Books Reviews

ARC Review: The Little Shop Of Found Things (Found Things #1) by Paula Brackston

ARC Featured Image - Found Things 1 - The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

Flora Reviews… The Little Shop Of Found Things (Found Things #1) by Paula Brackston. Thanks to the publishers (St Martin’s Press) for the advanced eBook.

…So, what’s The Little Shop of Found Things about?

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ARC Review: The Little Shop Of Found Things (Found Things #1) by Paula BrackstonMy Rating:
Title: The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
Series: Found Things #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 1 October, 2019
Genres: Paranormal Romance (PNR), Fantasy, Historical
Narrator: Marisa Calin
Length: 12 hours 43 minutes
No. of Pages: 416

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander
New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.
Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.
It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she's confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.
While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.
With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.

Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: Audiobook, eBook
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal eBook Link ¦ Amazon* ¦ Audible* ¦*

Read: 9th – 19th September 2018

The expected publication date is 16th October 2018.

The Little Shop Of Found Things is a beautifully written tale set in Marlborough (a town in Wiltshire, England) that spans the ages – quite literally. It would sit quite happily in the literary fiction genre while dipping its toes in the historical, ghost and time-travel genres too.

 …So, what did I like about The Little Shop Of Found Things?

Historical fiction isn’t my usual choice of reading material. However, as I really enjoyed Ms Brackston’s The Silver Witch back in 2015 I thought I’d give it a try.

As before, I found myself captivated with Ms Brackston’s beautiful and descriptive use of language. The prose she uses is intelligent, eloquent and very reminiscent of a historical novel; the words chosen and the sentence formation, while still managing to set the scene beautifully in one’s mind.

I liked the way that this intriguing tale was told from Xanthe’s perspective, our heroine.

I always enjoy a story more if the lead female character is intelligent, resourceful, resilient and has plenty of gumption. In this tale both Xanthe Westlake and her mum, Flora had these traits in spades.

I felt that all the various scenes were beautifully written, giving us a well-balanced plot. There was sorrow, tension, mystery and romance, with a sprinkle of humour thrown into the mix.

Although this is a work of fiction, Ms Brackston’s attention to historic detail makes it felt very real to me. The world she created and the characters she populated it came alive on the page. I enjoyed the fact that this foray into the past is not a rose-tinted one. Life was harsh and the rules of etiquette numerous. Although a bit of licence is permissible to aid a fictional tale, too much can turn it into a mockery. Ms Brackston hit the right balance for me.

The Little Shop Of Found Things brought out many emotions.

The historical restrictions and prejudices made me rage with indignant frustration. The romance put a soppy smile on my face. Plus the mystery and tension had me on the edge of my seat holding my breath. I loved the way that the story kept me guessing in both present-day Marlborough and in the 17th century.

…So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?

OK, so here’s when I have to be completely honest and tell you why my rating was 4 stars rather than 5.

I think that I have to recognise that my knowledge of everyday life in historical England is possibly above average. I watch a lot of documentaries and as such parts of this story became a wee bit frustrating. For example, some of Xanthe’s thoughts and actions during her time travelling.

It’s important to remember that this is an opener to a new series.

I have read reviews that complained about some aspects of this book. For example, the slow start, the introduction of too many characters without building depth and the too subtle romance aspect of the tale. However, I enjoyed the gentle way in which Xanthe’s and Flora’s life to date and their personalities were revealed. I liked how the mystery in the past and subsequent dangers gradually built. And, I liked that Ms Brackston left enough teasers to continue in subsequent books.

…So, basically what I’m saying is…

I really enjoyed reading this cliffhanger-free book. It has everything that I look for in a story; a good mystery, a sprinkling of romance, a nice balance of gentle humour with the added bonus of being within my favourite genre – paranormal.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery stories, historical fiction and paranormal tales as well as readers of YA novels too as there is no explicit sexual content and only a handful of expletives, having said that, some of the beliefs, customs and laws of 17th century England may cause offense to your modern sensibilities.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts about The Little Shop of Found Things. Keep reading to find out more about this series and its author.

Found Things Series

New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston brings her trademark blend of magic and romance to her Found Things series, written in the tradition of Outlander.

Xanthe Westlake has always been able to sense the stories that some antiques hold, but it isn’t until she’s finding stock for her and her mother’s new shop in the small English town of Marlborough that she finds one that allows her to travel back through the centuries to its time.

Beginning with The Little Shop of Found Things, Xanthe learns more about herself and her abilities as she discovers more antiques she connects with and rights the wrongs in their pasts.

Books in the Series

Buy FOUND THINGS in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:

 Amazon UK ¦ Amazon US ¦ The Book Depository ¦ Audible ¦ Foyles ¦ Waterstones

About Paula Brackston

Author - Paula Brackston

Paula Brackston lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. Before becoming a writer, Paula tried her hand at various career paths, with mixed success. These included working as a groom on a racing yard, as a travel agent, a secretary, an English teacher, and a goat herd. Everyone involved (particularly the goats) is very relieved that she has now found a job she is actually able to do properly.

When not hunched over her keyboard in her tiny office under the stairs, Paula is dragged outside by her children to play Swedish tennis on the vertiginous slopes which surround them. She also enjoys being walked by the dog, hacking through weeds in the vegetable patch, or sitting by the pond with a glass of wine. Most of the inspiration for her writing comes from stomping about on the mountains being serenaded by skylarks and buzzards.

In 2007 Paula was shortlisted in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

I love the gentle magical realism of Paula’s books. She’s one of the amazing authors listed on my favourites page. Have you read any of her books yet?

Flora x


About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

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  1. […] was given an ARC of The Little Shop Of Found Things (read my review here) and really enjoyed it. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to help spread the word about this […]

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