Fans of Jane Austen will fall in love with Sarah E. Ladd’s “A Stranger at Fellsworth” as they journey into 1819 England and into the world of Annabelle Thorley, making a return to Fellsworth from prior novels.
Annabelle is struggling. Both of her parents are dead and she is in the care of her brother Thomas. Trying to overcome the suspicion of a scandal that faced their father before his death, her brother spirals further and further into ruin and scandal. He tries to force Annabelle into a betrothal with the uncouth and disgusting, but rich, Cecil Bartrell to help fix their problems.
After a night of debauchery and danger, Annabelle fears for her very life and is forced to leave London and seek refuge with her uncle, Edmund Langsby, the superintendent of Fellsworth School. With the assistance of the mysterious and intriguing Owen Locke, Fellsworth’s gamekeeper, Annabelle is able to escape and settle into a new life.
Owen, a widower with a precocious yet delightful young daughter Hannah, has his own battles, though. Still trying to overcome the scandalous murder of his wife several years ago, he is also trying to figure out and end the poaching crisis occurring in Fellsworth. And he is pursuing his dream of one day becoming a landowner himself.
“A Stranger at Fellsworth” is a tale of romance, but it is also a tale filled with suspense, mystery and danger. As both main characters struggle with dealing with scandals in their lives, they also learn many more amazing lessons — things can always be worse; every person is on a journey, and their journey is already mapped out for them; how to overcome loneliness; wanting a sense of belonging; paths and purposes change; and the importance of having faith. As Owen’s family emphasized, people should always strive for faith over fortune; and wealth is pride in a job well done, not how many possessions they own.
Sarah E. Ladd offers another delightful gem with “A Stranger at Fellsworth,” full of lovely and intriguing characters, great action, and make-you-sigh romance.
Five stars out of five.
Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
“A Stranger at Fellsworth” (Treasures of Surrey series, #3) by Sarah E. Ladd