The Art of Inheriting Secrets

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

The Art of Inheriting Secrets by Barbara O'Neal - a read I enjoyed.  Why?

Set in the English countryside
A falling down estate - especially the old English house - more than a small house - a stately house.
A woman who has just lost her mother and has come to England because she has found papers amongst her mother's things.  She is about to find out she is now a Countess and the owner of the large estate.
A cold case - a young missing girl and a missing man, her mother's brother.
Unscrupulous people who are out to get their hands on the estate and any money there.
Food - Olivia is a food editor and she appreciates the best tastes going.  To her delight she comes across and English /Indian family who are well versed in delightful tastes
Samir - a young man who is working as a thatcher but is so much more.
An old Earl who turns out to be a darling
A treasure hunt of sorts that Olivia's mother has set up for her to find what she needs.
Warm friendships that start to form
The possibility of taking on Rosemere - the estate - and bringing it back to its former glory
All these things kept me reading, at times I found a little too much going on and some things then a little undeveloped for my taste, but that said, it was a great read.
Was this review helpful?
Barbara did such a lovely job of taking me back to when my mother first died.  She tapped right into the heart of my feelings and transported me to a place I could only wish to inherit.  This book is beyond amazing and I feel like I could read it again and again and get so much more out of it.
Was this review helpful?
Barbara O'Neal has been one of my favorite authors and it'd been a long time since I read one of her books so I was very excited to start this one. The fact that it takes place in a charming English village just made it even better. This book was the perfect combination of mystery and excitement. Olivia was a delightful character and I loved getting to know her. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone!
Was this review helpful?
Easily my favorite book of the year, this book is full of everything I adore about reading. The pages were filled with a fabulous story, peopled by characters I came to care about so much and set in an England I want to live in.

The setting came alive under the authors pen, I can still see Rosemere Priory rising up from the green earth, covered in ivy and overlooking the little town below. The characters were some of my very favorite ever written, Olivia and Samir were gorgeous together and their love story was breathtaking to read. 

The circumstances surrounding Olivia’s inheritance and her journey to understand her mother were such a beautiful part of this story and kept me turning the pages late into the night. 

I’ve long been a fan of this authors work simply because her stories stay with me, the places described continue to stay in my mind and her characters are always beloved and unforgettable. This is my favorite book to date, the way this book made me feel will long be on my mind, the hallmark of a great read for me.

I very highly recommend this book to lovers of fabulously written stories, beautiful settings and characters who you will fall in love with and never forget. I can’t say enough about how much I loved this book!
Was this review helpful?
I was very intrigued by the synopsis for this one and couldn't resist joining the tour. Family secrets, old manors, and small English villages are always read-bait for me. It seemed like a book that would grab me and not let me go until I was finished with the story, which I definitely needed in my unexpected reading slump this summer.

The main character, Olivia, heads to England to uncover the mysteries of her mom's past. She quickly learns that she's essentially royalty in this small village. The book started off with so many intriguing elements that I was dying to know what was going to happen next; I loved meeting many of the local characters so early in the story. There was even a very unexpected reference to one of my favorite old movies, The Point! Literally did not see that coming in any book I'll ever read haha. (The dog was mentioned later but it was awkward because he asked if she had pets and he already knew she had a dog, Arrow, based on this early reference... Just a missed continuity error! I noticed a couple of those, but nothing major.)

I thought there were some repetitive conversations early on, when Olivia was learning about her mother and grandmother. Many of the side characters in the village that she met had similar things to say about them and it felt like I read the same conversations multiple times. I also didn't love how her relationship with Grant, her fiancee of many years, was pushed aside. I understand that she wasn't 100% happy or committed to him, and he was at the back of her mind in England, but it was sort of bizarre how little he even crossed her mind initially.

