…So, what’s The Little Shop of Found Things about?
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.
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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.
Formats Available: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback, Kindle with Narration
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal Link ¦ Amazon* ¦ Audible* ¦ Book Depository* ¦ Waterstones*
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
- The Little Shop of Found Things (Found Things #1) (2018)
- Secrets of the Chocolate House (Found Things #2) (2019)
- The Garden of Promises and Lies (Found Things #3) (Expected Dec 2020)
Buy FOUND THINGS in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:
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?