The Secret of Pembrooke Park

The Secret of Pembrooke Park

by Julie Klassen

Hardcover(Large Print)

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Praise for Julie Klassen

"A remarkable tale with many unpredictable twists and turns."—CBA Retailers+Resources

"A treat for [readers] who want their historical romances served up with a generous dash of mystery."—Booklist

"[Klassen's] work appeals to all who seek a riveting Regency romance."—RT Book Reviews

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play...

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances—and her dowry—Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781410474551
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 03/11/2015
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 759
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Three-time Christy Award winner Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more at

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The Secret of Pembrooke Park 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
I don't usually read regency fiction, but Julie Klassen has hooked me from the first book of hers I ever read, and her books have never disappointed. This was no exception. I loved it from start to finish, and it kept me enthralled the whole time. This one was filled with more mystery and intrigue than most of her others. One of the reasons I love her books is because of the twists and turns that keep you guessing, that I don't see coming. I'm not saying some things aren't predictable, after all she does get her influence from classics, but there have been many a time when I didn't know what was going to happen or was surprised. Abigail Foster's family is seeing some financial hard times. Forced to sell their house to downsize, they are not sure what to do, until a strange man comes to them with an even stranger proposition: his employer has offered them use of Pembrooke Park, which has sat idle for 18 years, abandoned under mysterious circumstances. The offer is almost suspicious, but as her sister still expects to have her season in London, Abigail and her father agree. But, everyone around the house is guarded and suspicious, refusing to tell Abigail anything, except to warn her about any visitors named Pembrooke. I liked Abigail. She was hard-working and kind. Although she had a bit of a martyr complex about her--oh, my sister is so much prettier than I am and no one notices me and everything is my fault--I liked that most of the book was actually set with her at the manor by herself, because we really got to see her, not her under the shadow of her sister. Abigail really shines, becoming more comfortable with herself and learning how to manage a household.  Although I am usually not a fan of love triangles, I enjoyed both the boys in this one. Before William became a key player, I was kind of hoping that Gilbert would show up and something would happen between them. But by the time Gilbert did show up, William had already won me over. And honestly, I didn't like Gilbert for Abigail for this point. I like the best-friends-from-childhood romances, but that wasn't the case here.  But those weren't the only secondary characters that I liked. I loved all of them really. Leah, Mrs. Webb, and trying to figure out how they all worked into the big picture. What they were hiding, what they knew. There was a lot going on in this one. Not to the point where you were so confused it took away from the joy of reading, but enough that it kept you intrigued the whole time. But I also loved how everything tied together. Nothing happened that didn't somehow play into the story later. And I loved the way it all came to conclusion.  I'm pretty sure this was one of Klassen's best yet. Or at least, one of my favorites so far. It is slightly longer than her others, and although it felt like it at the beginning, the end flew by. I cannot recommend it enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mystrey Romance and treasure. This was a wonderfully writen exciting story.
BookJunkie15 More than 1 year ago
Author Julie Klassen is in my opinion an expert at intriguing the reader from the beginning of the book and "The Secret of Pembrooke Park" was no exception. The author always brings this astounding air of mystery around the entire book, to a point where you're not sure what is going to happen next. I also never would have guessed all the mystery and secrets that Pembrooke Park held. Ms. Klassen did an amazing job at keeping the reader guessing and even at the end my guesses were not all correct. The book really was a good reminder that not everything in life should be about money, for we can't take the earthly possessions with us. Abigail had real life troubles which is what made her real to me, she was always feeling the need to live up to her younger sister's beauty and she really didn't believe in her worth, she thought herself to plain. Though in the end she realizes that her worth and everyone else for that matter, is not found in earthly treasures but in God, family and friends. I really loved this. William, is the local curate for the church and I loved some of his sermons, though they were short, they have a large impact. I liked both main characters. They