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Peter Holstein is of German descent and writes books under a pen name. In the months leading up to the start of World War I, he considers changing his name permanently to prove his loyalty to England, but must first prove his land holdings and citizenship. Rosemary Gresham survives by blending into upper-class society and stealing high-value items. For her next heist, she pretends she is a historian and offers to help Peter trace his family history. He hires her to find his family documents. As she gets to know him, she begins to see she is going down the wrong path and must decide if she should finally change her way of life.
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Shadows Over England
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.
But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?
IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Edwardian RomanceOctober 22, 2017IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5Im always in two minds about Christian novels that have one character who, lets say, has issues with honesty. Its a basic tenet of the Christian faith, so an author who chooses such a character is often starting off on the wrong foot.
Im also in two minds about novels in which one of the main characters is a novelistit seems to break the fourth wall, as well as being a somewhat clich application of the writing principle, to write what you know. But A Name Unknown quickly overcame both these possible issues.
Rosemary Gresham is a needs-must thief who has survived on the streets since she was orphaned at the age of eight. Shes now built up a family of misfit orphans who rely on her to provide for them, Robin Hood-style. Her latest assignment, from the mysterious Mr V, is to infiltrate the Cornwall home of Mr Peter Holstein and prove he is not the loyal Englishman he pretends to be. This is important, as England is on the cusp of war with Germany, what we know as World War One.
Peter Holstein might be German by birth and by heritage, but hes as English as the King when it comes to his loyalties. If only he could prove it. He knows the documents are in the library, but the library is dark and cramped, filled with the books, letters, and boxes of generations. He needs a librarian to make some sense of it. Enter Rosemary Gresham
A Name Unknown is historical romance with suspense elements. And its Christian, although the author favours Peter Holsteins brand of Christian fiction:
"Hed certainly never poured a whole sermon into his novelsthat would hardly be right in an adventure storythe ideas still snuck in. The readers got the message. Those letters in the attic assured him they did."
The ideas do more than sneak in. Peter is a Christian who prays, whose faith injects everything he does. Hes an excellent hero, even if hes not the clich hero of the adventure novels popular with the Edwardian public.
There were a couple of factual glitches that only a non-American would notice, but these were minor and more than compensated for by the outstanding writing. Roseanna M White is a brilliant writer, and Ill be looking forward to the sequel to A Name Unknown.
Recommended for fans of Edwardian-era Christian romance. Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
MauriKansasAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Name UnknownOctober 2, 2017MauriKansasAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I really liked this book. The characters were quite unique. Rosemary Gresham is part of a family of orphans who banded together to survive and care for each other. Part of that survival meant learning to steal successfully from the wealthy. She is approached by the mysterious Mr. V and given the task of discovering the loyalties of a reclusive man who lives in Cornwall, Peter Holstein. Do his loyalties lie with England, or with Germany, where he was born and still has relatives? It is spring of 1914, with Europe moving closer to war, so anyone with German ties is looked upon with suspicion. Peter struggles with speaking, stuttering especially when he is nervous, so he prefers to keep mostly to himself. He is also leading a secret life as an author of adventure stories, going to great pains to keep his identity unknown. Rosemary appears at Peter's home posing as a librarian, which he desperately needs to restore order to three generations worth of books and papers. It is also especially important that the documents be found that will prove his legitimacy as an Englishman. Peter is the nicest man Rosemary has ever met, almost too good to be true. It was good to see her character develop through the book as she became closer to Peter. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
SBMV5 Stars Out Of 5a fantastic read by Roseanna M WhiteSeptember 16, 2017SBMVQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I am totally in love. This book clutched my heart from the beginning and hasn't let go, even though I've finished reading it a few hours ago. Ms. White is an amazing writer. I knew that already and she is one of my favorite authors, but she never ceases to amaze me with each new book she writes.
Her writing is absolutely wonderful. The dialogue is convincing and flawless and extremely humorous. The rich European history at the core of the plot's premise is a fascinating gem under the beauty of the prose. The setting is somewhat familiar and not quite so as Ms. White takes us on a journey through the countryside of Cornwall at the cusp of WWI. The plot itself is unique as a highly skilled thief (and a woman, to boot!) is thrown together with a stuttering reclusive novelist as all of Europe swirls into war.
And the characters! Oh my. They're so real and tangible. Peter Holstein is a man after my own heart. Such a true gentleman, faithful to God and his fellow human beings, gentle, funny, intelligent, creative, thoughtful, loyal, loving. His outward appearance is not much and, yes, he stutters. But who could not love this man?!?!
And there is Rosie Gresham. An orphan and a thief. Yet there is a tender heart underneath that tough exterior that seeks to love and be loved. She's as loyal as you can get, extremely creative and bright, able to learn things quickly, compassionate but also practical.
There is a mystery regarding a whole slew of secondary characters. There is plenty of suspense as Rosie tries to unearth Peter's ancestry. And there is a solid component of faith, salvation, and redemption woven into the story, especially as Rosie gets to know Peter better.
What a delicious book that has all the components - romance, mystery, suspense - wrapped up in terrific writing and unforgettable characters! And the twists and turns in the plot will keep everyone guessing as to what will happen next. Can't wait for the next book in the series!!
I borrowed this book out from the local library. I was not required to write a review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
KatG5 Stars Out Of 5Awesome Read!!September 5, 2017KatGQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Would it be cheating to just say "Read it, it's awesome?" Yes? Ok, then. Let me start by saying I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher and am not required to write a positive review, but I am going to anyway because as Mikey always said "I really like it!" Roseanna blends together two different world, classes, viewpoints, faith outlooks, etc. beautifully in a story that teaches both main characters that we're never to old or young to learn and there is almost always a compromise if we allow ourselves an open mind and heart.
I could not put it down and was constantly drawn to the "what comes next?" That said, it broaches on war, and while it does get into some of those elements, it is not overwhelming to the story. You can feel the constant tension and the uncertain future, and I think just a little taste of what life would have felt like full time during that time period. I'm eager to see where Roseanna takes the family.
Nanc5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Read!September 5, 2017NancQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Rosemary Gresham loves her family! She is willing to do whatever she can for them. They have all stolen and deceived to stay together and survive on the streets. She's been asked to spy on Peter Holstein to see if he's loyal to Germany or Britain. Peter has a library that is in chaos. And his proof of loyalty is in there somewhere. He needs someone to help organize it all. There begins the fun. Rosemary and Peter's story is such a fun one because of their character. It's a story I didn't want to put down, it had mystery too! Wondering what would happen and where did his loyalties really belong to? And who was behind wanting to know? So many questions that had to be answered as I read! And then Peter and Rosemary! Such a sweet story itself. They aren't your typical main characters. So well worth reading!
I received complimentary copy of this book. All views are my own.