May 9, 2012

A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore

Opening sentences of a book can give a taste of the writer's style, a sense of the story. Here are the beginning sentences for A Place of Secrets.
The night before it begins, Jude has the dream again.She is stumbling through a dark forest, lost and crying for her mother. She always wakes before the end so she never knows whether she finds her, but it is very vivid. She feels the loamy earth, hears twigs crack under her feet and smells the rich, woody fragrances that are always strongest at night, when the trees are breathing. It's chilly. Brambles catch at her hair. And the panic, the despair, they're real enough as she claws her way to consciousness; she scrabbles for the light switch and lies waiting for her sobbing breaths and racing heart to slow.
Title: A Place of Secrets: A Novel by Rachel Hore
Paperback: 400 pages; Holt Paperbacks; January 31, 2012
Publisher's description:
An historical mystery in the tradition of Kate Morton. 

Auction house appraiser Jude leaves London for her dream job at Starbrough Hall, an estate in the countryside, examining and pricing the manuscripts and instruments of an eighteenth-century astronomer. She is welcomed by Chantal Wickham and Jude feels close to the old woman at once: they have both lost their husbands. Hard times have forced the Wickham family to sell the astronomer's work, their land and with it, the timeworn tower that lies nearby. The tower was built as an observatory for astronomer Anthony Wickham and his daughter Esther, and it served as the setting for their most incredible discoveries.

Though Jude is far away from her life in London, her arrival at Starbrough Hall brings a host of childhood memories. She meets Euan, a famed writer and naturalist who lives in the gamekeeper's cottage at the foot of the tower, where Jude's grandfather once lived. And a nightmare begins to haunt her six-year-old niece, the same nightmare Jude herself had years ago. Is it possible that the dreams are passed down from one generation to the next? What secrets does the tower hold? And will Jude unearth them before it's too late?

Rachel Hore is the author of novels including The Glass Painter's Daughter and The Memory Garden. She worked in London publishing before moving to Norwich, where she teaches publishing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor.


Zibilee said...

Oh, I loved this little snippet and summary. It sounds very rich and atmospheric, and since I love Kate Morton, this should be right up my alley! Thanks for sharing this today. I need to check it out!

Suko said...

Very lovely opening! And it does tell us a lot about the writing and the story.

Staci said...

Loved I want to know why she is having those types of dreams!

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