loved and accepted each other as themselves and not for who they were not. But, I do have a couple things that I have to say about this book that I didn't care for so much. At one point in time when William and Abigail are speaking to each other and she explains how she knows another young man, William says "Shall I make passionate love to you to make him jealous?" which I take word for word from the book, page 183. She deeply blushes at this and he asks her to forgive him because it was such a cavalier thing so say, she responds that it did shock her and that it wasn't very parson like of him but goes on to say "I admit the notion is not without appeal but I shouldn't use you in such a manner." to this he responds "I promise you, Miss Foster, it would take very little acting ability on my part." She then thanks him for restoring her fragile feminine ego. This all being said on page 184. Though this was partly in jest it was the part that wasn't in jest that made me feel slightly uncomfortable considering they were only then developing feelings for each other, only friends. There was also one other part I didn't quite like, at one point Abigail accidentally catches William leaving from his swim in the river in which he doesn't have a shirt on, there are multiple mentions of her eyes roaming to his chest, arms and stomach. Though that just made her seem most life like because she was trying to control such thoughts but none the less, it also made me just a bit uncomfortable. I just felt like I should mention these couple things in detail because I wouldn't really suggest this book for younger readers personally but I went into detail so you could decide if you yourself would like to read it. But I must add another good note before I end my review, I didn't want the book to end for sure! I picked it up to read the last couple chapters and that was the thought that ran through my mind. I was attached to the characters without a doubt. On that note, I give this book three and a half stars. I truly really liked the book but because of the couple awkward moments I had to lower my star rating from a four to a three and a half. I do recommend this book to anyone who loves a good secret/mystery book, regency romance or a book with a good message. I just wouldn't recommend it to a younger reader. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are mine. 
inkwellreviews More than 1 year ago
Review from Julie Klassen has definitely proven herself and has become one of my favorite authors. I must say, her writing abilities are through the roof. She writes about real life, nothing flowery or extravagant yet she makes her story’s beautiful. Whatever time period she writes about, she takes you there and you feel like you are there with the characters. The Secret of Pembrooke Park is no exception. She gives you a beautiful setting of the mansion, mystery woven throughout the mansion. When Abigail first comes to the mansion to find dust covering everything and a man giving her a warning to beware, is enough to give me the chills. It isn’t a suspense book my any means but it is defiantly mysterious. Julie Klassen’s characters were, of course, very well developed. She gave each of the unique personalities, making it easy to differentiate between them. One of the love interest in this book was a pastor, which isn’t a problem, but I didn’t like some of the things he did. He didn’t seem very “Pastor-like”. I mean seriously, a man who shamelessly flirts with a woman as he is swimming in the dark in only his pantaloons would never be my ideal pastor. It is always safe to say that Julie Klassen’s books are worth the read and this is the perfect example.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the mystery/suspense angle, but the repeated sensual encounters between the main characters was deeply disturbing and historically inaccurate. I've enjoyed Klassen in the past and hope this is a fluke rather than a new trend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book full of vivid details and intricate plotlines.  I was impressed and thoroughly enjoyed my time in this book.  It's Klassen's typical regency romance - wonderfully written.  It also adds more of a gothic feeling than any of her previous works (think: Jane Eyre, but less dark and a bit more simplistic).  Its mysteries don't remain completely unknown, but I enjoyed the clues that allowed some guesswork and predictions.  All in all, it's one of my top reads this year.   
blueyz1962 More than 1 year ago
