book for its pure reading enjoyment. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to give a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Engaging Edwardian Fiction Having read Carrie Turansky’s previous Edwardian series, I eagerly began her latest novel, Shine Like the Dawn. While not related to the earlier novels, this one still has the characteristic period details and strong Christian themes that I enjoyed so much in her other books, and the mysterious elements and lighter suspense enhance the romance and give it just a touch of atmosphere that I really enjoyed. This is probably my favorite book by this author to date! There are a lot of historical details in this novel that really surprised me. Several instances give the reader insight into landscape design, millinery, servants and life in service, early automobiles, working conditions in a factory, and period inventions. The research must have been intense, but I appreciate that the author used these tidbits to give depth and substance to her storyline without allowing them to overpower the plot. Maggie struggles a lot with her faith and the faith she sees in both her grandmother and Nate. I found those difficulties to be realistic given her history, even though it frustrated me sometimes that she was unwilling to reconsider the blame she places on God for those events. I appreciated that Turansky never gives in to the temptation to have her other characters preach at Maggie, but their constant testimony and trust in Him, especially when it is difficult, serve to break down those barriers a little at a time. For me, the best part of this book is the extended and somewhat leisurely ending. I hate it when a book wraps everything up in the last five or six pages, tells us the characters live happily every after and declares “the end.” I want more of the happy, especially when the characters have been through so much to get there. This is one of the few books I have read lately that didn’t require me to add a few more chapters in my head for that satisfying ending to the story and I absolutely loved it. I would highly recommend this novel for those who enjoy historical romance, especially fans of Downton Abbey and the Edwardian Era. The mystery and light suspense is well done and the romance is a sweet one of second chances. It is an intriguing story told with a strong Christian worldview that I found thoroughly entertaining and uplifting. I received a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit but no compensation for this review. I was not required to write a favorable one and the opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
Carrie Turansky doesn't disappoint! After getting hooked on "Downton Abbey," I had dove into Turansky's last Edwardian Brides series. Similarly, "Shine Like the Dawn" speaks of the formality and routine in an English household, but this book also focuses on intertwining stories around the town and how events, emotions, and actions impact more than the person involved. Maggie and Nate had long-ago been treasured friends, but unfathomable sadness comes to Maggie and Nate is not sure how to re-build the damaged friendship. As young adults, both Maggie and Nate are handling massive amounts of responsibility and their tenuous relationship may not survive. Believe me, this is another great book, especially if you're drawn to stories about Edwardian England! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This was the first book that I have read by this author and I was drawn into the story within the first few pages. I was so heartbroken for Maggie and Violet. I wanted to cry. I can't even imagine losing my parents and being a primary caretaker for a young child when you are still young yourself! All of the characters are very well written and you can feel their emotion within the pages. Maggie and Nate seem like very real people. I felt that the story moved at a comfortable pace. This book is very well researched - and I learned a lot from reading it. I received a courtesy copy through Celebrate Lit - all options are my own.
