The Little Shop of Found Things

The Little Shop of Found Things

by Paula Brackston

Hardcover

$22.98 $27.99 Save 18% Current price is $22.98, Original price is $27.99. You Save 18%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, November 21

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250072436
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Series: Found Things , #1
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 905
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Paula Brackston is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter, The Winter Witch, The Midnight Witch, The Silver Witch, and The Return of the Witch. She has a master's degree in creative writing from Lancaster University in the UK. She lives in Wales with her family.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

It is a commonly held belief that the most likely place to find a ghost is beneath a shadowy moon, among the ruins of a castle, or perhaps in an abandoned house where the living have fled leaving only spirits to drift from room to room. To believe so is to acknowledge but half a truth, for there is a connection with those passed over to be found much nearer home. Every soul that once trod this brutal earth leaves their imprint upon the things that mattered to them. The things that they held, the things that once echoed to the beat of their hearts. That heartbeat may yet be felt, faint but clear, transmitted through the fabric of those belongings, linking us to the dear one long gone through however many years have passed. Or at least, some may feel it. Some can hear its fluttering rhythm. Some can sense the life force that once thrummed through the golden metal, or gorgeous gem, or even the tattered remnant of a wedding gown. Some have the ability, the sensitivity, the gift to be able to connect to those lost ones through these precious objects.

Xanthe Westlake was such a person. The tall, young woman with the tumble of golden curls falling about her shoulders was possessed of that special gift. She had been barely eight years old when first it had shown itself. On that particular day she held a small silver teapot, turning it over in her hands, smiling brightly.

"You like that, Xanthe?" her mother, Flora, asked.

She nodded, running her fingers over the intricate filigree pattern on the cool silver.

"It's a happy teapot," she told her.

"Really? How do you know?"

"Because I can hear it singing," she said, holding it up. "It was a present from a sailor to his daughter. He'd been away at sea for a long, long time, and when he came home he gave her this, and she made tea for them both. She loved her father very much."

"Wow," her mother said. "You got all that from the teapot?"

At the time, she must have thought such a proclamation merely the product of a youthful imagination, but later, when she inquired as to the teapot's provenance and discovered that it had originated in Spain and been part of a sea captain's estate, well, then she began to take notice of her child's opinions. From that day, she started giving Xanthe things to hold to see if they would "sing" to her. And sometimes they did. And so her daughter would accompany her on buying trips to hunt for treasures. There was never any question but that she would go into the family business.

But a family business needs a family, and this one was smashed like a porcelain platter dropped upon a flagstoned floor.

When Xanthe arrived at the little antique shop that was to be her new home, many years after that first teapot, she was not conscious of being watched. As she helped her mother from the old black taxi that was her sole possession of note, she was concerned only with assisting Flora, who had yet to master the cobbles with her crutches. Xanthe was unaware, then, of the pale eyes that were upon her. Had she raised her own to look into the dusty bow window of the shop, she would not, of course, have seen her observer. Margaret Merton, a fine, well-dressed woman in her day, no longer cast a shadow nor reflected the light, for ghosts are insubstantial things.

It was high summer. The shop had been empty for several months, closed after the passing of Mr. Morris, the collectibles left to garner cobweb shrouds, and Margaret left to wander and wait. She held hope to her breast like a tiny bird which must be grasped tightly yet with such care, lest one crush it to nothing through fear of losing it. Hope was all she had. Of late, she had become aware of a change, and her spirit has roused itself from its fitful slumber. She sensed a reason for that hope to live on, to live more brightly. On that morning, in the month of July, she watched through the small window panes as the girl and her mother emerged from the bulky vehicle onto the sunlit, cobbled street. The older woman was perhaps the age Mistress Merton herself had been when she had met her end. Margaret felt a tightening in her chest as she watched daughter help mother, who walked with difficulty and with the aid of sticks. How many centuries had it been since Margaret had felt the touch of her own child's hand upon hers? The pair looked up at the building, smiling, their excitement plain to see.

Flora Westlake took a key from her capacious shoulder bag and turned it in the lock. The shop door swung open, rattling into life the aged brass bell the previous owner had tolerated for a dozen years or more.

"Goodness!" Flora's nose twitched at the smell of beeswax polish, dust, and stale air. "Looks like old Mr. Morris kept the place well stocked."

"I'm not sure all of it qualifies for the word 'stock,'" Xanthe replied, picking up a battered top hat that had not gleamed for decades. "How much did you say you paid for the contents, Mum?"