Otherwise, it was really interesting to see how these secrets and mysteries were slowly revealed! The book was very easy to read and addicting at times, especially when Samir and Olivia started to learn how to uncover the right information. A lot of the wheels got turning about 40% of the way into the book and I have to say, I did enjoy the first bit of "setting the scene." It was a slower start, technically, but not a bad thing in the least. The charming village, the manor, and Olivia's life were well-explored and I enjoyed that a lot. I didn't trust a lot of the side characters, which actually made things REALLY interesting to read. There were lots of warnings about trusting certain people around (who could just be looking for money, fame, and/or titles), so I was always on the verge of accusing every character of doing this. It made for a very entertaining read that had me on the edge of my seat, even though the story itself was nice and slow.
Was this review helpful?
have loved every single book by Barbara O'Neal that I have read. Her writing is such that you have almost no choice but to sit back, slow down and surround yourself with every word. It's like the story wraps you in a warm fuzzy blanket while a snowstorm rages outside. 
I love the food aspects of O'Neal's writing. This book brought us the joys of the pastries of England and the spiciness of the food of India. It was just one more aspect of the story to savor and imagine. O'Neal's characters and plot are the real stars of the book. The bringing together of the hero and heroine with such different cultural backgrounds was superb and heartwarming. Olivia and Samir were the perfect meshing to show that love can matter more than expectations and prejudice. 
I am just in awe of this story.
Was this review helpful?
Olivia Shaw is the editor of the food magazine, Egg and Hen.  Some months ago, she had a car accident that shattered a bone in her leg and has been off from work for some months as she heals.  In addition, her mother, Caroline, recently died which has devastated her.  The woman had been a very talented artist.  Olivia has been living with Grant for several years in a nice apartment in San Francisco.

Olivia received a letter from a solicitor in England about a house that had belonged to her mother.  It is called Rosemere Priory and it is a vast mansion.  However, no one has lived in it for 40 years and it is probably ready to be torn down.  It had been lived in by her mother’s family for 3-4 centuries until one day all of the family fled the house.  Olivia learns that her mother was actually Lady Caroline and now Olivia is the Countess of Shaw.

Finding much of the mansion in bad disrepair, she does find some lovely aspects and one room appears to have been untouched.  The grounds and land are enormous with numerous outbuildings.  Now, Olivia learns that repairing and rebuilding the place will cost a huge amount of money.  However, with the money Olivia can get from selling her mother’s house in San Francisco, she might be able to undertake saving Rosemere.  She meets many locals and finds that some seem to have an agenda of their own for wanting her to sell the place.  However, a British Indian family take her under their wing and become close friends.  One member of the family is Samir.  Although he is a few years younger that she is, they share an attraction.  What is the mystery surrounding Rosemere that sent her family fleeing it years ago?  

I enjoyed this book and found the descriptions of Rosemere and its grounds to be well-written.  The mystery is a good one and I’m betting most readers won’t be able to solve it in advance.  