The hours I devoted to reading Shine Like the Dawn, by Carrie Turansky, were definitely hours invested in something truly special. As a fan of historical fiction, this book had everything I was looking for, including vivid descriptions of the clothing, manners, customs, and culture of a time long since passed. The characters were not only relatable and well-crafted, but I found myself sincerely caring about them and their stories, eagerly turning the pages to find out more about them and their fears, their struggles, their dreams, and their faith. The sweet romance in this novel was endearing and heart-warming, and the mystery within this story, though not something I was expecting, quickly became one of my favorite components of the overall plot. Like all great stories, Shine Like the Dawn incorporates a fine balance of heartache and hope, loss and restoration, and justice and mercy. With its satisfying blend of history, romance, faith, and mystery, Shine Like the Dawn is a well-written, thoroughly entertaining novel that I can wholeheartedly recommend to friends and family. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
At first glance, this appears to be the typical Edwardian romance novel. But wait! Author Carrie Turansky spins a tale that has many unexpected twists and turns. A family is murdered. Employees at a company go on strike and things turn ugly. Will Nathaniel and Maggie become friends again? More than friends? And what about Joseph and Helen? Containing heroes, damsels in distress, and of course villains, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what happens next. And through it all, God is whispering and calling. Will they listen and receive His forgiveness? This really is a great read and I highly recommend you grab a cup of tea, a scone, and read this book! I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
Thursday, February 23, 2017 Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky, © 2017 My Review: Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. --Isaiah 62:1 NLT ~ vs 2b, And the Lord will give you a new name. So much J*O*Y awaits us. Margaret Lounsbury has become a main character dear to my heart. Overcoming adversity in her young life, she has been a beloved caregiver of her younger sister, Violet. Maggie and Violet live with their widowed Grandmother Hayes, proprietress of Heatherton, England's millinery shop. As daughters are preparing for their 1903 London Season, Maggie's skills under Mrs. Hayes' tutelage become very harmonious. Receiving dire news of his father's illness, Nathaniel Harcourt returns to Morningside Manor, their estate on the outskirts of the village. Rushed into management roles, his return from the Royal Navy has given him determined fairness in the treatment of the village workers and their families. Nate enjoyed a friendship with Maggie amid their childhood days when their fathers were engineering partners. So much has changed with their current needs and discoveries of hidden perspectives. This story will be a search for truth as the families are thrown together due to eventful mishaps. Secondary characters add to the story as their forthrightness shines. One unseen supporter is the owner of the gathering place, Mrs. Fenwick's Teashop. I would love to sample her scones and tea! Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5–6 ***Thank you, author Carrie Turansky, to Multnomah, and to Celebrate Lit for inviting me on this book tour... This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
I truly enjoyed this story more than any other I've read by Turansky. Something about the opening chapter drew me in, and I didn't want to put it down. Maggie and Violet are such wonderful characters and well developed. This was a beautifully written historical with Maggie's story being my favorite. I love following characters that are among the normal citizenry. The story is a difficult one, but a sweet and loving coming of age story with a bit of mystery/suspense as well. Nate is easy for the reader to love. None of the characters are perfect, and it's wonderful to read how they grow in faith through the circumstances that surround them. The faith theme was a strong one, and I really like that in Christian Fiction reads. I would have preferred that the book continue at the same pace throughout, but the ending seemed a bit rushed to me. I was actually beginning to think that the book was going to be a cliff hanger...it wasn't for which I'm thankful! I would have liked to see the ending spread out a bit, but all the loose ends are tied up nicely for the reader with a nice epilogue as well. I'm hoping to see this as a series as I really enjoyed the characters. To any historical fiction fan, I highly recommend this read. It was definitely one for my forever shelves! I received this book from the publisher. All opinions stated are my own.
