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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 of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

~ A Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick ~

428 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2017

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About the author

Roseanna M. White

51 books2,701 followers
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 seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. She and her family make their home in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
see also Roseanna White

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 709 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Grace Grzy.
629 reviews832 followers
October 6, 2019
**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 problem is, I'd run out of books. :/) Her poetic, yet down-to-earth writing style is so lovely and engaging, and the history she mixes in throughout is neither dull nor boring, but really quite fascinating. I love a book that can teach me something without detracting from the story. The salvation message was woven through brilliantly, and even made me cry. Sometimes the faith message ends up feeling shoe-horned in, but not so in this case. Just lovely!

The characters were literally the best ever. Rosemary was witty, sweet, smart, and flawed enough to made her perfect. I was so attached to her character in only a few chapters, that I just HAD so see how her story ended. I felt her pain, her joys, her frustrations. And then Peter. OH MY WORD! I am not the kind of person who gets a crush on every nice fictional (or real, for that matter) guy, but I'm just going to admit it: I kinda have a tiny eensy weeny crush on Peter . . . He has a stutter, and can hardly speak; is a writer and gets so lost in his fictional words, that he can hardly be disturbed, even if you were to shout fire. (Which believe me, did happen and it didn't work. :P) He's just so incredibly NICE and polite and chivalrous; his relationship with God, and his faith throughout the book was just beautiful and inspiring. And, *cough cough* he has a cleft in his chin . . . I MEAN WHAT EVEN!?! But anyway; I shall stop going on about him now. He's just the perfect character - because he wasn't perfect.
Of course, the secondary characters, like Penrose (HA! He's hilarious and annoying all in one!), Mrs. Tegue, Treeve, the other servants, Mr. V, Willa, Barclay, Georgie . . . all of them were so fantastic!

The story was just amazing. The mystery was intriguing and fascinating, and that plot twist at the end . . . WHOO! You basically had to completely rearrange your view on the story. The romance was SO beautiful! Slow, sweet . . . perfection! The action was fun, and helped to keep my interest.

And the ending . . . *cackles* SHE STOLE A HOUSE!!!! *giggles gleefully* And his name. :D :D :D And Barclay's reaction to finding out she married Peter, and that he was actually Branok Hollow . . . HILARIOUS! 3

All in all, this was an amazing book! I did dock 1\2 a star, because it did get slightly boring in the middle, and I kinda lost interest. But the rest was amazing, so don't let that scare you off! ALL Y'ALL! Go find a copy of this book and READ IT!

Content: There was basically nothing. A few sweet, pure kisses, a bit of mild attraction (not graphic at all!), and a bit of action, guns, punches thrown, that kind of thing. All very mild. I'd recommend this for ages 15-16+ for interest level.
Profile Image for Hannah.
2,402 reviews1,336 followers
October 16, 2017
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 as a person and learn to let her walls down. :)

I can't wait for book two!
Profile Image for Emilee.
476 reviews94 followers
February 5, 2019
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!
Profile Image for Katie Hanna.
Author 6 books108 followers
September 7, 2018
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?) He's also super heckin' stubborn. Which was cute. <3 And he's thin and scrawny and blond, which, I don't know . . . kinda adds to the cuteness factor??
- Now, I know a lot of my friends fell in love with Peter while reading this book . . . I have to say, I really DIDN'T, mainly because Peter is wayyyyyyyy too much like me and you can't seriously fall in love with the male version of yourself. [I mean, you can try? but?] I definitely understand the appeal, though. ;-)
- Rosemary. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. This is where it gets tricky. I liked her. I'm not sure if I LOVED her. I certainly couldn't relate to her, because she was so very energetic and talkative and go-ahead and just plain WILD, and that's not me at all. I did, however, find her combination of "sharp corners on the outside, soft gooey butter on the inside" to be refreshing. And sweet.
- Also, I'm 99% sure she was inspired in some way by the original Mary Poppins (book version, not movie version). I mean . . . skinny, vinegar-tongued, dark-haired Cockney woman shows up at a rich bloke's house in a gust of wind and a cloud of rain, with an offer to set all the confusion within to rights? You can't tell me that was an accident. You CAN'T TELL ME. *grins* And I adore the Mary Poppins books, so. <3
- The romance wasn't exactly my favorite? Idk why. It was cute, though. And yay for starting-out-as-friends!!!!
- Rosemary's backstory was A+. *nods*
- And this brings me to what I perhaps loved best about this novel: its completely serious discussion of the very real socioeconomic inequalities of early-twentieth-century Britain. Most historical fiction authors basically get around the simmering class conflict by pretending that every single British person was RICH, had always been rich, and always would be rich. Eh . . . nope. [It honestly annoys me, the way they just blithely throw money at alllllllllllllllllllllll their characters.]
- This author, on the other hand, fleshes out both halves of British society--those with plenty and those with nowhere near enough--and explores their attitudes and prejudices against each other. And she doesn't pretend "the poor deserved to be poor and the rich deserved to be rich." She actually questions the overarching, entrenched system that kept them each in their place. THIS IS VERY, VERY GOOD.
- I also loved the way she developed Cornwall's local culture--even throwing in bits and pieces of the Cornish language!!--instead of just acting like it was exactly the same as the rest of England. Regional variation for the win. For that, my historian's heart is happy. <3

