Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Desperate Fortune
Susanna Kearsley
For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher.
Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing-for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

As Mary's gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to her, Sara faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew-about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women are united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the unlikely coincidences of fate.(from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Sara is hired to decipher a journal that is almost three hundred years old.  The journal was written by a young woman named Mary Dundas.  Mary lived in treacherous times and wrote her diary in a secret code.  Told in alternating voices, we get to see how both Sara and Mary stepped out of their comfort zones to create new lives for themselves.

About two-thirds of the way through this book, I started telling people how good it was.  In the back of my mind I kept thinking - boy, I sure hope this doesn’t bomb in the end.  I’ve had that happen with other books and on a few occasions, it has ruined the whole story.

I call this a quiet novel.  While it certainly held my interests, it was not an action packed thriller.  I was surprised that it actually turned out to be a love story.  I really like the way the author developed her characters.  While I quite liked Sara’s story, it was really drawn to Mary.  Both women are a bit out of their elements and work really hard to adapt to their new lives.

Honestly, I thought the story was lovely.  And oh - by the way - the ending?  It was beautiful.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Landmarks, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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