I always enjoy reading a new author’s debut novel, especially one that catches my attention with a unique premise or interesting setting. It is like discovering a hidden treasure of story-telling talent! A new release from Thomas Nelson is the gripping debut novel of Abigail Wilson, and is entitled “In the Shadow of Croft Towers”. With secrets abounding in this Regency England novel, it will undoubtedly keep you reading long into the night.
This book is unexpected in many ways, from the mysterious and original writing style to the unorthodox characters to the surprising bits of humor that made me laugh out loud. The main premise of the story is about uncovering the numerous hidden secrets that lay like a tangled web over Croft Towers, and which Sybil Delafield finds herself squarely in the middle of when she arrives at her new position as companion to an elderly woman. This makes for a thrilling story that, while sometimes a bit predictable in minor details, is ultimately a shocking surprise.
I first noticed “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” because it sounded like a similar story to Joanna Davidson Politano’s “A Rumored Fortune”, which was my favorite novel of 2018. While it definitely did contain many similar elements – such as a historic British setting and an atmospheric, gothic-type mystery – it was also very different in one significant way. . . “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” contained not a trace of Christianity, not a mention of a prayer, not anything that pointed to a specific belief in God. Because it was published by a well-known Christian publishing company, I fully expected the themes of the book to reflect faith in the Lord to at least some degree, and without this element (which I consider very important) the book sort of seemed to fall flat.
Certainly I don’t mean to imply that “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” was not still a very enjoyable and compelling story, but without the redeeming themes of faith, I found it to be rather dark and without the hope of a true Christian novel, even though it was still mostly ‘clean’. Would I still recommend this story to other readers? Yes, I would, because the story is a good one, but I would be sure to add that it does not contain the inspiration that a true work of Christian Historical Fiction should.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.