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A Place of Secrets

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,715 Ratings  ·  427 Reviews
The night before it all begins, Jude has the dream again...

Can dreams be passed down through families? As a child Jude suffered a recurrent nightmare: running through a dark forest, crying for her mother. Now her six-year-old niece, Summer, is having the same dream, and Jude is frightened for her.

A successful auctioneer, Jude is struggling to come to terms with the death o
Paperback, 456 pages
Published September 2nd 2010 by Pocket Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 31, 2014 Joanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic, dual-story
Just didn't work for me. Very slow pace and plotting, which is a shame as so many of the elements that I enjoy in a book were there: a house of secrets, old books and journals, a folly, mystery identities, etc... All well and good, but plain old good storytelling was missing.
Jun 17, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothics, 2012-reads
Only the second Hore book I've read (the first being The Dream House), and I can see a maturity in her writing.

A Place of Secrets is a multi-layered novel very similar in style to the novels of Kate Morton, with generational family dynamics and disfunctions, multiple jumps between time periods, hidden secrets, and a mystery to be solved from the past in order for the characters from the present time period to move on. Very good stuff if that's your brand of reading pleasure, and Hore almost nail
Jan 05, 2016 Yasmin rated it it was ok
I agree with the other reviews that disliked this book. I've read a couple of Rachel Hore's books, especially enjoying 'A gathering storm' and thought I'd give this a go. It was as if it was written by a different author entirely. I didn't care at all about any of the characters, except Anthony and Esther from the past storyline, and agree with the review that said this was the only thing that kept me reading. I skim read it just to finish it, but the 'revelations' at the end were so boring I sh ...more
Avital Gertner-Samet
Dec 21, 2011 Avital Gertner-Samet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book was absolutely fabulous [the missing star stems from feeling that some things just worked out too smoothly...].

Jude was working at an auction house, specializing in Eighteenth century manuscripts when Robert Weekham asked her to go back to Starbrough, Norfolk and assess his family's book and stargazing instruments collection. As Jude goes back to her childhood environment, on duty, she unravels the mystery of Starbrough Hall and folly together with the mystery of her unexplained nightm
Apr 25, 2011 Lee rated it did not like it
I don't generally read novels marketed as "women's fiction" but this was pushed into my hands by a co-worker who convincingly raved about it, and so I dutifully worked my way through it. Maybe it’s too strong to say I was disappointed as I didn’t have sky-high expectations, but I was certainly unimpressed.

For me the story failed to live up to a number of promises. The ‘blurb’ hints at a supernatural element that never appears, and the intimations of menace came to nothing of interest. Despite th
Kathy Hiester
Feb 16, 2012 Kathy Hiester rated it it was ok
In many ways I loved A Place of Secrets. I felt the fundamental story worked even though it was a little sluggish and the story was so charming that I felt bound to continue to find out how things turned out. There were some interesting sub-plots including an intricate sibling relationship. However this book was totally ruined by poor editing. I have never read or edited a book with so many mistakes.
2 Stars
Apr 19, 2012 Rosie rated it did not like it
This was probably the worst book I have ever read, I would give it 0 stars if I could. Very badly written with corny dialogue, and the plot is terrible. The only link between the past and the present are some convenient 'dreams' and many many coincidences. It was a seriously awful book, stick to Kate Morton if you enjoy family history mysteries.
Jul 26, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing
OK, so she doesn't write great literature, but Rachel Hore writes some of the best love stories with a historical/mystical twist ever - she's firmly on my list of top ten authors. This one isn't published in the UK until 5th August, and thanks to Liz for passing it on. This one has all the elements I've loved in her previous books - the strong modern heroine, the gorgeous love interest in Euan, the extended family with secrets, the supernatural bits, the finding of a diary from the 1700s (the fo ...more
Nov 16, 2015 Caroline rated it did not like it
The night before it all begins, Jude has the dream again . . .

Can dreams be passed down through families? As a child Jude suffered a recurrent nightmare: running through a dark forest, crying for her mother. Now her six-year-old niece, Summer, is having the same dream, and Jude is frightened for her.

A successful auctioneer, Jude is struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband. When she's asked to value a collection of scientific instruments and manuscripts belonging to Anthony Wic
Marsha Hubbell
Jun 22, 2015 Marsha Hubbell rated it really liked it
“A Place of Secrets” by Rachel Hore was a runaway bestseller in Britain. This was my first introduction to the author’s work, and I found the historical mystery riveting and difficult to put down. Auction house appraiser Jude Gower takes a call at work meant for a coworker and soon leaves London for her dream job at Starbrough Hall, an estate in the countryside, examining and pricing the manuscripts and instruments of an eighteenth-century astronomer and his adopted daughter.