The bad:
- Not enough description / too much "surface" description that didn't really give me a unique picture of the surroundings. I'm sorry, guys. I know I sound like a broken record for complaining about this in every single review. But I NEED MORE.
- This may just be me being A Catholic Person Who Doesn't Read A Lot of Protestant Stories, but . . . um . . . Rosemary's conversion didn't exactly sit well with me??? I just. I don't know. I simply have a distaste for plots where one character's [Peter's] faith is completely solid, the other person's [Rosemary's] is utterly nonexistent, and the object of the story is to get the faith-less person to "level up" so he/she can marry the faith-filled party. THERE. I SAID IT. I want a middle ground. I want to read a romance where both parties believe in Jesus, but they're both struggling & questioning & fundamentally screwed-up. Because THERE ARE AN AWFUL LOT OF US OUT THERE, YA KNOWS. *sigh*
- On that note: Mrs. Teague's change of heart at the end felt really, really hollow to me. If you're such a good Christian, ma'am, then ACT. LIKE. IT. Don't pretend to be stony-hearted and closed-off for the whole dang story and then be like "NOW I AM READY TO LISTEN TO ALL YOUR TROUBLES & LEAD YOU TO CHRIST" at the end. Just . . . no.
- I kind of hated the fact that Peter agreed to be a propaganda novelist at the end. For that matter, I was uncomfortable with the entire discussion of the WW1 conflict. Because it was presented in a "Britain is innocent, Germany is the sole aggressor, we must defend our homeland" way. Now, it is true that German civil society under Bismarck [and after] was incredibly rigid & militarized, and that British civil society was comparatively liberal and peaceful and open. THIS IS TRUE, and I was really glad the author brought it up! Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . British foreign policy was not one whit less aggressive than Germany's. (Scramble for Africa, anybody?) And it was that imperialistic rivalry which, more than anything, was responsible for heating up the tensions that led to WW1. You simply can't put all the blame on Germany.

The ugly:
- All right. Here's where we come to my Big Problem with the Entire Story:

*heavy sigh* So yeah. I am one confused muffin. There was stuff I loved, stuff I liked, stuff I was annoyed by, and stuff that made me BOILING MAD. And that . . . is about the sum total of my thoughts on this story, I think.
Profile Image for Jazzy.
202 reviews63 followers
January 23, 2018


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... can we just appreciate HOW PERFECT THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE IN THIS STORY? LITERALLY.

Rosemary is L.I.F.E. goals. SHE'S:
a thief / passionate / loving / arrogant / outspoken / strong / extroverted / and so very, very empathetic (when she deems it a good time to be) / quick to act
The one thing that really drew me into loving her character was her passion. She saw something that needed to be changed, and with all her power she tried to change it; she didn't just sit back and hope for someone else, more capable to come along and do it, no! There was this energy within her that just compelled her to do things that she didn't necessarily want to do, but it needed to be done and so it was. Sure, she had her flaws. She's messed up and mislead... but that's the beauty of humanity, right?

Her voice was so strong, she was so stubborn it was SO invigorating, it made ME want to step up and do something to change the world, even if it was small... she had this way about her that was just so exciting, I couldn't wait to see what she did or said next. Everything had a point to it, there's no such thing as stuff-n'-nonsense with Rosemary. She was straight to the point and hard-headed and IT JUST CLICKED WITH ME BECAUSE I'M SO LIKE THAT.

She's just that person that will be the first to speak up, the first to act, the first to accuse, and the first to throw a punch (even if it's with her untamable sass).

Peter was a Cinnabon, allow me to protect him forever amen.
curious / intelligent + simple at the same time / passionate, but not impulsive / introverted / writer / hermit, by all means

Peter was just amazing. He was this precious burrito that was just filled with love and exotic wonder that left people thinking he was loopy. And, Y'ALL, he had a speech problem which made him soooo cute, literally cannot contain how precious and pure he is. Seriously. Can we just take a moment to appreciate his shy qualities, his thoughtfulness, his inability to communicate... gracious, let's just all build a wall around him and protect from this cruel world who would DARE to speak ugly about my baby.

Being a writer, I can relate to Peter as well. WHICH WAS JUST DANDY. Him being literal gold, I just couldn't not love everything about him. I mean. HE HAD A BEHEMOTH LIBRARY. CAN I GET AN AMEN???

The dude was mega introverted and it was just so great. And the way he handled situations... he's such a quiet thinker, but he takes in all the little details he can calculate the entire event with such discernment, he is just SO COOL. And yet everyone in the book was so convinced he was just this dumb person that couldn't think for himself... and he wouldn't fight back. I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU PETER, DON'T YOU WORRY MY PRECIOUS CHILD.

And while I can go on about the rest of the characters, I do believe I still have the rest of the review and write and who knows how long that will take if I talk about EVERYTHING I love about this book??? AND SOME? Priorities, my people. We are a civil community here and there will be order.

the plot- This was just all glorious. The plot of this book was just... so fun and it was thrilling but not too heavy, and I was kept guessing and wondering, but not frustrated. I have a lot of love for this story, not only because of the characters (although I adore adore adore them too). It felt driven and I could tell that the author had a lot of passion for the story in and of itself.