"Hardly anything at all, Xanthe, love," she replied, waving one of her sticks as if to dismiss the worry.

Flora stood among her treasures and beamed. It was strange that it was not she who had the gift. Indeed, her daughter appeared largely unmoved by their new home, their new business, or the many, story-filled objects waiting for her touch. Even so, Margaret Merton saw the light that burned deep within the girl. Saw what it was and knew straight away that when the moment came, when those objects began to talk to her, Xanthe would listen. She would have no choice.

As the pair moved through the shop, Xanthe stepped so close to the ghost that her warmth seeped into that spirit. Naturally, the girl felt nothing of the specter with whom she had unwittingly elected to share her home. Xanthe's sensitivity was to substantial things, through their tactile qualities. Margaret, having no substance other than that of a spirit, was undetectable to her. And so she would remain. Until she chose otherwise. Even so, that long-buried sense that humans have allowed to atrophy through lack of use; that instinct that warns of unseen dangers, could not help but respond to such a provocation as Mistress Merton's restless soul presented. Xanthe paused, turning as if in answer to a distant calling of her name. Finding nothing, seeing no one, she shook off the sensation and resumed her inspection of the collectibles.

"There could be an awful lot of rubbish here," she warned her mother, gazing at the jumble of things that filled every shelf and cabinet or sat in unstable heaps upon the floor.

"Well, most of it will probably have to go," her mother agreed, "but there's bound to be some of it worth salvaging. And we can do a bit of work on some of the furniture." She nodded at a shabby chest of drawers which was sagging beneath bulging boxes, many filled with ancient books. "That would paint up nicely," she said. "And that chair ... and look here." She moved forward to a box of sheet music and pulled out a selection. "There might be some material in here you could use, Xanthe, when you start singing again."

"Mum ... I really don't want to even think about that right now."

"OK, OK, just saying. Might be worth considering." She turned to look at her daughter closely then. "You can't just not sing, love. It's part of you, you know that."

Xanthe feigned interest in a rusty set of scales. When she gave no reply, Flora let the matter drop.

"Ooh, look through there," Flora said, pointing with one of her crutches. "If I remember what the brochure said, Mr. Morris kept the second room just for mirrors."

They went to investigate. Moments later they were standing in a narrow, windowless room that was filled wall to wall with mirrors. They were propped up against one another, leaning at all angles, some hung properly, others wedged in a corner or resting against a wall. Xanthe switched on the light. Several of the mirrors were in simple wooden frames, others were ornate, some plaster, some painted, some gilded. The two women stood in the middle of the room and saw themselves multiplied by dozens of reflections.

Margaret Merton stood at Xanthe's shoulder, a singular presence without a single reflection.

Xanthe found the uncommon sight of herself, so repeated and replicated, an unsettling experience. These were not the distortions of a fairground hall of mirrors. The sense was more akin to Alice and her looking glass. Xanthe and her mother were truthfully mirrored, and yet, framed in so many ways, shown at so many angles, glimpsed in so many fogged and silvering surfaces, they looked oddly different. As if they were different people. They had their usual features and characteristics. There was Xanthe's mass of dark blonde corkscrew curls. And those were unmistakably her customary vintage clothes. And she remained a good six inches taller than her mother, who still had a scrap of scarf tied in her fine, fluffy brown hair. Flora had crutches, Xanthe did not. The older woman's feet were tiny and looked still smaller in her flat pumps. The black leather of Xanthe's heavy Dr. Martens boots gleamed dully in the low light. For all the similarities, those multi-Floras and multi-Xanthes were somehow, crucially, not them.

"Bit of a thing with Mr. Morris, then, mirrors," Xanthe said, rubbing a finger over one of the gilt frames. "Do you think he ever sold any or just collected them?"

"I don't know the market around here yet," Flora admitted. "But these'd sell in a week back in London."

They exchanged uncomfortable glances at the mention of the city that was now firmly a part of their past.

The doorbell rang and Xanthe raised her eyebrows. "Our first customer, d'you reckon?"

Returning to the main part of the shop, she found the driver of the moving van.

"Didn't want to risk getting stuck down that narrow street," he told her. "We're parked at the top end. Have to carry things from there."