Jude’s arrival brin
May 30, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book...having said that I read another review that mentioned how everything worked out a little too perfectly, which normally is something i like,happy endings and all, but it did make me laugh a little how well everything tied together and everything had an explaination that magically was discovered. i also felt the ending dragged on a little too long as everything unfolded. But yes, i gave it four stars because i loved the premises. I love stories that take place in the present ...more
Jennifer Hodges Young
Jun 18, 2013 Jennifer Hodges Young rated it really liked it
This starts a little slow but once it gets going it is really well done. You slowly come to see how it all fits together in a tight puzzle.
Jan 21, 2012 Beadyjan rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I think there are a lot of great ideas in this story and I like the idea of several timelines running alongside each other. Rather than a dual time romance it is more a quad time romance.

The women involved include Jude, a modern career woman working for an art auctioneers, her sister Claire, single Mum of 9 year old Summer, then there's their Mother and their Grandmother then the story of Esther Whickham an 18th century orphan adopted by an astrologer which comes to light when her journals turn
Mar 08, 2012 Lesley rated it liked it
A Place of Secrets was a bit of a impulse purchase for me. I was in the mood for a fun, quick and somewhat mysterious read and when this popped up I knew it was what I was after. This is the kind of book I think of as an airport read. It's entertaining and engaging but not too taxing or time consuming.

This book served as my introduction to Rachel Hore and I feel like next time I'm stuck in bed ill and don't want to strain myself with anything too literary I would happy pick up another of her off
Oct 19, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it
This is one of those where there are 2 independent, and yet connected, stories are taking place throughout the novel. In this case, it's a story taking place in present day England and another story taking place in 1700s England. The main storyline is about Jude, an auction house appraiser, investigating the history of some manuscripts and astronomical instruments found in Starbrough Hall, a large estate in the small community where Jude's sister, niece and grandmother live. The two stories are ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Carol rated it it was ok

I have just read this on holiday where I enjoy a light romantic romping story but I was irritated from the start. I thought the language laboured, lazy and lacking in variety. Too many adjectives attached to speech.

Then we get to the guts of the story - the far too conveniently interwoven stories in fact. Utterly implausible. Leaving out half of the links might have made it a much better book for me.

The love story was actually unnecessary too, likewise the formulaic relationship between sister
Julie Goucher
Feb 15, 2011 Julie Goucher rated it it was amazing
This book had a complex storyline and it takes great skill to weave the threads of the book separately then coming together to bring the story to conclusion.

The central character is Jude, who works at a London auctioneers house and by chance answers a ringing telephone in her office. The caller wants a valuation on a fascinating collection of early astronomical books and equipment which have been passed down through his family. On establishing that the seller is living in Jude's home town , wher
Tracy Terry
Sep 29, 2013 Tracy Terry rated it really liked it
A multi-layered read, A Place Of Secrets chronicles the modern day story of Jude alongside the unfolding tale of Esther, an 18th century astronomer, whose journals Jude happens across when searching through some old manuscripts in her role as researcher for an auction house. This is a wonderfully mesmerising story of how the past can effect the present, of whether dreams can be passed down through the generations.

My only real criticism being the myriad of coincidences that on occasion verged on
Jeanene Palmer
Jul 25, 2015 Jeanene Palmer rated it it was amazing
This is my first Rachel Hore read...her books have been on my Wish List for quite some time...
She is a fascinating writer in that this story is very balanced and within that balance she brings new secrets to bring a greater balance. My mind compared her writing to a Chef who will make a fine dinner. The planning, the ingredients and the making of each dish...Then the presentation of each of those dishes from the china, glasses, wines, lovely fresh food and watching the guests delight in every mo
Elise McCune
May 06, 2016 Elise McCune rated it really liked it
A Place of Secrets is just the type of book I like to read.

Jude works as a valuer at a London auction house and is successful in her job. Her husband Mark was killed in an accident a few years go and her relationship with Caspar isn’t going anywhere. A collection of 18th century books offers Jude an opportunity to combine work and a visit to her family in Norfolk.

Rachel Hore very quickly establishes Jude as a warm, caring woman dealing with great sadness. There are twists and turns and one of
Feb 14, 2015 Pamela rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-books
This book dealt with Astronomy to some degree, and now I know why...the "coincidences" in this book were astronomical!! (haha pun intended). This is one of those books that I get a perplexed look on my face and say " I liked it but...".

