Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (By: Melanie Dobson)

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

By: Melanie Dobson

New-to-us author Melanie Dobson has caught our attention and we are eager to introduce our friends to her phenomenal books!

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor's story is told alternating between one generation and the next. It begins in 1950's England where Walter and Maggie Doyle are are joining their lives together, but secrets shadow their newly spoken vows. As the years pass, they face challenges that threaten to tear them apart including a special needs daughter, Libby, and a suspicious death of the boy next door. Fast forward to today, and Libby's sister Heather is headed back to England to wrap up the estate of her recently deceased father, Walter Doyle. What she thinks will be a simple task instead unearths secrets and shocking revelations about her childhood that urge her to extend her visit and search for answers. In addition to this, she must also come face to face with her first love from years ago and finally confront the problems that broke them apart. 

Melanie Dobson has an incredible gift for plot twists, revealing mysteries slowly and tying up loose ends. Her writing is masterful and we have yet to read one of her books that hasn't earned a five-star rating in our storyline criteria. We were completely swept away in Walter, Maggie and Heather's story!

Many deep issues of life are explored in this book. One of our favorites was that of children with special needs, and what they faced in the mid 1900's, before doctors fully understood their needs and before society appreciated their strengths. Melanie delicately writes Libby's unique beauty, and even writes from her point of view occasionally. Also tackled in this book are issues of lies, betrayal, mistakes, forgiveness, and second chances.

Faith is quite prevalent throughout this read! Most of the main characters seek God's guidance and forgiveness for the ways they have gone wrong. Walter Doyle was an especially inspiring character, as he sacrificed for his family, chose to love the unlovable and took the high road on many occasions, just as Christ did for us. Redemption is beautifully illustrated in several of the characters' lives!

Squeal Factor
We enjoyed several romances in this story, all of which warmed our hearts! While there may not have been much to get our hearts racing, one thing these 2 chicks really appreciated was characters choosing purity, even after mistakes had been made in the relationship previously. Not easy, but all things are possible when trying to please the Lord! He is the author of love, after all!

This dramatic family saga takes the reader on a beautiful journey through the English countryside and it is downright impressive! Full of rich imagery, entertaining characters and insightful life lessons, we couldn't stop turning the pages until the end.

Find it on Amazon: Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor


  1. Loved this one as well. My book club is reading Chateau of Secrets in 2016. Thanks for your review!

  2. I love this review!! And I loooove Melanie's books!