Xanthe followed him out. It was only a short walk to the point where the cobbled lane met the high street, but even so she was glad their possessions were few. It would take a number of trips to cart them to the shop via the slender thoroughfare. She allowed herself a moment's pride that her beloved taxi with its superior design had made the tight turn required to navigate the route. The movers handed down boxes from the back of the van. There were cases of clothes and a small number of pieces of furniture taken from what had once been the family home. Flora had also demanded four boxes of stock from the auction house, despite her soon-to-be-ex-husband's loud protestations. Xanthe considered her father had been deliberately obstructive, as if he wished to make Flora's new life as difficult as possible. A point made all the more galling as it had been he who had wanted out of their marriage. Flora had been uninterested in shared household belongings, convincing herself she could replace everything when the settlement was finalized. That they were only insignificant things. That they did not matter. But Xanthe argued that they mattered a great deal, and that the reasons they were giving them up mattered, too. She admitted only to herself that not all of those reasons were the fault of her father. When it came to them having to find somewhere new and begin their lives afresh, Xanthe was painfully aware that she was, in her own way, equally to blame.

Carrying a heavy box marked KITCHEN, she made her way back down the tiny street. It was, in every respect, typical of the sort found in many English market towns, of which Marlborough was a fine example. The tarmac gave way to cobbles, smoothed under centuries of feet and hooves and wheels. The alleyway was barely 150 feet long, with small shops on either side. At the end, there was an archway under what had once been part of a coaching inn but was now apartments. It led only to some residents' parking, so there was no through traffic. The shopkeepers had taken full advantage of this, putting out their wares on the cobbles, the tea shop to the right having set up tables and chairs. The little Wiltshire town was well known for its broad high street, its beautiful old buildings, and its antiques. Which was why, fifteen years after that astonishing Spanish teapot, Xanthe and Flora had chosen this place in which to set up shop. The charming town was a popular destination for treasure hunters and shoppers, with its Georgian redbrick town houses mellowed with age, mixed among black-and-white half-timbered shops and homes that were even older, some by hundreds of years. Twice a week a bustling market set up along the wide main street, colorful and tempting, and everywhere there was a feeling of affluent, happy, provincial life.

The shop itself was built of brick the color of fox fur, with a bloom of age softening that brightness. It had a bow window, the frames painted smart white to match that of the glass door with its many small panes. The shop sign had been covered up by the estate agent's notice declaring it SOLD. Sold to Flora and Xanthe. Bought with every penny of their savings and a mortgage begged from a friendly broker. Until the divorce settlement came through they would be surviving largely on their wits, which meant the shop had to be restored, stocked, and opened as swiftly as was humanly possible. As Xanthe approached their new venture, she felt nervousness and excitement in equal measure. This was, for both of them, more than a business; it was a new life, and the modest flat above the shop was to be their new home. Xanthe recalled from the estate agent's particulars that to the rear of the house lay a fair-sized garden. As she followed the movers through the front door and saw again the overflowing shelves and tables, and took in the enormity of the task ahead of them, she accepted that it would be some time before she would be concerning herself with lawns and plants. There was work to be done in the shop, and plenty of it.

What she could not have known was that the ever watchful Mistress Merton had an entirely different plan for her.

* * *

That night Xanthe slept poorly, sensitive to the unfamiliar sounds of her new home, though unaware of the silent figure who kept vigil at the foot of her bed. It was the more mundane, earthly noises that disturbed her: the creaking and sighing of the building as it cooled in the night air; the clicking of the metal guttering as it contracted; the noises of the slumbering town drifting in through the open attic window. Both bedrooms were set into the roof of the house, hot in summer, cold in winter. Marlborough was a genteel and respectable place, and its night sounds were of an entirely different nature to the ceaseless thrum of London to which she had been accustomed. Here, there was only gentle midweek revelry, which quietened at what felt to her like a very early hour. In the dark depths of the night, she heard the occasional distant vehicle, the crying of a baby in another apartment, and the barking of a dog some way off. She dreamed no dreams as such, rather disconnected images passed through her sleeping mind. Pictures of the town and the shop and the mirrors with their endless reflections, seeming to offer so many possible futures.

