Friday, May 5, 2017

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

A Stranger at Fellsworth is the third installment of Sarah E. Ladd's  Treasures of Surrey series. As one unfamiliar with Ladd's work, I can safely state that reading the previous two novels are not a requirement for full enjoyment of this book but if they are of the same quality they are definitely worth looking up as well.

I found myself enthralled by the plot. First, I loved how relatable I found the characters. Although originally from better circumstances, Annabelle comes across as a relatable woman trying to find her way in  the world. Her struggles, while both frustrating and amusing for former servant Crosley, seemed all to familiar after living in a girls dorm during my college years.
The relationship between her and Owen Locke also seemed far more natural than the genre usually allows. Ladd's ability to pace out her characters interactions adding in understandable obstacles from personality and history allow characters to breathe and grow. 

I also loved the breadth of characters. Aside from our stalwart hero/heroine there were some wonderful characters to flesh out the different levels. Hannah added an innocence to the story and helped move the plot along without feeling like a mere plot device. The villain(s) of the story were more complex with some even drawing curiosity or sympathy for the choices that led them to their position. I really enjoy when a secondary character doesn't feel like a plot device  and Ladd makes sure to give each of her players their own history to drive them.

There were a few loose ends related to the story, things like the eventual outcome of the wrongdoers and what exactly happened to Locke in the past. However, I acknowledge these may have been previously answered and only are minor notes for someone like me who wants all the answers :)

Sarah E. Ladd delivers a strong tale filled with living breathing characters who are driven by story rather than device. I cannot wait to journey along with more of her creations.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.