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A Name Unknown

(Shadows Over England #1)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,669 ratings  ·  630 reviews
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge ...more
Paperback, 428 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group (first published July 2017)
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Bianca Catlady It sure is, she again combines all the things you love about her way of writing, and it makes an interesting read. Recommend it.

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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Sarah Grace Grzy
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 15+ for interest
**Warning: this text may contain spoilers** 4.5 SHINING stars!

*NOTE: please excuse the fangirly review; believe me, I tried to write something professional and coherent . . . but it didn't work.*

Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all. This. Book. This is simple loveliness. From the cover, to the characters, to the writing style, to the history . . . just all of it!

Ms. White is an incredible author. This is exactly the kind of book and kind of writing style I LOVE to read, and would read all the time. (Only p
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! I have a soft spot for books and writers in fiction, and this story, centered around a too-full home library in need of organization. Be still my heart! Add to that a stammering, kind-hearted hero, whose quiet thoughtfulness might just be able to dent our heroine's tough exterior.

The story is so deftly layered as far as plot goes that it's difficult to talk about my favorite parts because of spoilers! I loved the intrigue brought on by Rosemary's assignment. I loved seeing her grow
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first novel I’ve read by Roseanna M. White. I loved it! The plot was deliciously thought out! I was really impressed by it. The witty Rosemary captivated my attention. And Peter was just precious! His personality as an author was endearing but who he was in Christ was awesome. The romance was perfectly drawn out. The ending could not have been better! Five stars!
Katie Hanna
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

*rubs nose* That was . . . an enjoyable but very confusing experience, & now I am not at all sure what I think.

The good:
- Peter. He's Smol™ and Soft™ and In Need of Protection™. Not in a dumb way, though; in an endearing and believable way (major speech impediment plus nine or ten forms of diagnosable social anxiety). To top it all off, HE IS A WRITER. A writer who hates people talking to him while he's trying to figure out his next plot point (can I get an amennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn?) H
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing

b e a u t i f u l - t h i n g s

the characters - y'all know how much these cinnamon rolls mean to me in a story. If an author is planning on including anybody in their story (I mean I guess you'd have to... unless it was a story all about landscape and bushes *shrugs*), they better be warned that they either have to go big and dangerous or go home bc this girl doesn't do weak little characters with no backbone and no voice, okay? Okay...
This has to be one of the prettiest book covers I've seen!! I don't fangirl over that many bookcovers, but folks this one is GORGEOUS!

But the story itself will blow you away. It's unique and held my attention on every page. I loved both Peter and Rosemary, but Peter...*sighs happily* One of the best hero's I've read ;) There were several twists at the end that I didn't expect, and added to the excitement in the last couple chapters.

Spiritual content was great...not very much at the beginning, bu
m a r y l i z
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Re-read May 2019:


If I could recommend one book to my friends . . . it would be this one.

This book and these characters forever have my heart. It may not be for you, but it's 1000000% for me and I will defend it till the day I die.

Thank you, Roseanna M. White, for this gift to mankind. :')

/ / / / / / / / / /

What does one say about perfection?

This book is a winner, friends. Even by looking at the cover, I had the feeling this book was going to be good (because duh, any book wi
Victoria Lynn
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*dies and flails* literally one of my all time favorite books and well deserving of this reread. 😍♥️♥️♥️♥️
Kate Willis
I'd seen the hype surrounding this book when it first released, but after a little research I decided it was likely not my cup of chai tea.

Fast forward to last Christmas when Mikayla, a.k.a. one of my best friends, sent me this book and the next. Our reading tastes line up super often, so I decided it was time to give it a second look. I think I actually asked her a few questions about the book before starting it, I was so nervous. XD

Guys, the CHARACTERS. Sorry to shout, but they were so well w
Jocelyn Green
I finished this beauty over the weekend and I still have all the happy feelings that come with an utterly satisfying story! I know it has been years since A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White released but I have a hard time keeping up with books as soon as they launch. This was more than worth the wait. Atypical, three-dimensional characters, compelling plot and robust spiritual arcs make this novel a winner. Roseanna did a fabulous job drawing the characters and setting, right down to accents, v ...more
Oh my goodness, gracious! I'm crying...