A group of street rats. A search in a library. A hermit writer with secrets. Political theft.

It's beautiful, is it not?

england- I'm such a sucker for stories in other countries, especially Europe (who doesn't??), so THIS beaute basically settled so perfectly with me, it's kind of creepy. Kind of. OH, and how it was showing things that lead up to WW1, that was pretty cool. I've read a lot of WW2 books so this was a bit new for me, but y'know what? I loved it so... :)

the family elements- These characters were hardcore when it came to family. Didn't matter what kind of family they grew up in, especially Rosemary and her siblings. They loved so hard and were extremely loyal but with a realistic flare of siblings rivalry and it was just so relatable and sweet and I can cry just thinking about them.

the sass- Let's be honest. I probably enjoyed this entire book because of Rosemary's (and the occasional Peter's) sassitude. It got lit, y'all xD

oh the beauty of luv- the romance. The romance was bloody adorable and I cannot contain myself any longer *squeals* IT WAS EPIC AND SWEET AND JUST GREAT. It was great. Because.... because you have Rosemary, outspoken, determined, hardheaded, and just Rosemary... And then you had sweet, kind, gentle, dear, dear Peter. AND IT WAS MAGIC. It was literally gold. I can't tell you how many times I screamed because of their cuteness. And it was a pure kind of cuteness that was..... AGH.

the spiritual message- THIS MADE ME CRY. LITERALLY. I WAS CRYING. Well, not throughout the whole thing, but more than one part brought me to tears. I loveloveloveeee the message portrayed in this story, especially with Rosemary. I can relate to her SO MUCH, so this really hit core for me. How the Lord just shaped her and guided her, it was so beautiful. So sweet and tender and heartbreakingly beautiful. I'd give this 19,438 stars just for how well God's love was portrayed.

just all the people were amazing.

there were so many leads and elements that just GAH befuddled me in the best way bc mystery

the writing was really really great- This was a HUGE thing for me. I adored the writing, which is weird for me to say about a Chris-his-fic novel. But I'm not kidding you, I could read these books for ages -- errrm mebbe -- and not got tired of it.

And now I think it's safe to say that this book was just perfect and you should really just go read it now. Because I don't have an "Ugly things" list for you.

Other than it ended, but y'know.

- c o n c l u s i o n -
This is a wonderful novel that will change your life. It had an epic storyline, endearing characters, a thrilling mystery, and amazing vibes (and a hilarious sass level). I enjoyed this book so much, it will probably always be on my favorites shelf because #perfection. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES!


And how, pray tell, does one heal from such DEVESTATING PERFECTION?!?!

RTC, luvs ;)
Profile Image for ✧˖° lydia °˖✧ {hiatus}.
159 reviews120 followers
April 18, 2023
4.5 ⭐️

”Fiction is truth…. in a pretty wrapping.”

This book was captivating, wonderfully written, and so cute! It completely stole my heart 🥰

Rosemary and Peter were both cuties and so unique and fleshed out and the romance had so much chemistry and was so adorable ahhhhhhh<3333 The way he was so devoted to her 😩 Their personalities went together so well.

It was basically a huge serotonin burst on my brain. The quirky and vibrant setting was so fun and lovely, and the characters were all cinnamon rolls and I want to give them all a hug and tell them that the are loved for all their flaws and mannerisms 🥺🥺

Rosemary’s character development was on point and realistic and I loved the themes and the way faith was introduced and talked about. Peter was an absolute angel and aHhHhHhHh so adorable 💕💕

This book just made me so happy and I loved it. HIGHLY recommended if Christian fiction is your type of thing!

happy reading! 😝

~pre-review~ 04/14/23

Me: *approaches mom with this book 0.5 seconds after finishing it* hey mom, you should read this.

Mom: ooh what is it?

Me: well, it's Christian historical fiction and it's set in Cornwall, Engla-

Mom: *all but snatches it out of my hands* YES YES YES I'M STARTING THIS IMMEDIATELY

anyone's else's mom also obsessed with Christian historical fiction with atmospheric settings?? 😂🥰

Profile Image for Olivia.
677 reviews106 followers
February 21, 2018
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, but very profound as the book went along, especially one particular scene with Rosemary...no spoilers, I promise ;)

The sweetest of all was the romance! It moved at just the right speed, and there was really only one kissing scene that was slightly-detailed. I expected much more, so it was a nice relief from the normal fiction out there. For other content, there were some "blasted" and other similar forms of the word....used much too often (1. because I don't like the words since they are euphemisms and 2. because repetition can get tiring ;))

The setting and threatening of war was fantastic! LOVED it ;) And the scene with Prince Edward, and all the British-ness throughout...absolutely smashing! Only one complaint to the British accuracy--the term "pants" was used instead of "trousers" :P

I'm looking forward to the rest of this series!!
Profile Image for mary liz.
213 reviews18 followers
May 20, 2019
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 with books on the cover HAS to be good).

But the cover was just the beginning...

/ / /

Lovely Things:


Do you even want to get into the infinite reasons why I love this book???

- Rosemary. First off, you know a book is good when you have to devote separate categories for each character. I haven't done this in a while, BUT THESE CHARACTERS ARE SO WONDERFUL THAT I HAVE TO.