When the dawn light eventually fell through the faded and flimsy curtains, she rose from her bed. Pulling the curtains open, she sat on the window sill that formed a dusty seat from which to view the rooftops of Marlborough. Her room, being at the top of the house that had no loft space, wore the slope of the roof in its ceiling, and the window was cut in among the tiles. From this highpoint she could see across the uneven roofscape of shops and houses, which was punctuated with church spires at either end of the high street, and faded into the distant, undulating countryside. Below, small birds were stirring in the walled garden, which consisted of a long swathe of unmowed lawn and a tangle of brambles, overgrown shrubs, and flowers. For a moment Xanthe considered sketching what she saw. She had always liked to draw and had developed a fair eye. It had proved useful in the trade, noting details of objects she was trying to authenticate, or taking down requirements from customers looking for something in particular. On that morning, however, the challenge of finding sketch pad and pencils among the packing cases was sufficient to deter her.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Little Shop of Found Things"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Paula Brackston.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Little Shop of Found Things 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
SheenahM 4 days ago
Xanthe has moved with her mother, Flora, from London to Marlborough to open an antique shop. Both are leaving a painful past behind and they hope the small town will be a new start. Flora loves antiques, but it is Xanthe who has a special connection to objects - the ability to hear them and listed to their stories. It is this ability that leads her to a special piece and a troubling history. Xanthe must travel back in time to correct the wrongdoing attached to the antique in order to keep her mother from harm. I enjoyed Paula Brackston's time-travelling tale. Past and present were woven together to make a compelling story driven by the love between mother and daughter. I look forward to reading more about Xanthe and her intriguing gift.
Laeljeanne 16 days ago
Starting over, Xanthe and her mother Flora purchase an antique store in a small town, where Xanthe’s extra-sensory connections to antiques impel her into a time travel mystery to rescue a young woman in the 17th century to save her mother’s life. Details of time travel are cleverly meted out through Xanthe’s discoveries and conclusions, increasing tension by placing credible limitations on Xanthe’s experiences. Urged on (and threatened) by the ghost of the young woman’s mother, Xanthe makes difficult decisions with every move, resolving impossible conflicts with verve and panache, even sacrificing romance for her mother, which is as it should be. Repeated references to the injustice in her own history could have been more subtle. The ghost mother could have been developed a bit more. The damsel in distress was a lovely vision of mystery even after the reader meets her in person. That she was rescued by a woman is a brilliant move on the author’s part. Readers who love time travel and / or female antagonists who save the day will appreciate this story. I received this wonderful story from the publisher through #NetGalley.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Enjoyed the book very much. A great read if you want to transport yourself somewhere else for awhile.
PattySmith87 23 days ago
Many thanks to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Paula Brackston for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy. Xanthe and her mother move to the small town of Marlborough to start life over and open up an antique shop. Both are running away from bad men. They are low on funds and there is pressure to open up the shop as soon as possible. Xanthe has a unique ability. She has a special, magical connections to old objects that have a story to tell. She comes across a chatelaine that has the strongest pull she has ever felt. While trying to get the shop ready to open, Xanthe also discovers that there is a sinister ghost haunting the place, who needs her help. The ghost needs Xanthe to save her daughter, four hundred years in the past. The chatelaine allows Xanthe to transport her back in time. Xanthe travels back, but saving the girl is not going to be so easy. Yet again, I am sucked in by the premise of a book. I love books like “Outlander” and “Somewhere in Time” where the main character gets transported back in time. I love the setting of the book, a small town in England, with all the quaint shops and characters. Magical abilities, a ghost who needs the help of the living, are all things that I get excited about. Yes, I expected some sort of love story to happen, whether in current time or in the past. But all I have to say is Yuuuccchhhhhh!!! How can it all go wrong? First there are the endless descriptions. On and on and on about stuff that not only I don’t care about, but doesn’t serve the story and isn’t gorgeous English-side scenery. Then we have the worst ghost - she is mean, nasty, bitter, and I don’t know why. What was the whole story with her and her daughter. I wasn’t even convinced she loved her daughter because we never got to see that. She was just super angry. So if you aren’t going to make the ghost a sympathetic character then make her scary, I mean really scary. I never understood why Xanthe would have done anything for her. I just didn’t buy that she would leave her sick mother and go risk her life for this women’s daughter, it was a shaky premise at best. Then, don’t make me wait 60% of the way through before I get a glimpse of the love story and then expect me to be invested in it. There was so too much preamble and not enough substance. The structure was just off for me. Overall, I wasn’t invested in the main characters. I didn’t care much for Xanthe. I liked the townspeople, both present and past, but why was so much time spent on them and nothing interesting happened with them. All the characters were really one dimensional, no depth. It was so slow I just wasn’t invested in the character’s outcomes. There wasn’t much magic and the time travel wasn’t captivating enough to hold my interest. Honestly, I was bored, and really had to force myself to finish this one. I left it many times before finishing it. Disappointing and just glad to be done with it.