The cast of characters gets to be so confusing that even a character in the story makes a chart! I didn't quite buy the "conflict" between the sisters, I have 5 of my own, so I know about sisterly misunderstandings. But, as I said, I did like it. Somehow, with al
Real rating: 3.5 stars
Thank goodness for the second half of this book. The second half was full of mystery, family secrets being unraveled and lots of nail biting. The first half was very dull and slow moving.

I love historical fiction, family secrets, old journals, and creepy old houses. This book had it all! I just wish the first half would have lived up to the amazing second half. I am afraid many people probably gave up on this book before reaching the good parts.

This is my second Rachel Ho
Jul 29, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read. Interesting story with several mysteries to solve. Dragged a bit. A little too long on descriptions of everyday activities. A few too many coincidences tying together the plot. Overall a solid three stars. Similar to Susanna Kearsley or Kate Morton.
One thing that bothered me: the main character, Jude, is supposed to be a professional researcher looking into the history of a book collection, but constantly needs suggestions from other characters about where to look for information
Sep 15, 2014 Theresa rated it really liked it
"Perhaps you should think of going away, forgetting about him. That would be the most honorable thing."

"Would it?" Jude said feebly, feeling her energy drain away. Should she just go back to London and leave Claire and Euan to it? That was one code of behavior. "All's fair in love and war," was another. But suppose she did get together with Euan, what would that do to her relationship with her sister, and with Summer?"

"A Place of Secrets" is a novel that has a dual story line; one set in contemp
Aug 04, 2015 Penny rated it liked it
The multiple parallel story lines in this book caused me to keep my nose persistently buried in it as I was eager to see all of the lines converge. If I were rating the book just on its ability to engage the reader I probably would give it 4 stars...However the fact that I was in such a hurry to see things resolved seems to point out to me that I wasn't savoring it the way I do most books I give 4 stars. I think that is due mostly to the fact that I didn't really warm to most of the characters-- ...more
Jun 05, 2014 Jamie rated it it was amazing
I quite loved this novel. Although the coincidences were a little too coincidental, they were believable. The central character, Judith called Jude, was well developed, three dimensional, and wonderfully sympathetic. In fact, all the characters were perfectly realized. It was such a treat to have listened to a book where the characters were as equally well developed as the details, imagery, and plot line. The concept of the book struck a chord, and reeled me in from the beginning. The story is w ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Felicity rated it liked it
Jude is an antiques expert and when a potential sale comes up in Starbrough which is where her family live she grasos the chance to go there and to do research. She then finds out her niece summer has started to have the same nightmare she used to have as a child and she never told her about it...

Then a series of events which all seem to be linked occur and Jude realises she didn't just come to Starbrough to research the collection she's valuing or to find her family. She also came to find herse
Aug 11, 2015 Sheila rated it really liked it
Jude is an auctioneer working for a business that gives appraisals for old estates. She is a widower, her husband dying several years previously. She receives a call from a man who wishes to sell the valuable possessions of an ancestor., Anthony Wickham, an astronomer. The location is near her sister's home in England. Jude becomes caught up in the history of Anthony Wickham and his adoptive daughter, Ester. Jude's young niece, Summer is having nightmares and Jude quickly learns the nightmares a ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Pippa rated it really liked it
This was very good once it got going. It's a bit like Kate Morton, and I do prefer Kate Morton (particularly The Forgotten Garden, but having said that, this is a good book, and it does keep you reading.
Lorraine Schuchart
Jan 11, 2015 Lorraine Schuchart rated it really liked it
Can dreams be inherited? That is the question that drew me to this novel. It was a runaway bestseller in Britain with over 100,000 copies sold. It’s a deep and somewhat dark historical mystery in the tradition of Kate Morton, who is one of my favorite authors in this genre. The story centers on an auction house appraiser, Jude, who leaves London for what she thinks will be her dream job. The setting is Starbrough Hall, an estate in the countryside, where Jude is to examine and price the manuscri ...more
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Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, Norfolk and turning to writing fiction.

Rachel is the author of The Dream House (2006), The Memory Garden (2007), The Glass Painter's Daughter (2009), which was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year 2010, A Place of Secrets (2010), which was a Richard and Judy Bookclub pi
More about Rachel Hore...

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“You're my lodestar – that's the one that sailors followed, the Pole Star that took them safely home to harbour.” he said.
“And I suppose you're like a shooting star” she responded “Always travelling in unexpected directions”
And like a shooting star, he had disappeared over the edge of her world, taking all the light and leaving her in cold darkness.”
“Mark had gone, passed into the care of the Keeper of the Stars, but the stars were still there.” 1 likes
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