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Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  791 ratings  ·  194 reviews
When Heather Toulson returns to her parents cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can't be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Howard Books (first published May 5th 2015)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  791 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, netgalley
This book had everything I like in a book: a little mystery, old English manors, love--between men & women, mothers & daughters, husbands & wives, and the power of forgiveness. Told in dual story times--another thing I love--starts in the 50's to present day. I liked both stories and all the characters. I thought everything was well-told by all voices in the story and the book was well-written. It is a little Christian but nothing that I thought detracted from the story. I've been wanting to rea ...more
Sarah Sundin
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For the second year in a row, Melanie Dobson has penned my absolute favorite novel of the year. In 2014, Chateau of Secrets blew me away, and in 2015, Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor did the same. Maggie, Walter, Libby, and Heather are fascinating characters, and the intricate web of secrets is slowly unraveled. With writing as lovely as Libby’s butterfly paintings, I was swept into the world of English gardens and intertwined families. Do not miss this novel, my friends!
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Melanie Dobson has become one of my go-to authors. Whether it’s a story about the mob, WWII or 1800s, her writing is captivating and plot lines intriguing. The trend continues with her newest release!

How often do we think we know what’s best for us or for those we love? But often, the best isn’t what happens, instead decisions made carry on, the effects rippling through generations. Dobson portrays this with an adept hand and I found myself completely enthralled in the story.

Plus the mystery, t
Ashley Daviau
Nov 12, 2016 rated it liked it
While I did enjoy this book for the most part, I found certain parts of it to be entirely too predictable. This caused me to guess 3/4 of the plot and that really affected my enjoyment of the story. It was a cute story and I'm sure I would have loved it if it had been a little harder to guess what was happening. One thing I really did enjoy was how the story was told both in the past and the present, I love it when stories are told in that way. ...more
From the very first page I was absorbed into the story. The dual storylines (past and present) fit together perfectly and I liked each one equally. There was a "time stands still" feeling about the book, especially during garden scenes- probably because Libby's ethereal qualities and dreams about butterflies coloured the whole novel.

Secrets are revealed, past wounds are reopened, and relationships are restored in this story. I particularly like how Heather decides to break the chain of secrets t
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
Romance is usually the high priority for me in a novel, and there is a lovely romantic thread in Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, but for once it wasn’t what makes this one of my top reads. That honor goes to two characters – Libby, an almost otherworldly character whose story alternately brought tears and laughter and the desire to just hug her, and Walter Doyle, a husband/father who wants to do the right thing but struggles to process the disappointments he’s been dealt without hurting those he l ...more
Deanne Patterson
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Deception,lies,untruths whatever you want to call it it was present in this book. It did jump around a bit in time periods which was at times a bit hard to piece what was happening together.
This book took me through the ringer with emotions. Many things happened here that were so unexpected and shocking ! This was a I can't put this book down type of book. All was revealed by the end and I just didn't see it coming. Wow, I loved this book !
Libby, a free-spirited, whimsical girl finds a friend in her neighbor, Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Years later, Libby is pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out, and Oliver has drowned in a nearby river. Though there were many theories about his death, no one is ever held responsible. Sixty years later, upon returning to her parent’s cottage in the English countryside, Heather Toulson uncovers secrets of her family’s history. Filled with mixed emotions, Heather m ...more
Carrie Turansky
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson is a beautiful and touching novel filled with family drama, mystery, and romance. You'll be swept away to the English countryside as you follow the interwoven stories of three women in one family who discover the healing power of love and forgiveness. Engaging from beginning to end! ...more
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

When I come across such a deeply moving book as Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, I struggle with how to adequately convey my thoughts. This is a highly entertaining novel - poignant, bittersweet, compelling - and gives cause for reflection after the last page is turned. The writing is exquisite, with an atmospheric, otherworldly feel. It is of "read again" quality so as to pick up all that I might have missed the first time.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke
Najibah Abu Bakar
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, read-2015
Mainly a story about a family having to deal with a child with autism spectrum, long before it was understood and able to be correctly diagnosed by doctors. It has good doses of romance, mature-type suitable for women readers my age; not the fiery kind in contemporary novels of young adults.

Two plots intertwined with historical facts became alive under this talented author's wit. It was an enjoyable read, mainly because it was well-researched. The characters enlivened every page - Maggie who mar
Heidi Williams
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A powerful story that touched way deep inside to my very soul!
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

3 stars

This book follows characters in the past and present. My preference went out to Maggie in the past. The book took off promissing, but after Libby was bown and turning something like 6 years old my interest weakened. I had problems with how the writer set out Libby's character and how her decisions evolved during her growing up. I get that a 6 years old wouldn't listen to her parents and doesn't see the effects of going in to the garden, but a 15 years old that
Maggie Boyd
Mild spoilers in middle of text. You have been warned.

I stayed up past midnight reading this book, something I don't often do. But I was completely caught up in the tale of Maggie, Libby and Heather and couldn't wait to find out what happened with them. On the flip side, I was mildly horrified by the story and the character of the people involved.

Maggie is pregnant by a sailor who promised to marry her and (shocker!) didn't come back. It is 1954 and single mums are still ostracized in small En
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dual-time-period
“Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor” was pure puffery – and not very good at that even. Characters were shallow, storylines were ridiculous, and of course, no matter how dire the situation, everything turns out well in the end.

No one ever truly suffers the consequences of their actions/decisions, and everyone gets a HEA. As I said, puffery, since this novel is about as shallow as a kiddie pool.

(view spoiler)
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I’m always intrigued with stories that blend the past and present….

