Cover Image: The Keepsake

The Keepsake

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Member Reviews

This was captivating, and such an enjoyable read. Julie Brooks is an auto buy author for me, i just can't get enough of her books.

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This is a story that is told over a dual timeline. The main characters are well developed. The story has lots of twists leading to the final reveal

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The Keepsake is told over dual timelines. One in 1832 and the
other in present day.

In 1832 we are introduced to Prudence who has been under the ruling of her father her entire life. When her father passed away she believed she would inherit his estate, at last live the life she wants and finally embrace her dreams of travelling.

When the will is read she discovers she had been betrayed by her father. She decides to take control of her life and go travelling anyway.

In 2022 Eliza is gifted a Georgian pocket book which had belonged to Prudence. Prudence had disappeared in 1835, foul play was suspected and the mystery of her disappearance had troubled her family for generations.

Eliza becomes passionate about finding out what had happened to Prudence and she follows clues from the pocket book and family memorabilia to help her.

A gripping read that had me hook, line and sinker. There are lots of twists until the final revelation.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Full of mysteries and secrets but maybe not as much romance as I expected given it was marketed as such. Still engaging and I was entertained. Sorry for the delay in this review. But I appreciate the opportunity to be given this arc in exchange of an honest review.

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A brilliant read and one I really enjoyed. The characters are loveable and varied, the plot is one that is engaging and medium paced. I found myself completely drawn into the story and enjoyed the writing style.

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Thank you to Netgalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for e revire based upon my honest opinion.

This was an engaging dual timeline story about Prudence Merryfield in 1833, a woman in her thirties who has no need of a man and when her father passes is quite surprised to find out that he left a caretaker of the estate and of Westcott Hall, and it wasn't her, it was Mr Edward Ambrose. Prudence decides to take her own fate into her hands and be a lady adventuress, she takes her young maid Bessie and heads off to Calcutta and beyond. The ladies have quite and adventure and on the way to Sydney they hita storm and Prudene is shipwrecked ona Samoan island and rescued by a young girl, Lupelele. Eventually Prudence ends up back at Westcott Hall and then disappears again in 1838 never to heard from again and many suspect foul play..

In the present, Eliza is an ancestor of the Ambroses of Westcott Hall, is given a pocketbook belinging to Prudence and in it she follows her adventures, all the while trying to find out about the great mystery of Prudence's disappearance. Did she go back to Samoa, which seemed to have captured her heart, or did her husband, and Eliza's ancestor, Edward Ambrose kill her so he could have the estate all to himself.

An enjoyable and immersive tale with great descriptions of the surroundings and great charcters.

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I dnf'd this book fairly early on. The writing wasn't engaging and I felt like I was supposed to have previous context to understanding what was going on. I struggled to understand the plot and storyline therefore could not finish.

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The Keepsake is a thrilling dual-time novel, with a fascinating, complex woman at its heart, wealth of twists, turns and secrets, and an absolute book club... I loved this mind-blowing, impulsive, crazy book!

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The Keepsake is a dual timeline novel set in the 1830's and present day.
The main character, Prudence, is a modern, feisty woman, an Adventuress.
Present day Eliza, a descendant of Prudence is determined to uncover what happened to Prudence, who it would seem, simply disappeared one day.
An enjoyable, well researched, read.

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I enjoyed this although I thought the author's previous novel, The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay was better.

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Interesting story that goes back and forth trying to figure out what happened to Prudence. Did she run away or meet with foul play? Her great great great niece is determined to figure out what happened while figuring out where to go with her life.

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Thank you to NetGalley for this copy. This is a really good book, kept me entertained throughout and I would thoroughly recommend to all.

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A duel timeline book that is beautifully written, but probably shouldn't be shelved in romance.

This is a really well done book but not a romance book in the traditional sense. Although I enjoyed it I don't think it should have been tagged as a Romance. However, if you're looking for well-written story with mystery and history this could be the book for you!

Star Rating: 2.5/5

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This is a dual timeline novel. Eliza, present time, is struggling to keep her parents antique store going, their dream not hers. When her aunt gives her a pocketbook (like a daily journal) from the 1800s that belongs to a very distant sort of relative who disappeared and it was never discovered what exactly happened to her, it sparks Eliza to begin investigating to try to resolve the decades old mystery.
Prudence, 1800s, wants to set her own destiny and when her father passes she sees her chance and grabs it. She wants to be an adventuress and travels with her maid to distant countries, becoming shipwrecked in Samoa for a year before being rescued. She returns to England where she marries, but only a few years later she disappears again, this time without a trace forever.
This book is filled with exciting adventure and discovery for both women. It is captivating and holds the reader's attention throughout. There are plenty of secrets to be ferreted out and revealed, heartfelt moments to connect the reader with the characters and a fast pace that propels you forward to the revealing end!
5 stars and recommend.
. Thank you to Headline Review and to Net Galley for the free ARC, I am leaving my honest review in return.

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This is a dual time novel...1832 and the present time. A notebook given to Eliza by her aunt sets the journey of Prudence, an ancestor from the 1800's. The mystery and secrets surrounding Prudence is the core of this novel. Quite intriguing and an enjoyable read.