Rosemary is a complex character with intricate motivations. She's a thief, and she's been charged with the job of a lifetime: to steal someone's very name. She heads out to Peter's estate with the intent of proving him a traitor to Germany. Of course, Interesting Things happen when she has to put on the facade of being a librarian in order to work there. *winks*

Rosie's just one of those characters you have to love. Sure, she has her rough edges--boy, does she--but that's what makes her so real. She's spunky, witty, opinionated, often blunt. But also soft-hearted, compassionate, and loyal. As one character so perfectly puts it, "Delicate when it suits you. Strong always." (TRUTH)

Not to mention she's just hilarious all around and lands a pretty solid punch. ;)

- Peter. *cue the flailing* If ever there was a character I would marry...it would be Peter Holstein. NOT EVEN KIDDING.

(Now if only he were a little younger. *grumbles because he's thirty* XD)

Peter is so. darn. nice. Don't get me wrong, I looooooove me some snarky antiheroes...but there's a part of my heart that will forever adore the sweet, gentlemanly type. And Peter perfectly fits that role. He has a stutter (which, frankly, is really endearing); he has a MASSIVE, SWOONWORTHY LIBRARY; and he writes. HE WRITES. *cue more flailing*

He's considered by most to be a recluse, and the popular opinion is that he's a German sympathizer. (Ughh. Really, people? Just because of his name?) Due to the imminent threat of war, he realizes that his heritage could cause quite a few problems for him if he doesn't find a way to prove his loyalty to Britain. Not only that, but if anyone finds out he's the famous adventure novelist, it may tarnish his reputation as a writer. Allllll the complex motivations, folks. *rubs hands together*

Over the course of the book, my heart just is completely lost to Peter. What with his teasing banter with his friends Gryff and Rosemary, his sweet interactions with sweet Elowyn, his caring concern for...well, everyone, and his wonderful faith in God, he's just THE BEST.

Of course, he has his flaws--namely never paying attention to people when he's writing (#relatable) and getting a little irritable at times. Haha! But he really is one of my new favorite characters. HE'S JUST A PRECIOUS LITTLE HUMAN BEAN AND I LOVES HIM.

- The people. Yes, I know I just talked about two people very in-depth. But this deserves being mentioned separately. The people that populate this novel are so alive. Roseanna White certainly does an incredible job with breathing life into this novel. Rosemary's family. The villagers. The household staff. The royal family. They're all so real and marvelously done!

- THE BOOKS. YES, PRECIOUS. ALL THE BOOKS. I about died of happiness with the library stuff, all the writers mentioned, and the bookish discussions. It was bookdragon heaven.

- The plot. *points up to blurb* Need I say more?

- The themes. This is really important to me as a reader, to have books that stick with me after I read them. WELL. A Name Unknown certainly does just that. Rosemary's journey to faith is incredibly poignant, and it brought me to tears at a couple points. This is probably one of the best-handled faith arcs I've read. Ever. I'm having a hard time thinking of one that was more touching or masterful.

- The rich detail. The author obviously did her research! I loved all the British dialogue (er, most of it), the beautiful descriptions, the entire feel of this book. It legitimately FELT like I was in early-20th century Britain. ME LOVES IT.

- The writing style. Yeah, while we're at it, let's just mention that Roseanna's writing style is perfect. Because it is, people. It is. She somehow manages to write a story that doesn't get you lost in the details yet still paints gorgeous pictures. I will admit, I'm a wee bit jealous of Roseanna's mastery of showing vs. telling. This is a book I will undoubtedly reread just to get a glimpse of perfectly engaging writing.

- The romance. OH MY GOODNESS. These two = the most darling couple. I know, I know...I say this quite a lot. ;) But I love Peter and Rosemary together so much! They complement each other perfectly, offsetting each other's qualities and helping each other see/correct their weaknesses. Not only that, but their romance is NOT based off externals.Something which I always find extraordinarily refreshing. They don't have an insta-love story either. They start off a little rockily, but slowly become friends over the months they know each other.

(The short version: they are precious.)

Not So Lovely Things:

- You thought you were actually going to see something in this section? WELL, THINK AGAIN.

- (Okay, I lied. :P) Some of the British terminology got a little old, and I felt that the plot wound down a bit too quickly. BUT that honestly didn't detract much at all from my enjoyment of the book! Just a few personal preferences.

/ / /

CONTENT: Lots of British "cursing." (Blazes, blighted, blasted, dratted, etc.) I don't personally consider it swearing, but it might bother some people. Characters share one semi-detailed kiss and three or four undetailed ones near the end. There are two kisses on the cheek, one kiss on the hand. Also brief mentions of mistresses a couple times, though nothing is gotten into. I would probably recommend it those 14 or 15+, mostly just because of the depth of writing/little bit of romance.

I think it's safe to say that I love this book. AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL. *glitter explosion* This author has made an impression on me, and it's a good one.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

5 stars!
Profile Image for Victoria Lynn.
Author 7 books618 followers
August 18, 2021
*dies and flails* literally one of my all time favorite books and well deserving of this reread. 😍♥️♥️♥️♥️
Profile Image for Kate Willis.
Author 22 books501 followers
March 17, 2020
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 written. My life situation is more similar to Rosemary’s and my beliefs are in line with Peter’s, so it was sooo interesting how the author made me feel for and completely understand both of them. And I ate up the writing style. The story was slow but in a good way. ;) I appreciated the themes as well and how quietly, gently, and truthfully the Gospel was intertwined into the story. It also showed a side of World War I that I haven't heard much about before, so that was quite interesting. (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was mentioned!!)

