Kirkus Reviews: "In December 1861, England is in mourning after the
death of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert. For Anne Holt of
Holybourne, his death marks the second tragedy to occur on her birthday.
Eleven years before, her father, James, died in an accident shortly after her
birth. Anne grew up impoverished, as her mother, Catherine, struggled to
support them as a laundress and with money sent to them by her father's
sister, Alice. Desperate, Catherine turns to Mr. O'Leary, a wealthy
pawnbroker and a man of questionable character. In an effort to secure
Anne's future, Catherine arranges for her to stay with Alice at Lesington
Hall. Through the love of Aunt Alice and cousin Eleanor, Anne thrives over
the next several years while learning about her father and his side of the
family. On a trip to France, she meets Dr. Anthony Hathaway, a man who
once planned to marry Alice. As Anne plans to reunite him with her aunt,
she also meets Hathaway's son John, with whom she falls in love. However,
when a man from her past returns, Anne faces new decisions. The latest
from Kennedy is an enchanting work of historical fiction bolstered by an
appealing heroine and well-developed supporting characters. Anne is a
sympathetic, likable heroine who always puts the needs of others above
her own. The narrative unfolds briskly over a period of several years,
charting her development from an 11-year-old orphan to a mature young
woman of 18. She's complemented by strong supporting players, including
Alice, Hathaway, and Charlotte Phillipps, a vicar's sister whose haughty
demeanor masks a hidden talent and a fun-loving side. Kennedy's
narrative is further enhanced by period details that bring Anne's world into
focus ... A charming work that may appeal to fans of Jane Austen and the
Mary Burdick: "I've read all of Kennedy's books and recommend reading
her books twice ... there's always more to what you read than meets the
eye. This novel is the author's favorite. Mine too."
Denise Kuster: "I loved Holybourne. Didn't want to put it down. I'm British,
and the language was true and accurate. Light reading. So enjoyed it."
Joan Johnson: "Holybourne joins the few classic tales of a girl's
progress from childhood to womanhood written with an authentic voice by
an authentic author."