Roseanna M. White is one of my new favorite authors, I think. She pens historical fiction with such grace and unique-ness. A Name Unknown, book one in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND series, is an interesting, humorous, and heart-touching tale - with a nice amount of suspense.

Set in the Edwardian era, this novel follows the adventure of Rosemary Gresham, who's been a thief nearly all her life. In order to care for her mismatched family, she must prove that Peter H
Lydia Howe
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read the second book in this series first, and I have to say: If at all possible, read them in order. Still! Goodness, goodness! Miss Roseanna's writing is amazing. And her plots? So lovely indeed. And her characters? Some of my favorites! I can't wait to read more of her books.

This one roped me in before I even opened it because I got to meet the characters in Book #2, and I couldn't wait to read their story, even though I obviously knew bits and pieces of it. Goodness. The way the character
R.F. Gammon
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to R.F. Gammon by: m a r y l i z
Review to come!!!!!!!
Rachel McMillan
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
okay! and then you want, of course, a slick and sophisticated slow-burning romance set in Edwardian Cornwall featuring a thief -turned- librarian and a stammering author with royal connections who may hold secrets to the axis retaliation in the looming war? RIGHT? yes.

So then we have A Name Unknown which features not only some of Rachel's favourite tropes ( tortured reclusive misunderstood stammering author, two lost souls who connect through words and leave letters to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Apr 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored this story--it completely exceeded my expectations! This was my first Roseanna M. White book. The hero, Peter, was honestly one of the sweetest, most admirable characters I've ever come across. He was so self-sacrificing, gentle and humble--a perfect example of who we are called to be as Believers. The story completely captivated me towards the second half...the first half sort of sets the stage and requires some patience --especially if you're looking for romance to blossom ASAP--but i ...more
I really enjoyed this book, and if it wasn't for life, I would probably got through it a lot faster, but I'm also glad I didn't, so that I could appreciate the story.

Rosemary was a very likable thief and it was such a joy to see her interact with everyone and challenging Peter without realising it. I loved her character growth and inter struggles between doing a job and doing the right thing.

Peter, with his stutter, was a character who warmed your heart from the start. His silent but steady way
Rachelle Cobb
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This is Roseanna's best book yet. Having read all of her other titles, I don't say that lightly.

At first I was a bit hesitant about Rosemary because of her occupation; I wasn't sure how she would do as a heroine. Boy was I wrong. Not only is she compellingly genuine, she's conflicted about her occupation--and eventually her faith (or is it lack thereof? No spoilers!).

Although the hero, Peter, struck me as weak early on, I quickly warmed up to him. After all, he's a writer and book enthusiast wit
"Fiction is a way to express mankind's deepest heart. His fears. His hopes. His failings. His successes. Fiction is a pretty wrapping." (What a wonderful way to describe the books we love to read.)

"God will hear. He does not always answer in the way we want, but He always hears..."

There were so many things to like about this book: a touch of romance, a smidgen of suspense, a family made up of orphans, an incredibly strong faith element, and a swoon worthy hero. This book had me hooke
Wow, I can’t believe I stayed up until 5:30am to finish this story. This book was just so much fun! Great characters, sweet romance, good pacing, just wow. I loved the themes/lessons but I think the best part of this novel were the characters. Rosemary is definitely one of my FAVORITE female heroines. I mean she was tough, but also sweet, understanding, and just so much fun. And Peter is absolutely AMAZING. Kind, quiet, and stays true to himself. The only reason it’s not five stars is since I li ...more
Amanda Tero
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I tried really hard not to fan-girl over this book. I have enjoyed all of Roseanna White's books that I've read so far. This was no exception. I did figure out the main plot and resolution fairly quickly, but the tale was so exciting that it kept me turning pages nonetheless.

