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A Name Unknown

(Shadows Over England #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,293 ratings  ·  433 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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4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,293 ratings  ·  433 reviews

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Sarah Grace Grzy
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 15+ for interest
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 problem is, I'd run out of books. :/) Her poe
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!
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...
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
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
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
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!!!!!!!
Victoria Lynn
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review coming soon. . .

//R E V I E W//
“If he was a spy, he was a master of it. And if he wasn’t...what in blazes was he?"

This book was a delightful throwback to an age of fiction that most would consider long past. With its quaint verbiage and flowery descriptions, one can detect an echo of literature from the time of the classics. White obviously appreciates the literature from a bygone age and by setting her book in London in the early 1900’s, she captured that time period quite well within he
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
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
Rachelle Cobb
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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 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
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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
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
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: Commiss
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
Tricia Mingerink
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 in audiobook with the narrator Liz Pierce, who had also narrated Roseanna White's previous series and did an excellent job with that one.

This book didn't disappoint. Both the main
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
The cover alone makes this book a worthy addition to any bookshelf. But add in the amazing story, and you know "A Name unknown" is a definite keeper!
The story pulled me in immediately, and I was drawn right into the world of these characters. There were many unique twists, and mysteries, and the history was woven beautifully into the story. But one of the best elements of this book was the heart of it - the Faith aspect. I was very pleased with it, and there were many places I marked down. It wa
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
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"A Name Unknown" by Roseanna White is the first entry in her new "Shadows over England" series. If you love books (and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you do!), then you have to read this book! It's a book about books—a lot of books in a huge, messy, unorganized library! To top it off, our main characters are a writer and a woman pretending to be a librarian who helps this writer sort out said library.

The story is very well written with a great plot. The opening sentence grips you and pull
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
What an interesting premise! Main character Rosemary Gresham is a professional thief and hired to learn information about suspected traitor Peter Holstein. This is another well done novel by Roseanna White. The novel is set in WWI England.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up because of the praise so many of my friends had given it. I waited a month for someone else to finish it at the library and read two chapters before I switched to the audio version my sister had gotten. I had trouble reading the stutter.
But goodness, these characters just popped off the pages! I felt like I would know them if I saw them, not because their physical attributes were described, but because their personalities were.
As a writer I LOVED Peter. His absentmindedness wa
Caitlyn Santi
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Roseanna M. White's Culper Ring series, but hadn't had the pleasure of reading any of her books since finishing that series. When I read the description of this one, something about it drew me in! So needless to say I have been looking forward to A Name Unknown for several months, and I was not disappointed! I liked Rosemary from the very beginning and loved watching her journey. And Peter, oh my goodness, I fell in love with him instantly, he was just so amazing (definitely one of my fa ...more
A Name Unknown is a Christian historical romance set in the Edwardian period on the cusp of WWI. The main character is a thief who accepts a job from a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. V. The job involves getting hired on by a man with German ancestry and finding information that will prove he is a traitor to England. I enjoyed reading about the time period a lot and I liked the characters of Rosemary and Peter. The slow buildup of the friendship and then romance that developed between them ...more
Amariah Dixon
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4 1/2 stars!!

Wow! Man, there was SO MUCH suspense going on here! Rosemary drove me nuts half the time. She was so stubborn, arrogant, and judgmental at first. Peter was amazing and everyone else (almost), turned out to be just as good! I couldn’t put this book down!! There is so much mystery, suspense, intrigue, and super sweet romance. I ended up feeling sorry for Rosemary many times. The setting is written exceptionally, and the message of God's love is undeniable. I actually teared up at the
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So many reads lately seem to follow a typical pattern. This one was a bit different, and thus a refreshing change from the expected.

This book combines the lives of rich and poor, and it gives a great view of both. The reader ends up with empathy for both, and I found myself, at least, understanding both sides of the coin.

Rosemary is a terrific heroine. I really connected with her. She is torn in the direction of the right of her heart with the logic of her mind. I
Toni Shiloh
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book, the characters, the settings, everything about it! Can't wait to read book 2.
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Christian Ladies ...: Chapter 2 Discussion 3 10 Nov 16, 2018 08:50PM  
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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)
“Strawberries.” Willa slid those eyes shut now and loosed a blissful sigh. “If there are more tomorrow, save me one. I saw some in the village, but they were too dear.” 2 likes
“He'd stolen her heart right out of her chest when she wasn't looking, and she hadn't the foggiest idea how to get it back. And didn't want to. He'd take better care of it than she ever could anyway.” 2 likes
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