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The Keepsake is a well researched and written dual timeline novel by Julie. In the contemporary timeline Eliza struggles to run her parent’s antique shop attempting to stay true to the promise she made to her dying mother. What she truly wishes for is to follow her own passions. When her aunt gifts her a tiny pocket book once belonging to her ancestor’s wife, she begins a journey to unravel its mystery. The ancestor, Prudence, went missing twice - once in 1833 shipwrecked in Samoa and again in 1838 where suspicions surround the possibility of foul play.

‘Prudence Merryfield. Lady Adventuress. A man might not deem her so, for unlike the heroes of most adventure tales, she sought neither to conquer nor to name. Not a single mountain, not a lone river, not an empty space upon a map. It was her own self she wished to discover. The terra incognita of the interior.’

I loved the tale of Prudence’s life. When her wealthy father dies, being the only child, she expects to finally be able to live a life of her own. However, society of the age made no allowances for such desires. Determined, Prudence escapes to embark on a world adventure. ‘She enjoyed being a Lady Adventuress. She did not wish to be lured back to the comforts of hearth and home. She did not wish to settle. And she vowed not to be returned against her will.’ I always admire and respect tales of women who pursued such undertakings and Prudence’s story proved an eventful and unforgettable tale.

‘… maybe the notion of safety was just that - a notion. A fancy. And you could become lost in the storm, no matter how hard you clung to the mast. Maybe sometimes you just needed to let go.’

The contemporary narrative is the perfect compliment to this tale with Eliza drawn into the mystery and secrets surrounding both disappearances of Prudence. What happened all those years ago? Both women - Eliza and Prudence - are on a journey of self discovery in pursuit of a life well lived.

‘Somehow, she would find a way to chart her own course and be her own woman. She alone would determine what her life was to be. And that would be whatever she was brave enough to make it.’

Full of adventure through both heartfelt and heartbreaking moments, The Keepsake is sure to lure you in. Venturing from Somerset (both past and present) and Samoa of the 1830s, this is a well researched book of the life and times involving travel and gender/social inequalities. There are secrets and drama, with just the right amount of romance for both of these women. Such an absorbing and refreshing read that will engage readers right up until the final revelation.

‘Both found their way back to England. Then one woman disappeared again. Forever. Was she murdered? Or did she choose her destiny?’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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Almost two hundred years since the mystery of an ancestor's disappearance, Eliza was gifted a Georgian pocket book, discovered inside an old hatbox, and belonging to the enigmatic Prudence Merryfield. Prudence had buried her father in 1832, expecting her liberty to be immediate, but the reading of his will shocked her into contemplating a future that would be much different to what she'd imagined. As Eliza dug deeply into the mystery surrounding Westcott Hall, the stately old home of the Ambrose ancestors, and Prudence's life, she followed the words in the pocket book, hoping for answers.

Prudence and her maid Bessie set sail for Calcutta, Singapore and eventually Sydney, Australia. But fates were destined to alter the course of their journey and Prudence subsequently met Lupelele and her family, staying with them, learning their ways, for over a year, until she was found. But what would her future be? Her return to Westcott Hall should have been a happy one, but her discontent affected her life on a daily basis...

The Keepsake is an exceptional dual timeline historical novel by Aussie author Julie Brooks and I loved it! I found Lupelele and her rebellion, plus her attachment to Prudence intriguing, the simple lifestyle of the Samoan people calming. The main setting in Somerset, England was the focus of the current day setting and a lot of the earlier story, with Prudence's travels poignant and harsh. I thoroughly enjoyed The Keepsake and recommend it highly.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

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In the early part of the 1830s, Prudence Merryfield was blessed with a wealthy childhood. When he died, Prudence expected to be the pilot of her own ship and able to do as she pleased.

Society in the 1800s, however, did not provide for much self-determination for young women. Her father entrusted a group of trustees to administer her substantial estate. The primary trustee is Edward Ambrose who guarded the trust with an iron fist.

A young orphaned waif named Bessie is found hiding in one of the hedgerows of the property’s lanes and is taken in by Prudence. She becomes the handmaid and personal servant for Prudence. Prudence decides she is too constricted by the ever-present Edward and decides to escape aboard a ship to the South Pacific for adventure and freedom. Unfortunately, the ship she and Bessie are on sinks. The marooned ladies must integrate with the islanders or perish.

The author developed a very imaginative and engrossing narrative using the discovery of an heirloom to envelope the MC into a dual-time novel. The characters are believable and sympathetic. The book enlightens the reader about the plight of the women of the 1800s and early 1900s. Treachery was rampant as men thirsted for the riches they could not obtain lawfully. Enjoy the adventure! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

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The Keepsake was an intriguing dual time novel. The novel takes place in 1832 and the present. In the present Eliza receives a pocket journal from her Aunt for her birthday. She is running the curio shop that she inherited from her parents, but is trainied as an investigative journalist and is intrigued since the journal belongs to Prudence Merryfield a somewhat distant relative who mysteriously disappeared. Does the journal have the secret of what happened to Prudence?

In 1832 35 year old Prudence’s father dies. She loved him but looks forward to the freedom that being his heiress will give her, but then there is a spanner thrown in the works. She is to have a guardian who will control the money and give her an allowance. Prudence decides that she is going to take her life into her own hands and forge a path for herself.

I really enjoyed the dual time lines and the mystery of what happened to Priudence.

Thanks to Netgalley, Headlilne books and he author for the chance to read and review this book.

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A duel timeline novel about finding family, love and solving a mystery.
A story full of adventure and travel.
Overall, a enthralling and captivating historical mystery.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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