I loved Peter's stutter. I found it unusual and it added a lot to his story. I also appreciated how he was portrayed as good, yet he had his annoying faults. And... I loved what he did. Let's just say I could fully identify
I started reading this book because I was to stressed to deal with anything new. Now, it will forever be associated with a time that God moved in some big ways in my life.
As for the story, I think I enjoyed it even more the second time.
I won't be able to do as long as a review as I had hoped. Time has just not been my friend this year, but I wanted to say how much I adored this story.
This book starts with an intriguing "family" of thieves, throws in some espionage, and adds an amazing settin
I had never read a Roseanna M. White book before, but after A Name Unknown, I think I'm hooked, at least on this series. This book was equal parts fun, sweet, exciting, and mysterious.

There was little to nothing I didn't like. I'm seriously thinking hard to try to remember if there was anything that bothered or annoyed me and... hmm... There may have been a teeny tiny writing thing or two that, while not technically "wrong" did make my inner editor pause and wonder if there would have been a bet
Natacha Ramos
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The concept of this book is interesting, but I think I enjoyed more the idea than the final product.

For some reason, I couldn’t be drawn into the story and I found myself skipping some paragraphs more than once. Maybe there were too many unnecessary details, or it might have been that the focus of the novel wasn’t something very appealing to me: history, legacy, inheritance.

However, I think the last few chapters were better; they got my attention a bit easier because they highlighted what I assu
Tricia Mingerink
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Re-Re-Read Review: Still adore this book! On this re-read review, I'm going to give a shout-out to Griff for being such a good author best friend in this novel. :)

Original review:
I knew as soon as this book released, I was going to buy it. Roseanna White has become one of my favorite Christian fiction authors for her ability to write Christian fiction that is both fun, entertaining, action-packed, and spiritually uplifting. I was even more excited when I discovered this book had also released
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-favorites
Easily one of my favorite reads of the year. Find a comfortable chair and allow this story to draw you into the lovely setting of Cornwall, England.

Roseanna White has introduced her readers to a lovely cast of characters in this new series. The series centers around a "family" that consists of a group of orphans that have relied upon thievery to survive. As the beginning of WWI is getting closer, the mysterious Mr. V has hired Rosemary Gresham to discover whether Peter Holstein's loyalties lie w
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Um, yeah. I loved it.


It hooked me early and hard, and I gobbled this book up. I loved the writing, the way the author didn't mess around with non-essential scenes. In fact, the pacing reminded me a lot of Jane Austen -- events that aren't material to the plot get summed up rather than laid out, while conversations that advance character development get set forth in detail. People like to tout the "rule" of writing that says you should "show, not tell," but the truth is, you CANNO
Dana Michael
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

I loved this story. This book had great characters with the loveable and good hearted Peter and the feisty and soft hearted Rosemary. The romance was a slow burning build, but once it was stoked it was hot. It's clean and all but oh so amazing. There is a mystery and historical facts that I also love in a book. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
Year: 1914
Location: Cornwall, Southwest England
Main Characters:
Rosemary Gresham: Street rat turned librarian
Peter Holstein: Novelist of German descent
Gryffyn, Jenny and Elowyn Penrose: Peter's best friend, wife and young daughter
Mr. & Mrs. Teague: Gardener and housekeeper
Barclay, Willa, Retta, Lucy, Elinor, George, Jory, Olivia, Nigel, Cressida and Fergus: Rosemary's brothers and sisters:
Pauly: Pub owner and father figure to all of the above
Mr. V: Commissione
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book! A Name Unknown truly has it all! An engaging storyline, wonderful and believable characters, well researched historical and cultural details, a beautiful location, mystery, humor, and all done with a deep spiritual thread that pointed to God.
Rosemary was a wonderful heroine. She was spunky and smart with a big heart, but she was also flawed and had issues she needed to work out. Peter... Oh Peter... I loved him!! Definitely not the "typical" hero type, but a hero n
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-read

A Name Unknown was a great introduction to White's new series. I really liked the characters and the whole premise. I loved the writing style; it was easy to read and very engaging.

I liked the romance and seeing the characters grow closer together. I didn't know how things would end up, mainly because there was a lot standing in their way, but I couldn't wait to read more and find out.

The setting was great and I am eager to read the next book to see what happens next. I really grew to love Rosem
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Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always ...more

Other books in the series

Shadows Over England (3 books)
  • A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
  • An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England, #3)

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