Abigail Foster is the practical daughter of a family who has lost their money due to a bad investment she encouraged her father to take part in. Now she and her Mr. Foster have to find cheaper lodgings for their family and fast. They meet with a solicitor who offers them the use of a manor house that has been abandoned for nearly twenty years, Pembrooke Park. Abigail's father is a very distant relative of the executor and is offering the place to the family for a year. Needless to say, they take this mysterious relative up on the offer. Abigail gives up her dowry so that her younger sister can still have her coming out in London, while she and her father go to check out Pembrooke Park. They are met by a gun toting keeper of the manor, who doesn't approve of these people taking over the home of his deceased employer. Regardless, Abby and her father move in and start the renovations of the home that is in desperate need of cleaning and repairs. The place is a strange one and strange things have happened and continue to happen. Meet local curate William Chapman, handsome and son of the gun toting keeper of the manor. He intervenes between the Fosters and Mac Chapman, gun toter, and a friendship is struck up with the Fosters and William Chapman. Abigail and William begin to feel an attraction for each other, but she has no dowry, so she tries to remain just friends and he can't afford a wife on his curate salary. What is to become of them if they can't find a way to be together? Will the mystery of the hooded-caped specter be solved or will it claim the treasure that is rumored to be in the manor somewhere? The characters are likable and interesting. Of course, sometimes you don't know who to trust and who is who, but the story is interesting, original, and romantic at times. A clean, enjoyable historical romance for those who enjoy these types of books. I loved it. I borrowed this from my local library. Maybe you can to or better yet, buy it. it's a keeper. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story line but It was very wordy and too many characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book of Julie Klassen that i've read. The newness of her writing and storylines drew me in and kept me interested. I liked the protagonusts and the pitentualvof mystery, but I thought the author had a hard time wrapping up the story and I had a hard time buying into the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh, my gosh! This book is gripping! I listened to the audio version on a long car trip and there were definitely times that I was gripping the steering wheel! This novel is written in the style of the great gothic novels, but the story leaves you with a satisfying ending, unlike many gothic novels. There are twists and turns, ups and downs, joy and heartbreak. All of the characters have to learn about forgiveness and redemption. A great story.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I did not want to put this book down because I wanted to know all the secrets of this house and family. Once she has to move to this house in the country she needs to know if she can find love or just the treasure of Pembroke Park. I loved Abigail and William. There are many twists and turns in this story. When you think you know one secret there turns up more. I received this book from book for a fair and honest opinion.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
This book is so full of twists and turns I could have been on a roller coaster. Julie Klassen is an excellent author. She had me digging for clues and trying to figure out who people really are. Klassen did an amazing job at making the story full of excitement, and then answering every question that was raised throughout the story. I really enjoy a book where you feel completely satisfied and not like you are missing something. Secret of Pembrooke Park took me to another place and time where true gentleman still existed, just not always where you expected. I love reading about different times where there were different stations in life, but love overcomes all. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Writer4God More than 1 year ago
This was a fairly good book. The mystery kept me interested, though it did have a few slow parts throughout it. One thing that kind of annoyed me was that it seemed like the author was trying to make her characters act like the people do in Pride and Prejudice, and I just didn't like that very much. It was TOO much like Pride and Prejudice and how the people talk in those movies. Most of the men ended up having "prissy" voices in my head because they didn't talk like men . . . haha. But other than that, a pretty interesting read that kept my interest all throughout it, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good mysterious historical romance!
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
The Secret of Pembrooke Park is an enjoyable book by one of my favorite authors. Julie Klassen writes great historical romances that capture from the reader from the beginning and don't let you go. This one is no different. When a financial venture that Abigail proposes falls through, it sends the family finances to ruins. Abigail feels responsible and trys to hold the family together. She relocates the family to a distant relatives manor house that has been uninhabited. There is mysteries associated with the house. Abigail encounters the locals and forms friendships. There is romance, friendship and mystery present. Overall, it is a true Klassen novel. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Julie Klassen in her new book “The Secret of Pembrooke Park” published by Bethany House Publishers brings us into the life of Abigail Foster. From the back cover: Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister. Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play… The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure. This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances–and her dowry–Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house. Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger? There are many secrets tied up in the large Pembrooke Park estate. Abigail wants to find the hidden room so that she can restore her family’s finances however she is not the only person searching. It seems that there is a hidden person who may be dangerous. Then there is the romance between Abigail and William which may be lost as she has lost a previous romance. I have to say that this is quite a story. There is quite a lot going on between these pages that will grab and hold your attention as you work your way through this Regency Romance. Ms. Klassen has given us quite a heroine with Abigail and not only do we fall in love with her but we want her to succeed. Does Ms. Klassen give us the answers to all the secrets of Pembrooke Park? Well that is something you will just have to find out for yourself. I promise you will not be disappointed. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of her books but this is by far my favorite! It has mystery,suspense,romance, and it made me cry. Some books ate so perdictable but this one is not. Well done
Andrea_Renee_Cox More than 1 year ago
by Andrea Renee Cox There are many reasons to enjoy Julie Klassen’s novel, The Secret of Pembrooke Park. Setting aside her incredible backlog of books I’ve collected over the years, here are a few of the reasons I liked this particular one. This book felt like a historical mystery to me, which is an intriguing combination. The mysteries came early and often, building upon each other until the tension and suspense had me holding my breath. Not a great thing when you’re sick and having trouble breathing in the first place, but I was eager to be distracted from my discomfort and couldn’t resist reading more chapters to find out the answers to the questions bouncing around my fever-riddled brain. Rich characters are to be expected in a Klassen book, and Pembrooke Park didn’t disappoint. One character that stood out for me was Mac Chapman, the steward of the mysterious manor. The moment he held three other characters at gunpoint, I knew the feisty old codger and I would be fast friends. What took me by surprise was the intensity of his loyalty to certain other characters. That loyalty led to protectiveness which created even more empathy for him. Admiration comes to mind when I think of how Julie Klassen’s novels continue and enhance the tradition Jane Austen began so many generations ago. The Regency Era was such a beautiful time period, and that is put on display in the settings, hierarchy, rules of propriety, costumes, dialogue, and familial interactions within Ms. Klassen’s stories. She writes exquisite tales enriched with incredible detail that I’m often transported to her favorite era. It’s authors like her that keep the classics alive … because she’s giving us new ones. Oh yes, this woman’s books are certain to stand the test of time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
If I had known that Victorian novels could be written this exquisitely, I would have started reading them a long time ago! The Secret of Pembrooke Park was a delightful surprise, from the elegant manor house, the mysterious neighbors, the hint of hidden treasure that could change their financial future, to the spiritual growth, suspense, and potential romance combined together by the talented pen of Julie Klassen bring an A Plus cast of characters to a new spiritual and suspenseful height. Abigail Foster, the most practical Foster daughter, is charged with helping her father find a new, socially acceptable and less costly home for their family. Her mother and sister are far more interested in their social standing and the coming out season for her sister Louisa. The financial ruin faced by the family is not even a concern to anyone except Abigail and her father. They are offered a majestic place to live in a place far from the social scene, belonging to a mysteriously unknown party. A catch? The manor has not been lived in for almost two decades, and appears that the family who lived there left in the middle of their daily lives, with dirty teacups still on the table – why? And they would have the daunting task of cleaning and refurbishing the home to make it livable again. On the property is a chapel used by the community, with a very low-paid curate and his very shy sister. William has a connection with the Lord that Abigail has never seen before – is it a spiritual relationship she can have? Does she want it? There are those still on staff who were there when the last family lived there, and they refuse to talk about what occurred. They are also less than welcoming, but are willing to accommodate the Foster family as Abigail begins the daunting task of cleaning the manor and preparing it for her family’s moving in. Instead of the larger or newer or brighter rooms, Abigail chooses the room that has a beautiful dollhouse and the small dress of the child who had lived there last. She also begins the quest of finding the rumored treasure to restore her family and her dowry, but begins to tumble onto secrets that could reveal what happened to the last family who lived in the manor. It sounds – and looks – as though someone else is also