The Art of Inheriting Secrets

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

Barbara O’Neal’s stories are always as beautiful as they are poetic. She possesses a writing style I admire and is an expert at weaving tales I can’t put down and crafting characters that, depending what they do, reward and frustrate. They are the best and stick around long after the final page.  THE ART OF INHERITING SECRETS is a gem. Fans, new and old, will fall in love with the book’s layers and textures, and Olivia’s journey into a world she never fathomed belonged to her.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the new relationships, mystery and romance of “The Art of Inheriting Secrets,” I was intrigued and happy by how the story evolved, can you imagine working as a writer in San Francisco and then inheriting not only a family manor but also the title that comes with it, and the problems. 

The romances were loving and complicated, and Barbara Samuels always does a wonderful job including all types of relationships, and people in them and they are wonderful.

My favorite part was the treasure hunt that Olivia’s mother sent her on after her death, it was definitely eye opening and in someways fun.

The only part I didn’t like was the ex-boyfriend who didn’t want to go away, to me it didn’t add anything to the plot and disturb the main story. I would have like more of the English mystery instead.

I definitely would like a sequel to find out what happened to the manor and all
Village characters and cats.
Was this review helpful?
"When Olivia Shaw’s mother dies, the sophisticated food editor is astonished to learn she’s inherited a centuries-old English estate—and a title to go with it. Raw with grief and reeling from the knowledge that her reserved mother hid something so momentous, Olivia leaves San Francisco and crosses the pond to unravel the mystery of a lifetime.

One glance at the breathtaking Rosemere Priory and Olivia understands why the manor, magnificent even in disrepair, was the subject of her mother’s exquisite paintings. What she doesn’t understand is why her mother never mentioned it to her. As Olivia begins digging into her mother’s past, she discovers that the peeling wallpaper, debris-laden halls, and ceiling-high Elizabethan windows covered in lush green vines hide unimaginable secrets.

Although personal problems and her life back home beckon, Olivia finds herself falling for the charming English village and its residents. But before she can decide what Rosemere’s and her own future hold, Olivia must first untangle the secrets of her past."