In the present, a woman named Heather –who lives in the States- must return to England. Her parents have passed and their cottage needs tending to. She must decide if she is going to keep the cottage or sell it. Shortly after she arrives, she comes across secrets about her parents that change her situation to say the least. Not only that, she has secrets of her own.

In the past, a young girl named Libby- who is not quite like eve
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I read it in one day... so that's something. :) Melanie Dobson writes very well, and her storylines are always emotionally moving. She's written a few different genres over the years, and I like to see that she's trying new things. Not many authors have the ability to be successful at that.

Now, about the story. There were quite a few times that I wanted to cry while reading this heart-breakingly sad look at the lives of three generations of prodigal daughters. It was a good story with gre
Lizzy Bueckert
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This story gripped my heart from beginning to end. The best word I can find to describe it is special. I have never loved the characters in a story like the ones in this book. Outstanding!
Suze Lavender
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heather is back in the United Kingdom after many years of living overseas. She's inherited her parents' cottage and has to sort out their belongings. Heather discovers her family had many secrets. The cottage is close to Ladenbrooke Manor, which was abandoned after a tragic death. Can Heather discover what happened in the past and get the answers she needs? While trying to find out the truth, she runs into her first love. Is there a chance they can at least be friends again? Will Heather only me ...more
Cathy Gohlke
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Set amid the thatched cottages, lush gardens and grand estates of England’s Cotswolds, Melanie Dobson weaves a heart-wrenching picture of deception that morphs into family legacies. When all seems lost she draws exquisite threads of repentance, then turns the tapestry to reveal a world washed in forgiveness, surprised by grace. I couldn’t stop reading, and can’t stop thinking about this book. Beautifully written.
Kami S
Dec 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
Some spoilers*

Didn't finish.
I understand this was a book of hope, redemption, transformation and love. But honestly, I just don't enjoy reading about out- of -wedlock babies(there was for sure 2, maybe 3 in this story.. all 3 heroines from what I could gather). Divorce and new love in the modern story. I basically skimmed through it in like a half hr once I realized the theme. My book club members would agree wholeheartedly.
Heather Weseman
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. Sweet story of an autistic girl and people trying to understand her. A mystery and old manor in England made it even more fun. Love this author
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Lots of twists and turns and a happy ending.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson sheds light on the shadows that hide the secrets each character has in Dobson's newest story. Told from the point of view from multiple characters, it will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat as to when the truth will be revealed. Its story line and characters will captivate you, and its backdrop of beautiful cottages placed in the romantic English countryside will make for a perfect summer read.

My Thoughts

Well done, Dobson. This book bl
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shadows Of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson is a totally fabulous novel, and I was blessed to receive a copy. The novel takes place in England, firstly in Clevedon and then moves to Bibury in the Cotswolds. As I live in England, it was wonderful to read about places that I knew. The action alternates between 1950's/ 60's and present day. It is written in the third person but from various viewpoints.
I found Shadows Of Ladenbrooke Manor to be a very beautiful and calming novel. I think that th
Rambling Readers
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Review: "Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor" is filled with mysteries and tangles of deceit. Melanie Dobson creates a plot with three generations of layers to sort through. Dobson definitely thought outside-of-the box when writing "Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor." There isn't much that is predictable or ordinary in the plot. Amid the quaint cottages and country lanes of England, Dobson weaves a story shadowed with darkness and pain. Stories of the past slowly unfold in the present for Heather Toulson, w ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A poignant tale of love and sacrifice...

Shadows Of Ladenbrooke Manor is a poignant tale of choices, decisions that affect and haunt the lives of four generations of women, and the men closest to them. It is a story of heartbreak and tragedy but it is also ultimately a story of the many facets of love.

Melanie Dobson has woven a butterfly tapestry in story. Lives interconnected by the most tenuous of threads, some of the them dark and some bright. Secrets that can tear apart the lives of two
Amber Whitlock
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is the collision of three generations of stories. The setting jumps back and forth between the past and present, which is noted by the date on the past sections and a different font used for each time-frame. The story starts with Maggie and later moves to Libby, but much of the book is viewed through the eyes of Heather, our present-day main character. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say this is a story about history repeating itself. It’s also a tale of secr ...more
Hallie Szott
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review is also posted on Book by Book.

Melanie Dobson’s Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor tells a touching multi-generational story, spanning from the mid-1950s to the present day against a picturesque English country backdrop. Dobson enchanted me with her intriguing combination of mystery and romance, as well as a well-rounded cast of flawed yet deeply caring characters, and I just couldn’t put this novel down. The characters make tragic mistakes and keep heartbreaking secrets, yet the discovery
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It takes a special book to cause me to think of purchasing a book at full retail price. This is one of those books. I have not so throughly enjoyed a book as this in a long while.

Melanie weaves a tale, which could have been cliche, but is really the story of what families faced with unwed pregnancy and special needs in another time period. There is a sweet thread of romance, but romance is not the focus here. The focus is more on how secrets can live in the shadows and destroy relationships when
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Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jan 25, 2015 10:41AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 2 Jan 25, 2015 10:39AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jan 25, 2015 10:28AM  

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Writing fiction is a fun excuse for Melanie to explore ghost towns and old houses, travel to unusual places, and spend hours reading dusty books and journals. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction with threads of romance and suspense.

Melanie is the award-winning author of almost twenty time-slip, historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels including Catching the Wind, The

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“Quickly she shredded the cabbage on the chopping block and tossed it along with the onion and tomatoes in a blue Pyrex bowl. Then she slid the lamb chops, encrusted with fresh rosemary, into the oven.
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