Also, I need a cave of books, please. I loved how bookish the entire thing was, and the letters element was especially fun. <3 The author perfectly captured what it’s like to have a story on the brain. There were a few times when Peter was brainstorming/completely lost in a story that I had to laugh. XD Rosemary’s family was the best! The way they teased each other and their fierce loyalty and large family dynamic reminded me so much of my own family.

I was so emotionally invested in the story and the characters’ secrets catching up with them, that the ending did feel a tiny bit like a letdown. It seemed to resolve a little too easily. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that lovely last scene, but I would have loved just a little more talking things out. ;)

The main reason I was shy of this book was because the main character is a professional thief/con artist. That is a huge element of the book, but as my friend assured me, it is shown as wrong and is resolved. ;) There were also a couple uses of very mild, Victorian-era swear words.

Altogether, I very much enjoyed this book. I’m glad there’s a sequel since I’m still concerned for and interested in hearing about the rest of the family. ;)

(Thanks so much, Mikayla! <3)
Profile Image for Jocelyn Green.
Author 30 books1,230 followers
May 6, 2020
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, vocabulary/idioms, and even pronunciation. An outstanding, brilliant book with profound spiritual truth without being preachy.
Profile Image for Shantelle.
Author 2 books357 followers
August 1, 2017
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 Holstein is guilty. She must uncover his secrets and steal his good name.
... But what happens when he proves a friend? When happens if he steals her heart?

A Name Unknown was a thick book, a little slow at points. But ultimately, so lovely! Rosemary is posing as a librarian. Peter is a novelist. It's simply grand. ^_^ I loved watching their friendship develop and grow. Laughing with them in their banter. Learning to trust. To love. To have faith.
Peter is a completely endearing character. His stutter and how he deals with it makes him both admirable and sweet. He has a tender strength that I adore. He isn't perfect by any means, but he is a godly man with a heart that is true. Watching a studious, gentlemanly, dear man such as himself fall for the broken thief that is Rosemary was utterly precious. *smiles*
And Rosemary! I quite liked her. And had such a grand time with her on this adventure. The lessons. The growing. The danger and drama. Rosemary is a feisty thing, but ultimately longs for what we all long for - love.
Her family. ^_^ I believe the second book in this series is to be about Rosemary's "sister", Willa, and I'm ever so excited for that!

It was just a well-done book! Had me guessing and wondering. Chills prickling over my skin because of the nefarious characters lurking around. Trying to figure out how this could work out alright. Loving journeying with these lovely people, even as World War I looms on the horizon. And THAT ENDING. It all came to a conclusion so dramatically, beautifully, and sweetly. And I just wanted to cry. *happy tears* It made my heart ache in a sweet way. Oh, such a tender tale of faith and love.
A Name Unknown was a wonderful book, all around, but the ending truly made it for me. I eagerly await the next book in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND, A Song Unheard!

I received a copy of A Name Unknown from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Lydia Howe.
Author 4 books73 followers
November 25, 2018
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 characters are written makes me want to meet all of them. And the setting? It's so rich and full and delightful that I feel as if I've slipped into England myself. I wish this series would go on and on and on!

(Note of caution: I don't recommend all of Miss Roseanna's books because some of them are too romantic for my tastes, but for the most part this book was good.)
Profile Image for Sydney.
410 reviews87 followers
February 7, 2023
My goodness, this book… if I loved it less, I might be able to talk about it more.
It has been years since I last read it, but I still remember how much I loved it and it certainly holds up to my memory. I just can’t get over it. I really love this book.
The characters in this story are some of my favorite she’s ever written. Rosemary is a feisty Elizabeth Bennet type character; she’s witty, outspoken, and headstrong, and you can’t help but love her. I just love reading from her pov because of the perspective she brings to the story, and watching her warm up to Peter and to the possibility that there could be something better for her than a life of thievery is so inspiring. Her character development was amazing and I thought it was paced realistically. And Peter… what can I say about him that nearly every other reviewer hasn’t already said? I have such a soft spot for him. He is the sweetest gentleman, kind and humble, and his stammer is oh-so endearing. Roseanna really outdid herself with him. I love him, your honor.
And their romance… It’s slow burn in the best possible way. I hadn’t read this book in nearly 5 years and I still remembered the first kiss because of how sweet and tender it is. Watching their relationship grow is seriously the cutest thing. They get rather irritated with each other at the beginning, so watching them slowly warm up to each other and become friends was *chef’s kiss.* Their conversations often held depth to them, and the witty back-and-forth had me giggling like an idiot. They make the most precious couple.
The spiritual threads here really are some of my favorite in the world. Rosemary’s perspective on life brings up real thought-provoking questions. The kindness of Peter is a shock to her system and shakes up her world. His faith was expressed through his actions, not just his words. He didn't witness or minister to Rosemary in the way we tend to think about; he was simply honest about his faith, and his life backed that up.
The history is great, the writing is gorgeous (I have highlighted so many phrases just because I love the way they read), and the setting is impeccable.