looking for the treasure, and the manor becomes at times a frightening prison. As she grows closer to the Lord, she also becomes closer friends with William. Neither of them are in a position to marry due to the lack of finances or dowry, but their friendship was solidly based on faith. And as the secrets begin to be seen in the light of day, Abigail’s faith is the bedrock needed, more sure than the mansion she lives in. The characters in the story are outstandingly presented and given life. Abigail is, of course, my favorite, with Leah being a close second. Abigail is quite capable and valuable as the Lord designed her, even though she doesn’t recognize it. Leah can go forward from the past if she is willing to. There are friends and foes in abundance – but the foes are cloaked as friends, and one can hardly tell the difference. The plot is so, so great! I am still in awe of the author’s skill and talent for executing every last detail of the story, and keeping this reader up ‘til all hours absorbing the history, the local, the characters, and the incredible suspense. The secret, the depth of cover-ups is amazing, beyond what I anticipated. I highly recommend The Secret of Pembrooke Park to adults of any age, and older teens, who have appreciated Ms. Klassen’s previous novels, to those who enjoy Victorian novels that are suspenseful and include a breath of romance, and are filled with the belief and growth in the Lord that can encourage the Christian believer without pointing fingers. It is a must-read for any time of year. With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book! It held my attention from start to finish. The story line was rivoting and the characters were wonderfully developed. Julie Klassen is such a gifted author!
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen was such a yummy book to dive into. If you like gothic romances this one delivers with bumps in the night, strange and estranged relatives, young innocents, mystery, murder, intrigue, and plenty of secrets. Throw in a romantic thread and you have a story that kept me up long past my bedtime. Abigail Foster and her family are facing financial ruin and so they, being distant relatives of the Pembrooke estate have been asked to occupy it and care for its upkeep. Ready to abandon the city, Abigail, nursing a broken heart and her father travel to the property and begin making it habitable ahead of her mother and sister’s arrival. However, things are not so simple, and the home and the entire town are shrouded in secrets long kept for 18 years. Along with rumors of a secret treasure room somewhere on the estate, Abigail becomes very much a part of the story of this home. I have not read a book by Julie Klassen I have disliked and this one goes on the keeper shelf. I received my copy from The Book Club Network, Inc. for an honest review and the opinions stated are my own.
Espan_Rose More than 1 year ago
This book is a classic Julie Klassen. It is so rich and vibrant with the regency era life and culture, but she throws in her own mix of mystery and intrigue so often missing in modern-written regency novels. The setting itself is extremely vibrant, especially when Abigail first enters Pembrooke Park.  It is chilling as you wander through the rooms with her, seemingly abandoned in the middle of life: a tea set placed out with dried tea still in the cups, and of course the doll house left, waiting for its owner to return. As she tries to set the house to right, Abigail finds more mysteries than answers, and the more people she meets, the more suspicious she becomes. I can’t help but adore the character of Abigail. She’s so quietly strong, a very interesting mix in her personality. When the man she adores turns from her to her sister, she still holds her head high and continues her life, and when her family encounters trouble, she takes the lead in moving to Pembrooke Park. And she is so kind, sacrificing her own future to see that her sister can have one of her own. Her love for her family is what leads her to follow the rumors of treasure buried in a secret room, though her curiosity leads to a few difficult circumstances. Then you have the character of William, the local curate, who is a complete gentleman at heart. Even when they meet in circumstances that would have been considered scandalous, there is not a hint of impropriety in his mannerisms or interaction with her. And even the minor characters are extremely well rounded, each almost an enigma themselves. Some books have supporting characters that are one-dimensional, but so very few in this book are, and that itself is refreshing. And the plot, the mystery, was one of the most intriguing I’ve read; it kept me in my seat unable to put it down, and took me on so many twists, and even came to a very shocking conclusion. This is definitely a great book for anyone who likes regency, romance, and a good mystery.
MarB1 More than 1 year ago
I love it when Julie Klassen writes a tale of mystery and suspense. They are my favorite books written by this talented author. The storyline is excellently constructed and wrapped up nicely in the final pages. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, this is a satisfying read that – I believe – will entertain many readers.