3 Apr 2022

Reviewed: Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

     December 7th 2021, 414 Pages, Bethany House
                         Print, Ebook and Audio

News of her brother's worrisome behavior spurs Miss Rebecca Lane to return home to her village. Upon her arrival, he begs her to go to nearby Swanford Abbey, a medieval monastery turned grand hotel rumored to be haunted. Feeling responsible for her brother's desperate state, she reluctantly agrees to stay at the abbey until she can deliver his manuscript to a fellow guest who might help him get published--an author who once betrayed them.

Soon, Rebecca starts seeing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey's cloisters at night. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past--including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick--baronet, magistrate, and former neighbor--who long ago broke her heart. Now a handsome widower of thirty-five, he is trying to overcome a past betrayal of his own.

When the famous author is found dead, Sir Frederick makes inquiries and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the author, including Miss Lane and her brother. As Sir Frederick searches for answers, he is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something. .


 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I've enjoyed Julie Klassen's novels for years, and this one was no exception. Shadows of Swanford Abbey sort of reminded me of some of the author's previous work, but its also different enough to not be repetitive. I love Rebecca and Frederick's romance/former beaus who come together again story.

Writing, women's roles and mental health are all subjects dealt with in this story. I love that more and more Christian authors are starting to address mental health in thier novels, and doing it in a realistic and sensitive way. This is something which needs to be explored more.

Don't let that serious stuff put you off though, this book was still fun and intriguing and keeps you turning pages. The romance is great and the faith elements were well handled. It is about forgiving yourself as much as forgiving others.

Thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to download an ARC of this title. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own

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