A bazillion hearts for this book. Seriously. My review truly cannot do this book justice. I could gush about this book forever but it wouldn’t sound even slightly eloquent. Please read it if you haven’t already… I sincerely think you will not regret it.
Profile Image for Rachel McMillan.
Author 25 books1,058 followers
January 29, 2018
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ) but also possibly my favourite hero of 2017. Peter Holstein is certified Rachel Catnip! I love that he is just too lovely and tweed-clad for the real world --- and the stammer in his voice is ironed out in his writing. There is a lovely Barney Snaith type twist to this set amidst a bubbling world on the brink of war against the lush tapestry of Cornwall. Rosemary Gresham, our intrepid heroine, was a tad more difficult for me to fall for --- but I think that was a conscious decision on the part of the author to show how she ---due to necessity and complicated past-- wants to keep the world at bay. And it is all "a rose by any other name.." because names and titles and connections and noms de plume are a huge motif here.

But mostly, Peter. I am in this for Peter bless his tweed and his accent and his spectacles and his awkward way with the world and you should be in it for Peter, too.
Profile Image for Gina.
143 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2021
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 it is well worth the wait. Besides the wonderful story I LOVED the message behind it all and how Roseanna wove some beautiful Biblical truths throughout...I hope I find a Peter someday. What a beautiful hearted man! 🥰
Profile Image for Sarita.
1,105 reviews637 followers
August 14, 2019
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 of living and his faith spilled over to others and had a great impact on especially Rosemary. You just can't help rooting for him and hoping everything will work out.

The ending had a few unexpected twists which I never saw coming. I love it when authors can surprise me. There was a few humourous scenes among the serious ones as well (Prince Edward for one) which added to an enjoyable story.

I loved the interaction of the family of thieves and would have loved seeing a bit more of them. Hopefully in the future books. The author did a great job of writing "villains/thieves" which the reader actually loves and roots for.

Narrator: Liz Pearce delivered a very entertaining story and I loved her stuttering Peter. She did a great job with all the numerous characters and would definitely recommend it if you prefer audiobooks.
Profile Image for Loraine.
2,957 reviews
June 4, 2019
"Fiction is a way to express mankind's deepest heart. His fears. His hopes. His failings. His successes. Fiction is truth....in 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 hooked from start to finish. I loved how Rosemary grew and changed as she saw the goodness in Peter and as he expressed his strong faith to her. She was able to accept God's forgiveness and forgive herself. She was also a strong supporter of those people she cared about, both her put-together family and Peter. Peter's stutter made him so endearing, and I thought it very interesting that he didn't stutter nearly as much with those to whom he felt close. HIs double identity definitely led to some comical moments as well as some definite idiosyncrasies that drove Rosemary as well as his servants a bit crazy.

Can't wait to read Book 2 in this series.

** Thanks to Tori in Christian Book Lending for Kindle and Nook on Facebook for lending me this book.
Profile Image for Rachelle Cobb.
Author 8 books287 followers
November 15, 2017
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 with a cluttered library. What's not to love?

Rosemary soon comes to the same conclusion. The author weaves a story that, although this book is thick, I didn't want to end. From intrigue, a slight mystery, the threat of danger, and surprising twists of betrayal, this book has it all and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Profile Image for T.
151 reviews42 followers
February 21, 2019
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 like a bit more romance, and this book wasn’t so heavy on that until nearer to the end. But still a great story! 4 solid stars for me. I absolutely cannot wait to read whatever book is next in the series.
Profile Image for Amanda Tero.
Author 27 books525 followers
July 27, 2017
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 and grinned at all of scenes in which he was doing this activity.

Rosemary was a great character who was raised in the ghettos of London, stole for a living, yet was not so set in her ways that she was a horrible person.

The Christian theme was woven throughout the story, but it seemed a little weak for me. For example, I know that a person doesn't have to say a specific prayer to be saved, but it was like, "Do you believe?" The character said yes. She was told, "Welcome to the family!" No prayer was said. That just seemed odd.

The romance was hidden until the ending, and then it kind of had a lot with the feelings and emotions. Yet overall, I found it to have less romance than White's other books that I've read.

*I received this book from CelebrateLit and happily provided my honest review*
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 41 books411 followers
February 24, 2021
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 setting the English countryside.
I loved this story of redemption, love, and with some spying thrown in.
As a writer myself, I loved the novel writing aspect of this story.
Profile Image for E.F. Buckles.
Author 1 book9 followers
March 8, 2018
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 better way to phrase that. There was also one moment where the hero, who, at that point, was definitely developing a crush on the heroine, and was wondering what the heroine's secret was, and he thought something along the lines of, even if her secret was that she'd murdered someone, he probably couldn't hold it against her because she probably would have had a good reason for it. Now, this was a very silly crush-induced thought, and I'm 99.9% sure he didn't really mean it. But it was a brief moment where I was thinking, "Whoa there, Lover Boy, time to tap the breaks a bit." :P I mean, it wasn't something that took away from the story for me, but I do feel it's a good idea, even when our hearts are crushing hard on someone, to still use our brains and be on guard about what we're thinking.