Selena 25 days ago
Xanthe Westgate has a connection to objects. The objects sing to her and provide her with images and stories from the people who originally owned them. Xanthe moved to Marlbrough with her mom, Flora, to open an antique shop. There, she experiences her biggest connection ever with a specific object. She is trying to uncover it's secrets. In doing this she is going back and forth from the 17th century to the present. The characters in this book are so vividly written and you find yourself growing a connection with them. Her writing reminded me a lot of Alice Hoffman's with her magical context. I really enjoyed the historical aspects of this book as well.
dhaupt 28 days ago
Brackston showcases her unique iconic blend of magic, mystery and history in her latest genre-bending literary treasure, The Little Shop of Found Things. With breathtaking backdrops, period perfect dialogue and conduct for the current and early sixteenth century timelines this master storyteller takes fans on a fantastical and believable journey introducing them to convincing characters including a vengeful ghost and treating them to action adventure and an ill-fated love story while solving a cryptic mystery and meting out justice. Xanthe is the stand out in this novel, the perfect star, victimized but not a victim, empathic and compassionate enough to want to travel through time to make things right in spite of the threats of a malevolent specter. Fans of history and mystery who love a little woo-woo thrown in will devour this soon to be bestseller. SUMMARY: Xanthe Westlake and her mother Flora are hoping for a new beginning after the men they loved betrayed them; she was sent to prison for a crime her now ex-boyfriend committed and her mother is going through a painful divorce from her philandering father. So they’ve moved house from the bustle of London to the quiet hamlet of Marlborough where they've purchased an antique shop. But what they don’t know is that someone has been waiting for their arrival –– someone who’s been haunting the shop for a very long time, someone who’s counting on Xanthe’s gift of connecting with certain found treasures of the past to solve an ages old mystery and save a lost soul. During a purchasing trip to a nearby grand estate Xanthe is drawn to purchase an antique chatelaine that connects her with it’s tragic past, a vengeful ghost that haunts their shop and a trip back through time to right a centuries old wrong.
bookaholique 29 days ago
3.5 I cannot tell you how excited I was to discover I had gotten in on the ground floor of this new series by Paula Brackston. A wonderful mix of a mystery, time travel and a little romance, along with delightful characters made this an enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to future books is the series. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley.
Anonymous 29 days ago
Absolutely loved it!
brf1948 3 months ago
The Little Shop of Found Things - first book of a new series - is an excellent novel for teens to seniors who enjoy a little SF with their novels. Paula Brackston seamlessly adds a little time travel to her tale of a young woman and her mother, moving to a new town after the divorce of Mom and Dad, and opening a little shop of antiques and curiosities in a tourist spot by the sea. I found 'Found Things' an enchanting tale, one I am happy to encourage young great nieces and nephews to read. There are many series now with more than a dash of the supernatural, but most are also very sexual in nature. Brackston writes a story that carries itself without the addition of sex. Yeah! I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Paula Brackston, and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
bkworm_ran 3 months ago
The exciting thing about finding special items in a vintage shop is knowing that item has been around long before you found it and it has a past. We often must make up a past or imagine what travels the item has been on, but not so for Xanthe. She has a special gift that allows certain items to ‘speak’ to her. When she attends an estate sale with her mother, a silver chatelaine calls to her. While exploring the grounds of their new shop, she discovers a small shed like building towards the rear that fills her with the feeling of dread and despair. Crossing through the door, she is pulled into the past and witnesses the cries of a young girl being spirited away in a coach. Upon Xanthe’s return to the present, she is confronted by the ghost of Margaret Merton, mother to the young girl Xanthe has just seen. Margaret threatens Xanthe’s mother’s life if she doesn’t return to the past and help save her daughter. Carrying the chatelaine with her, she must go back to 1605 and figure out what led up to the arrest of Margaret’s daughter and discover a way to save her, to keep Margaret from harming her mother. For fans of time travel fiction, this one even mixes in the theme of the ghost. Filled with adventure and romance, Brackston has managed to check many boxes in the fiction genre. I’m a huge fan of scouring vintage marketplaces for treasures and she even checked that box for me. This is a very satisfying book to escape into and I will gladly recommend it to teen readers as well as adult. #LittleShopOfFoundThings #NetGalley I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for access to the Advanced eReader Copy for my honest review. No monetary stipend was received from either for this review.
