|A fantastic page turner!|
Evergreen Falls by Kimberley Freeman
Simon & Schuster/Touchstone (reissue) August 2015
HistFic/Dual Time Period
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for this review, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:
Read reviews of Kimberley Freeman's previous novels here at BurtonBookReview.comA long-forgotten secret, a scandalous attraction and a place where two women's lives are changed forever - Evergreen Falls is the captivating new novel from Kimberley Freeman. 1926: Violet Armstrong is one of the few remaining members of staff working at the grand Evergreen Spa Hotel as it closes down over winter. Only a handful of guests are left, including the heir to a rich grazing family, his sister and her suave suitor. When a snowstorm moves in, the hotel is cut off and they are all trapped. No one could have predicted what would unfold. When the storm clears they must all keep the devastating secrets hidden.
2014: After years of putting her sick brother's needs before her own, Lauren Beck leaves her home and takes a job at a Blue Mountains cafe, the first stage of the Evergreen Spa Hotel's renovations. There she meets Tomas, the Danish architect who is overseeing the project, and an attraction begins to grow. In a wing of the old hotel, Lauren finds a series of passionate love letters dated back to 1926, alluding to an affair - and a shocking secret.
If she can unravel this long-ago mystery, will it make Lauren brave enough to take a risk and change everything in her own life?
This is the fourth novel of Kimberley Freeman's that I have read, and I have yet to be disappointed. Her novels are similar to another favorite author of mine, Susanna Kearsley, as they follow a dual time period story arc and always seem to be intriguing and fast paced. If I wasn't offered this novel for review, I was all set to buy it! But many thanks to the publisher for originally turning me on to this author in 2011.
Evergreen Falls is a small little town in Australia's Blue Mountains where the contemporary character Lauren Beck is working when she stumbles upon papers in an old hotel that is being remodeled. Her new love interest gives her access to the hotel so she can do some further investigating after finding evocative love letters that were hidden away. The story brings us to the 1920's, set in a classy hotel where servant Victoria Armstrong finds forbidden love with a very wealthy guest, Sam Honeychurch-Black. Both storylines eventually intersect but each mirrors the other with the themes of a building romance, family loyalties and betrayals, and sacrifice.
There are quite a few supporting characters to add realistic touches to the novel: with meddling mothers, and both overbearing men and heroic men. The setting is beautiful, from and enchanting swimming hole and a love cave to a luxury hotel held captive among the snowdrifts.
The author does a very good job with capturing the nuance of both eras, and the switching from one narrative to the next wasn't jarring in any way. Very enjoyable with the suspense of Lauren trying to discover what happened many years ago with Victoria and Sam, and Lauren's current issues with her family were also timely and intriguing. Full of secrets and scandals, Evergreen Falls is a fantastic piece that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Fair warning: you will find it difficult to put down in order to get a good night's sleep!
Thank you to the publisher for offering a giveaway of Evergreen Falls to my followers in USA and Canada!!
And extra special this time is there will be TWO winners if I can get more than 15 individuals to enter and comment on this giveaway. Which means YOU will need to help out and SHARE this post!