On to the good things:

Rosemary: I loved her and her "family" so much! She was a strong female character in the right way because she was not just one stereotypical thing. She had hopes and fears, she was smart, but not all-knowing, she did somethings well, and made mistakes with other things, she was both scrappy and fragile, confident and unsure. SHE WAS HUMAN. I also loved that, while she was a thief, her thievery was not justified, and yet, we also understood why she and her family ended up doing what they did with their lives, and we were given a reason to root for them to find a better way to live. Whether or not they do find a better way is for me to know, and you, potential reader, to find out. ;) An extra thing I liked about her was that she was actually the same age as me. This probably doesn't seem like much, but as someone who is in her 20s and still enjoys more YA than adult books, I don't read a lot of heroines my age, so I just found that kinda fun. :)

Peter: Oh wow. Maybe one of my favorite romantic leads in a long time. I mean, I typically aim to only read things with decent, upstanding men as the romantic lead, (Prince Smarmy, Brooding YA Hero who may or may not sparkle in the sunlight, and Superbuff Alfa Male all get on my nerves, not to mention some of them seem to romanticize abusive relationships, so I don't read thoss), even then not all of the good ones are necessarily MY type. Peter, on the other hand, was definitely my type. Oh yes. :) What a sweet, wonderful, (though not perfect) guy! He is a shy, bookish writer who is kind, generous, and a godly man, living out his faith in all aspects of his life. He was described as handsome, but not blindingly so, and I really appreciated that that was not the first thing the heroine noticed about him. Or the second. Or the third. In fact, she didn't think much about him being handsome until they started falling in love, which happened naturally and slowly as they got to know each other, so, YAY for a total lack of insta-love! Oh, another thing it's good to know about Peter is that he actually has a stutter, and I appreciated that he had this "flaw" that gave him a challenge to overcome and that made him that much more of a unique individual.

I also liked and related to Peter as a fellow writer. While I don't get so engrossed in my writing that people have to speak to me multiple times to get my attention, I do sometimes get ideas and HAVE to write it down, like he does. My stories also tend to come to me in a similar way as they do for him, which was cool. I also wish that when I'm having trouble expressing myself (for me, because of shyness, or just being better at expressing myself through writing than verbally) that I could go write it down and hand it to the person like he does. :P I thought it was nice that his friends and staff understood him well enough to let him do that when he (because of his stutter) was having trouble getting something out.

Some random other characters/things I liked/found interesting:

Gryff: Gryff and Peter had a really good friendship and I liked how he was supportive and protective of Peter while also pushing him to challenge himself and overcome difficulties.

Elowyn: She had only a tiny roll, but wow she was cute. XD I especially liked the little mention of her at the end.

Mrs. Teague: Also very protective of Peter, unfortunately to the point that she was unreasonably unkind to Rosemary at the start, but I liked that she was able to recognize her fault and even reach a point of comforting Rosemary in a moment of difficulty.

Mr. V: Sneaksy, tricksy hobbitses... And that's all I can say about him without spoilers!

The faith: I loved the way the author wove faith into the story without making it some kind of murky, generic, spirituality, but also didn't include it in a way that felt like she was outling the entire gospel message for the reader. As I said above, Peter lived out his faith in everything he did. He was kind to people even when they weren't kind to him, and there were a lot of people who were unkind to him, but he also didn't hesitate to stand up for someone who was about to be hurt. He shared his faith with everyone willing to listen, speaking (er..writing) to them in an understanding way, answering their questions and having discussions with them. By contrast, we have Rosemary, who apparently believes in God but doesn't believe He is kind or good, and we see her struggling with this, asking questions, and slowly coming to a point where she has a new kind of faith.

The story: Though technically a romance, I was refreshed to see that the romance actually didn't take 100% precedence. This story is set just before the beginning of WWI and there's lots of intrigue surrounding that. As the synopsis says, Rosemary is hired to prove Peter a German traitor. Meanwhile, Peter is trying to prove himself a loyal Englishman in the face of derision and active threats from those who have deemed him guilty until proven innocent. In trying to figure out who was threatening him, there were a couple things that really surprised me and had me excited to read more. And the twist at the end, while I can't say it shocked me, was still really great. I knew something had to be revealed in relation to that part of the story, but never did manage to figure it out so to finally be told was gratifying, and I loved how things worked out from there. I'll also say I learned some historical things I didn't fully understand before, like why, exactly, the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand was the push that made the proverbial dominos start to fall. (Even my parents never understood that one, despite being well versed in other historical subjects, so I was finally able to clarify that for them.)

So, all in all, it was a really great read from an author who was new to me and now has a new fan. :)

4.5 stars.

Content advisory for those who want to know:

This is technically adult novel but is a lot cleaner than many secular YA novels. I think it would be appropriate for older teens who are interested in the subject matter.

Sexual content: Some attraction between adult individuals. Two cheek kisses: One as friends and one sweet romantic one. An instance of wondering what it would be like to kiss the other person for real. An instance of wanting to kiss the other person and then not doing it. An actual kiss that is described, but more in metaphorical terms than physical ("It was fire" and stuff like that) and having their arms around each other. Some non-described kisses between a married couple.