bkworm_ran 3 months ago
The exciting thing about finding special items in a vintage shop is knowing that item has been around long before you found it and it has a past. We often must make up a past or imagine what travels the item has been on, but not so for Xanthe. She has a special gift that allows certain items to ‘speak’ to her. When she attends an estate sale with her mother, a silver chatelaine calls to her. While exploring the grounds of their new shop, she discovers a small shed like building towards the rear that fills her with the feeling of dread and despair. Crossing through the door, she is pulled into the past and witnesses the cries of a young girl being spirited away in a coach. Upon Xanthe’s return to the present, she is confronted by the ghost of Margaret Merton, mother to the young girl Xanthe has just seen. Margaret threatens Xanthe’s mother’s life if she doesn’t return to the past and help save her daughter. Carrying the chatelaine with her, she must go back to 1605 and figure out what led up to the arrest of Margaret’s daughter and discover a way to save her, to keep Margaret from harming her mother. For fans of time travel fiction, this one even mixes in the theme of the ghost. Filled with adventure and romance, Brackston has managed to check many boxes in the fiction genre. I’m a huge fan of scouring vintage marketplaces for treasures and she even checked that box for me. This is a very satisfying book to escape into and I will gladly recommend it to teen readers as well as adult. #LittleShopOfFoundThings #NetGalley I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for access to the Advanced eReader Copy for my honest review. No monetary stipend was received from either for this review.
KindleLady 3 months ago
Xanthe Westlake, and her Mother, Flora, have fallen on hard times recently. They go in together and purchase an old Antique Shop in hopes of getting their lives and finances back in good order. Shortly after arriving in their new home they attend a sale at a nearby Manor House, searching for merchandise for the shop. Xanthe, who has a gift of having some items "talk" to her, finds an old chatelaine that she just cannot help but purchasing, even though it is more money than she can afford to tie up in one item. This chatelaine will lead Xanthe on a journey that crosses centuries and possibly to love. A very engaging tale, well written and enjoyable.
wjane 3 months ago
The Little Shop of Found Things is a fabulous new book by Paula Brackston. I absolutely loved the story, so well written, full of action, history, love, mystery, split time and unusual time travel. It certainly left me wanting more of Xanthe and Samuel. Now I can hardly wait for the next book in this series. My thanks to the author, the publisher and netgalley for making this book available to me to read and review.
Sunshine1006 3 months ago
Truly a magical book. Xanthe and her mother, Flora have moved to Marlborough to open a little shop of antiques and collectables. Flora and Xanthe's dad are getting divorced and Xanthe has broken up with her sorry, no good boyfriend. Xanthe has the gift of .psychometry.. She can hold things in her hand and they tell her about their history. Once they are at the shop, Xanthe feels something in the house, something she can't see. She and her mother go to an estate sale, where an item is calling her. It is a chatelaine, made of silver. She takes it into the garden to listen to it and realizes that there is a small shed hidden behind vines and brambles. The chatelaine is pulled to that place. She finds out that it is where two leylines meet and it is a place of power. When Xanthe goes in, she is transported back in time and sees a vision of a young girl. The ghost of a woman is in the building as well. She tells Xanthe that it is her daughter and she must go to the 1600 century and free her daughter who has been arrested for stealing part of the silver chatelaine from the lady of the house or she will cause problems and maybe hurt her mother. Xanthe is transported back and is taken into the household of the lady whose chatelaine was taken. Alice is already in jail. During this time, Xanthe says that she is a minstrel. She is hired to be a servant and to sing when need be. She meets Samuel, an architect who knows that she is not what she seems. She and Samuel have deep feelings for each other. Will they be able to free Alice before she is punished? What about the feelings between Samuel and Xanthe? I adored this book. There is so much more that I could write about, but I don't want to give anything away. I give it a 5+. I received this book from Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for a honest review and no compensation otherwise.
FairytaleKingdom 3 months ago