Just take book, add English estate, and I'm sold...
Was this review helpful?
This is an amazing book. I loved it. The descriptions were so vivid and beautiful - everything from scenery, to food, to artwork, to people. When Olivia's mother passes away Olivia is shocked to discover she has inherited an estate and a title in England. Olivia travels from San Francisco to England and begins to learn about her mother's past. I highly recommend this book as well as this author. I will definitely read any other books written by this author.
Was this review helpful?
For some reason, I just could not get into these characters, Maybe it was that they seemed so naive about everything.. maybe the profiles on all of the dating sites... it just wasn't a good fit for me.
Was this review helpful?
The Art of Inheriting Secrets was a magnificent book in every way. Barbara O'Neal weaves the story threads through a mysterious treasure hunt and ties them into a realistic romantic knot by the satisfying end. She is a wordsmith -- she can turn a phrase into a vision, waft words into fragrance and aromas. I enjoyed reading this book so much that it even crossed my mind to start all over and reread it from page one. It's just that good!
Was this review helpful?
This was such a great story! I wanted to read it slow but couldn’t. I loved the mystery and the bit of romance! It reminded me so much of the old Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart books I use to read.  I didn’t want it to end! I would definitely recommend this book!! I’m going to look for more of her books!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book by Barbara O’Neal, The Art of Inheriting Secrects. I received an arc in exchange for a review from Netgalley. I might not have picked it to read if I had not gotten a review copy because the synopsis of the story seems like it has been done too much,. Upon reading I found that was not the case at all. Yes, Olivia inherited an estate and title in England that she had no knowledge of growing up, but  that is where the predictability starts and ends. Olivia is a grown up intelligent woman who confronts the secrects of her mother’s past head on. Combine that with intriguing food descriptions, a mystery involving a crumbling mansion, a little romance, and three dimensional characters and I found a book I didn’t want to put down.
Was this review helpful?
Barbara O'Neal is a new author to me and I am so excited to have discovered her book. Gorgeous writing and deeply developed characters. I love this story. It's one of my new favorites. Can't wait to read more of her books. Thank you NetGalley for giving me this book to review.
Was this review helpful?
Olivia’s mother has passed away suddenly, leaving her grieving and raw. She finds out that her mother, who’d grown up in England, had left her her vast estate, Rosemere Priory. Bewildered, Olivia travels to England to settle her mother’s affairs. But there’s more to Rosemere and her mother’s past that meets the eye. As she uncovers her mother’s untold past and buried secrets, Olivia settles comfortably in the small English town, learning that she may have found her place along the way.
This book was full of charm and romance, whimsy and intrigue. It was enchanting.
Was this review helpful?
Inheriting a beautiful old home you never knew existed. It’s a widely used plot device in a lot of stories these days and I love it. Maybe because I wish it would happen to me? Olivia is still reeling after the death of her mother when she discovers she’s inherited an old English estate. Rosemere Priory may have seen better days, but Olivia falls in love with it at first sight. She plans to return home to the United States as soon as she has answered some questions about her mother’s past, but the Priory and the local people are so warm, so inviting, that Olivia is finding it hard to leave….. A lovely story that will erase the worst of days
Was this review helpful?
When Olivia Shaw goes to England to explore her inheritance after her mother’s death, she is shocked to discover that she is now Lady Shaw, Countess of Rosemere. The estate includes a decaying mansion and thousands of acres of land. As Olivia meets the locals and explores her hitherto unknown family history, she finds herself becoming drawn into life at Rosemere. A hunky younger man also starts to become more important to her, forcing her to finally decide what she needs to do about her physically and emotionally distant fiancée.
I loved this book and couldn’t stop reading it. It is an intriguing mix of the mystery of Olivia’s past, her unsettled present and the possibility of a happy future with Samir despite the obstacles. As she becomes deeply involved in the life in Rosemere and the renovation of the ancestral pile, the story became more interesting on every page. I loved the food descriptions and the portrayals of the different people she meets. Ms. O’Neal has long been a favorite author of mine going back to her books as Barbara Samuel. This book is a great addition to her list.
Was this review helpful?
It's been a long time since the last Barbara O'Neal novel, but worth waiting for.   The characters we meet in a small village when the protagonist goes to see the manor house she's inherited are vivid and believable.  Loved it!
Was this review helpful?
This charming bit of women's fiction, set against the backdrop of a lovely English country manor, will have you guessing until the end!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book! The author did an amazing job in her descriptions of Rosemere Priory, the landscape, and also the food (because of course there was going to be talk about food - the main character, Olivia Shaw, is a food editor). You will not want to read this book on an empty stomach! I found Olivia to be a very likeable character and you could feel the depth of her pain over the loss of her mom. There was so much going on in this book that I didn't want to put it down - mystery (why didn't her mom tell her about Rosemere Priory and all that goes with it?!), romance, and drama (ghosts, fires, ex-fiance's). What I enjoyed the most was Olivia's perseverance to unravel her mom's past and to rebuild Rosemere Priory. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley - my opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The Art of Inheriting Secrets by Barbara O’Neal is like the grown up version of The Secret Garden. O’Neal provides rich descriptions of the secret property that Olivia Shaw inherits from her mother. The property is an English estate shrouded in mystery. Olivia sifts through clues left behind by her mother in order to determine who was responsible for deaths that occurred on the estate decades ago, and what led her mother to America, and to never once discuss her past life with her daughter.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book greatly. The mystery kept me turning page after page quickly. Memorable characters and you will feel transported to the English countryside. Will recommend to friends and I give this book 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Read my 4-star review of The Art of Inheriting Secrets: A Novel by Barbara O'Neal
I really felt immersed in this story and the varied emotions of the story teller, and there are many. Olivia has recently lost her mother suddenly, and hasn’t been able to process her loss, when she finds paperwork that entails British lawyers and an inheritance. Arriving in England she discovers that she is heir to a title, as well as an enormous crumbling estate. The mystery of her mother’s secrets encompasses her emotionally, as she delves into a treasure hunt, unlike any that her mother created for her during  childhood. She feels an obligation to find the message her mother left her, in death. 
I loved the descriptions of the village, the aristocracy of the region, and the secrets that the estate held. As she came to care about those that shared her land and the Indian family that was somehow linked to her past, she finds the  answers  that are hidden in the art that defined her mother legacy. 
A beautifully written novel, so rich with tradition, art and food. Something is here for every type of reader.
Was this review helpful?
Beautifully written.  Author has a very descriptive writing style that makes visualizing this book so easy.  Really transports you to this village in England.
Was this review helpful?
I did not want this book to end.

There’s a bit of everything here. There’s a mystery, there’s a woman trying to find herself again after her mom dies, there’s a lot of talk of delicious food, there’s adventure and romance. And there are even a few cute animals thrown into the story for good measure :)

This book is beautifully written.
You can picture Olivia, devastated from the loss of her mom, finding out that she has inherited a title and a house that rivals Downton Abbey.

Her mother also left behind secrets.
Because Olivia never knew this house existed.
And she certainly doesn’t know why her mom kept the house a secret.

She finds herself pulled into a bit of a treasure hunt. She tries to uncover the mystery of her mother. Why did she leave this home? Why did she let it become totally disheveled? And why would she leave it to Olivia without ever telling her about it?

Along the way, Olivia meets a handsome man and samples many delicious local foods.

What’s not to love here?
This was right up my alley.

I got to read an early copy of the ebook, sent to me by the author. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?