There's a brief mention of a man we never get to know having a wife and a mistress and pretty much everyone knows it. It's implied (only implied, not stated) that men of Peter's station don't get romantically involved with women of Rosemary's station unless they make them a mistress. It is then reasserted that Peter is not that kind of man, and it is once again clear that this is because of his Christian faith.

Violence: Nothing graphically described. A rock is thrown through a window. A fire is intentionally started. Someone is in the shoulder and there is brief mention of blood. People are threatened with guns and shots are fired. (It's not stated whether or not anyone is hit.)

A criminal gets punched in the gut by way if being apprehended. Someone gets punched in the face because they were threatening to hurt someone else. Two other individuals get rammed in the gut by another person: One in an attempt to escape, and the other in defense of another person. A drunk man nearly attacks a woman but is stopped.

Language: Mention of a woman who is hurt, "mumbling and grumbling and growling words no lady should know.” Uses of words like blighted, blasted, and blazes.

Other: Mentions of drinking both at a party and in pubs, and some drunk individuals (minor characters) make unfortunate choices. I don't recall the main characters ever getting drunk.
Profile Image for Natacha Ramos.
137 reviews15 followers
July 24, 2017
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 assume were the most important aspects of the story.

Besides, I really enjoyed Peter. He was my favorite character. I loved him most of the time, his sincerity and even his struggles found a place in my heart. I liked to learn things from his viewpoint.

Rosemary and Willa were fine as well. Nevertheless, the rest of the characters were not very important to me, and sometimes I couldn’t tell the difference between one and the other.

It’s not a bad book. It’s well-written and all, but I believe it had way too much to digest all at once and that didn’t help to keep me interested.

**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own**
Profile Image for Tricia Mingerink.
Author 11 books340 followers
May 2, 2022
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 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 guy and girl are unique, especially for Christian fiction. Rosemary is a thief from London's streets, and she's all kinds of tough and smart and broken. Peter is such an adorable, bookish, quirky gentleman. And, thanks to what he does for a living, I got a lot of laughs and "I can totally relate" moments.

My only two disappoints? 1). The next book isn't out yet. 2). I really, really, really want to read a Brannock Hollow novel even though they don't actually exist.
Profile Image for Susan.
540 reviews54 followers
August 4, 2017
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 with England or Germany. Rosemary gains entry into Holstein's household by posing as a librarian. (I think the book cover is exquisite.)

White's historical research is obvious in describing the political tension that prevailed in England at this pre-WWI time. The loyalties of those with German ties were questioned, even those of the royal family.

I love the "sometimes feminine, but always strong" Rosemary. The witty banter between her and Peter provided many laugh-out-loud moments. Their friendship slowly develops as they work together to discover the truth of Peter's family past. Can they learn to trust each other, sharing secrets that will leave them both exposed to rejection? This story has it all: romance, suspense, espionage and some unexpected twists at the end. But I was most drawn to the delightful cast of characters, endearing for their strengths and flaws.

This story caused me to laugh and cry, one scene in particular tugged at my heart. The thread of God's love and grace is not forced but woven seamlessly throughout the story. This is White at her best! I cannot wait to read the next book in this series!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 12 books152 followers
August 14, 2018
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 CANNOT show everything. Well, I mean you can, but not if you want people to actually read and enjoy your stories. You have to know when to slow down and when to speed up, and White totally gets that.

And then there's the love story. It's so... real. So slow and hesitant and delectable.

You'd better believe I'm eagerly waiting for the next book, A Song Unheard, to come in at the library for me.
Profile Image for Dana Michael.
1,157 reviews93 followers
October 28, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Joleen.
2,046 reviews1,210 followers
January 30, 2019
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: Commissioned Rosemary to dig up German sympathizer ties
Mr. Jasper, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Pomeroy: Trumping up charges that Peter's a traitor

Characters, characters, characters. Like "locations" in real estate being the best selling point, characters in this story are fun, unique, poignant and heartwarming; totally selling me on this book, and listed among my 2018 favorites.

Rosemary — Self taught, outspoken, hardheaded, feisty, brave, determined, yet soft enough to be melted.
Peter — An endearing stutter, bookish, gentlemanly, wise, humble, kindhearted, generous and a man of great faith.
Little Elowyn — Sweet, charming and utterly taken with "uncle" Peter
Willa — Tough, street smart violinist, and the sister Rosemary is closest to in age and heart.
Good guys and bad guys are all so well written you can't help but sigh or sneer whenever they're around.
Even Mrs. Teague who is fiercely loyal to Peter, and who makes no bones about how much she distrusts Rosemary, is a wonderful character.

Synopsis for my benefit. Please don't read on if you want this book to be the delightful surprise it is. This is my way of remembering books:

With Peter being friends with members of the monarchy, there is much to be learned in this story about the time leading up to the first world war, and it's done organically rather than in a history textbook sort of way. Loved it!

Spiritual content:
The gospel is shared by Peter through notes often in this book. Then, surprisingly by the last character you'd expect, the gospel is shared at a time when both the presenter and the hearer were clearly lead by the Holy Spirit. Okay, I have to admit… I cried.

Romantic content:
A sigh-worthy romance grows between two polar opposites in an unforced, completely believable way.

This is such a pleasing tale of faith, of hard lessons won, of deep suspicions, and of love. I highly recommend this book!
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