I received a copy of “The Little Shop of Found Things” by Paula Brackston from NetGalley and this is my honest review. Xanthe has a connection to some objects and can feel their story and the stories of the previous owners. One day, she finds a silver chatelaine that, along with another interesting discovery, has the power to send her to the 17th century. In order to protect her mother from a ghost that threatens to harm her, she travels to the 17th century with the mission of saving the ghost’s daughter, Alice. While trying to save the girl, she meets Samuel, a young architect who helps her with her mission (and one of my favorite characters). It’s been years since I read a book with the time travel element and this sounded phenomenal and I think the author did an amazing job bringing the story and the characters to life. Regarding the writing, it was very easy to follow but I feel like sometimes there was too much description. However, it really helped me imagine the places in my mind. It was also incredible to see how the author portrayed the 17th century society, especially the way she described the justice system and the behavior of wealthy families like the Lovewells, who only cared about showing how much money they had and liked to pretend they were nobility. The pacing was slow in the beginning but it soon picked up and I felt like I was living the adventure with Xanthe. As far as I’m concerned, when you feel part of the story, it is because it’s well written. Regarding the characters, they were complex and realistic. Xanthe’s ability is very unique and she is my favorite character. She just wanted to save her mother, the most important person in her life. I admire her courage and intelligence and I must add that the author did an incredible job describing her feelings. I could feel how stressed and scared she was throughout all this, especially in the beginning, when she didn’t know what was happening or what to do. One of my favorite things about this book was the mother-daughter relationship. I love how they are not only mother and daughter, but also best friends. The way Xanthe helps her mother with her health problems (she has arthritis), and how they overcome their problems together, shows how beautiful their relationship is. All in all, I gave this book a 4/5 stars. It definitely was a very entertaining and magical story! Thank you, NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!
onemused 3 months ago
"The Little Shop of Found Things" is a great start to a new series! Xanthe and her mother Flora are getting a new start in small town Marlborough with an antique shop they have purchased. Xanthe has a special ability which will aid them in their endeavor- items "sing" to her, and she can know about the person who loved the item in the past. It is on a trip to gather new items for the shop that she finds one in particular, which is demanding her attention- a chatelaine from the seventeenth century. As she inspects the item to try to learn more, she finds herself drawn in to something much bigger. A ghost (Margaret) has been haunting the shop, waiting for someone with Xanthe's abilities. The chatelaine belonged to her daughter, and she will not rest until Xanthe helps to save her from the fates of the past. When Xanthe concentrates on the chatelaine, she is transported into the past- to 1605, where Alice has been accused of theft, and the punishment in that time is death. Xanthe must balance her own life in the present with that of the past, as she must work to clear Alice's name and save her from the cruel punishments of the seventeenth century- if not, Margaret has threatened her mother's life. As Xanthe spends time in 1605, she not only searches for ways to clear Alice's name, but also meets a dashing young man, Samuel, who aids her in her task. As she gets to know him more, she finds herself pulled into the past for another reason- she begins to care for Samuel, even though their relationship is impossible, as she must eventually return to her own time. This absolutely enchanting story pulls you in to Xanthe's life and keeps you going with questions about Alice and the supposed theft. Although it is, at times, a little slow on the searching, the pace seems overall reasonable and there are no easy answers to what happened to the pieces Alice took nor how to clear her name. I liked that it felt like a reasonable set of steps to figure out what was going on and how to help Alice; often, it seems there are some lucky leaps in books like this, but this felt a bit more clear and evenly paced. Regarding the romance, it seemed OK- I was not super-invested in them as a couple (I maybe would have liked more getting-to-know-about-you conversations or epiphanies), but the development was mostly there. Xanthe and her mother were wonderful characters, and I also enjoyed some of the other folks in town, such as the history-buff barkeep and the delightful bakery owner, as well as Liam, who helps repair Xanthe's old taxi car, and seems to draw her out of her shell (a romance to be developed in the future?). I definitely would love to spend more time in Xanthe's world, and I am really excited about this new series! If you like romance, mysteries, and time travel, I highly recommend you pick this one up! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
lauriesophee 3 months ago
"It could not be real, and yet it was." When Xanthe was only a child, she realized she had a gift of looking at old things and feeling their history. Little did she realize that an old silver chatelaine bought at an estate sale, would send her back to the 1600's to save a young servant named Alice from an unjust punishment. Nor did she fathom after purchasing the old antique shop, of an unwelcome guest roaming there. The ghost of Margaret Merton. Margaret Merton was searching for someone to save her daughter Alice and was not going to rest until it was done! Xanthe is called to this task. I could feel the anxiety each and every time Xanthe plummeted back in time and I awaited what would happen next as I turned each page. This was my first book by this author and definitely not my last! This story has it all!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Supposed to be available on 10/2. No book.