I have not read many of Carrie's books yet, but I love the settings she has chosen. Shine Like the Dawn takes place in 1903, at the beginning of the Edwardian Era we see so many new inventions and exciting contraptions, like motor vehicles! This story starts with tragedy and through the difficult lessons and circumstances that both Nathaniel and Maggie find themselves in, it was so good to see them act and react as normal human beings. And through it all, they learn and grow. Maggie is full of questions and is determined to seek justice, no matter the risk or cost. Nate is such a protector, of the ones he loves and the ones that he is responsible for. Filled with unanswered questions, Maggie dives into an investigation. With Nate's help will she be able to solve a tragic mystery that is now years since past? Will she learn how to trust God to give her the answers she NEEDS, even if they aren't the answers she WANTS? Be swept back in time to solve the crime and bring justice to Heatherton alongside Margaret Lounsbury. I received a complimentary uncorrected proof of Shine Like the Dawn from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Shine Like the Dawn**** by Carrie Turansky 1903 Edwardian England...Margaret Lounsbury works along side her beloved grandmother in her grandmother's millinery shop while caring for her younger sister Violet. It is the only home they have since the tragic accident that took the rest of her family four years ago—but was it really an accident? Margaret is determined to find out. Nathaniel Harcourt, Margaret's estranged childhood friend, returns from the Royal Navy to Morningside Manor when he learns of his father illness and inherits Morningside after his death. There are secrets at Morningside that others strive to keep hidden, possibly danger. Margaret, Violet and Nathaniel are my favorite characters in the book. There are other secondary characters that I really liked. Suspense, mystery and dangerous situations with some unexpected twists and turns in the storyline. I thought I had figured out who the person was that they were looking for but was surprised when I learned who it was and how they were linked to the incident. I love the faith elements woven throughout the story...hope, forgiveness and love. A beautiful, heartwarming historical. ~I received an ARC copy of the book, (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
I believe that this will be one of my favorite books of this year. I loved it. I loved Maggie and Nate. This made me laugh and cry. There was a wonderful mix of romance and suspense. I think this has been my favorite book by Carrie Turansky. There were a few twists and turns and both characters learned to believe more in God. I received this book from blogging for books for an honest opinion that I gave of my free will.
A wonderful book. As I was reading the book at the beginning and learning of the tragic deaths of her parents and sister, it affected me in a different way then it might have a few months ago, because I lost my precious mother suddenly on January 7. I could understand how the character Maggie felt. I realized I had a choice, I could become angry at God or I could accept it as something God had allowed for a reason even though I may not understand. God is good and I can trust Him. In the reading of this book I could see Maggie's struggle and in the end she chose the right way in trusting the Lord. I loved the story and even though it came at a sad time in my personal life I found it uplifting and helpful to me. I loved the mystery aspect in the book as well.
Oh, the heartbreak. All Maggie has been through has left her struggling financially, still grieving the loss of her parents and older sister, hurting at the rejection she suffered from her best friend Nathaniel, and having turned her back on God. Her friend Nathaniel Harcourt returns to town, and after his father's death, wants to make things right between his family and Maggie's. Although not perfect, Nathaniel is determined to fulfill his new responsibilities honorably, but Maggie must journey to regain her ability to trust him after the years of silence between them. The main characters were well-drawn, with a wonderful cast of supporting characters, all experiencing the joys and sorrows of life themselves. Sub-plots, mystery, suspense, conflict, and sweet romance make this a satisfying read, embracing the Edwardian England setting. I recommend this to those who enjoy fiction, romance, mystery, and historicals. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Multnomah, through Celebrate Lit for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
This slice of life from Edwardian England offers insights into both the wealthy and the villagers as they face everyday and unexpected trials as well as joys and hope for the future. Suspense and tension stalk the story, though, along with family concerns. I enjoyed the experience as I shadowed the young, orphaned hat maker, Margaret Lounsbury, and her former friend, Nate Harcourt from Morningside Manor. Could their relationship be repaired, and can they uncover the truth about the painful past that changed her life? Both face loss and many challenges. The characters seemed very realistic and the plot authentic. The setting is a place I would love to visit personally—you can at least visualize it with all the detailed descriptions. I think this may be the first book by Carrie Turansky that I have read, but I will certainly look for others. I received the ebook from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.
Shine Like the Dawn is set in England during the Edwardian era. Maggie works for her grandmother, making hats, while taking care and protecting her younger sister, Violet. Years earlier, the girls' tragically and mysteriously lost their parents. A childhood friend of Maggie's, Nate, returns after inheriting the beautiful estate, Morningside Manor. I really liked Shine Like the Dawn. There is so much that kept me reading: The mystery of Maggie and Violet's parents' death, learning to forgive, not losing faith, romance, and, of course, the fabulous Edwardian era in England - which is one of my favorite eras to read. I thought this was a great read! Highly recommended. 5 plus stars. I was provided a copy of this book from the author but was not required to write a review. My review of my own opinion.