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Art of Inheriting Secrets was almost magical in its storyline.  I enjoyed the beautiful imagery throughout the novel.  Shortly after her mother passes away, Olivia learns that she has inherited the English estate Rosemere Priory and a title along with it.  Olivia travels to see the estate.  She finds out that the manor is falling apart and needs a lot of work done to it.  And she realizes that there is a whole mystery to why her mother never told her about the estate.  The more that she explores her mother’s things, the more secrets she discovers.  Olivia struggles with all of the things that need taken care of, both with her mother’s house back in California and with the estate in England.  She forms new friendships as she works her way through the property, paperwork, and finances of everything.  The characters all around Olivia are presented in a way that makes you wish you could live in the village among them.  The story line follows Olivia and her new friends as she works her way through the challenges of her new ownership of the Rosemere Priory and the decisions she must make.  The imagery of the artwork, food, and flowers surrounding Olivia on her journey are wonderful.  The story explores the past and the secrets of those who lived in the estate in the past.
Was this review helpful?
The authors descriptions of a very rundown, centuries old English estate and the surrounding area was breathtaking. I feel like I stepped inside this book and went on a journey across the ocean and felt like I was right there! It was hard to put down. Excellent storytelling and descriptive words had me from beginning to end. 
Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Barbara O'Neal for a truly deserving 5 star book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a lovely, gentle read.  The visuals, the scene-setting that O'Neal accomplishes are uplifting - even in the dreary parts of the old house.  Just a hint of mystery, a few love scenes, and some terrific food descriptions.  Made for summer reading!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book and even though it took a few days to finish I did not want it to end.  The main characters where warm and I could see being friends with them all.   The boyfriend back in California got what was coming to him. I always enjoy that, even if you have a long wait to see it happen. Thank you for a great summer in the pool read.
Was this review helpful?
This was my first book by this author and I loved it! I got hooked from page 1 and the writing was so beautiful! The richness of the story,the food and the love affair that blossomed! I felt like I was seeing the castle before my very eyes! Highly recommend this book!
Was this review helpful?
I loooved this book!!  The words, the colors, and the flavors. Olivia and Samir jumped off the pages and into my heart.   Rosemere was not only a home , it was family and heartache and rebirth. I really hated for this book to end. I can't wait to get my own print copy. I truly hope there is a sequel. Highly recommend this book. Thank you for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This book was such an unexpected treat for me. The characters and descriptions were so rich I could imagine them as if they were right in front of me. The main character was complex and layered which made her fun to get to know.  She was on such an amazing journey and it was fun to go along with her each step of the way as she discovered her mother’s past and her own heritage, uncovering more secrets along the way as she moved toward finding her place in the future.
This was my first by Barbara O’Neal, and I am enamored with the way she writes, especially her descriptions. This was a beautifully written story that swept me away,
#TheArtofInheritingSecrets #LakeUnionPublishers
Was this review helpful?
The Art of Inheriting Secrets. When Olivia’s mother died she went to Rosemere and finds many secrets. First of all her mother never told her about Rosemere but Olivia thinks her mother sent her to Rosemere on a treasure hunt by leaving the information. Read the book and find the treasure hunt of secrets her mother sent her on.
Was this review helpful?
The Art of Inheriting Secrets captivated me from the very first page and kept me turning pages far into the night! Imagine losing your mother, and while in the depths of grief you discover a past that she kept hidden your whole life...a past that includes a crumbling estate in England and the title and challenges that come with it. The mysteries that the house is hiding, the secrets that it holds, kept me in suspense until the end. But what captivated me even more than the suspense, were the rising and ebbing emotions of Olivia, the main character of this story. I was pulled in by her journey of discovery of who she was, where she came from, and where she was going. Her relationship with Samir was so organic, the chemistry between them crackled on the pages, their attraction and their feelings romantic and genuine. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I look forward to reading more!
Was this review helpful?
What a fabulous story!  I loved discovering Rosemere and England along with Olivia.  The imagery is just stunning.  I really enjoyed the bit of mystery in this book, and the unveiling of the secrets.  The characters are all amazing, even the ones I didn’t like.  This was the first book of Barbara O’Neal’s, and it certainly won’t be my last.
Was this review helpful?
What a thoroughly enjoyable read.  The Art of Inheriting Secrets has a little of something for every reader.  The book is set in the English Countryside where Olivia Shaw becomes Lady Shaw overnight by inheriting her mother's crumbling manor home after her mother's death.  Olivia did not know that her mother owned the estate and is now trying to unravel the secrets behind it's walls.  There is a little suspense and mystery, a little romance, lots of good food and a cast of really well written characters that kept the pages turning.  If only I didn't have to work, I could have read this one faster!  

Thank you to Net Galley & Lake Union Publishing for the digital copy for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I love Barbara O'Neal's work and The Art of Inheriting Secrets is no exception. This is one of those novels that sneaks up on you. It started a bit slowly and then I couldn't put it down, sneaking peeks and pleading for time to read just one more chapter.

Olivia, the main character, needs to come to terms with her family secrets and how that defines who she is. It's a delight to follow along on her discovery.

Add this book to your beach bag! You won't regret it!

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
➳ Rate: 3,5 / 5 stars

This was my first book by Barbara O'Neal and although I admit at first I found it a bit boring and it was hard to get into, soon the mystery that Olivia found herself trying to figure out pulled me in. 
It kept me compelled to the story just to find out why her mother had never told about Rosemere, and then to find out just what everyone was keeping secret from her. I found myself loving that part of the story, along with the romance of course.

Samir, Pavi, their dad, the Earl.. I loved all the side characters they made the story more and truly interesting. I love that Olivia was not only trying to find out the truth but soon it wasn't just about her and her mother, but about a whole town that loved that house, about 600 years of history and the people that had lived there. Olivia not only learned a lot about her family and their past, but she found a whole new family in that small town in England.

The Art of Inheriting Secrets was a story about learning and coming to terms with family secrets, about finding yourself among these new discoveries; it was a story about grieving and moving on with life, and new dreams; it was a story of love, for yourself, others, a house of history and generations and a whole town that welcomed you in.
Was this review helpful?