Review by Linda Morris
In 1885, after her dear Mother Patricia’s death, with both parents gone, Rebecca Galloway leaves her home in Newfane, New York. With a friend’s letter of recommendation, she travels by train to a Victorian Mansion in an elite section of Buffalo, New York in search of employment as a maid in the home of Alyce and Parker Eaton. Sadie, the trusted family cook, gives Rebecca a trial as a house maid, which Mrs. Eaton later approves. Her services are needed to serve that evening’s birthday dinner for Alyce’s younger Brother Marshall Chambers who is visiting with their parents from Rochester. Little does Rebecca know that, later that evening, a cruel twist of fate at the hands of Marshall will forever change her future.
It isn’t long before Sadie realizes that Rebecca is pregnant and gently confronts her. The scared young woman tells her of Marshall’s attack when she delivered the pitchers of the evening’s water to the bedrooms before bedtime. Sadie offers Rebecca support to help her figure out a solution by the time she begins to show and no longer will be allowed to work for the Eatons.
Alyce is livid when she discovers Rebecca’s secret, and she orders her out of her home. Sadie steps in and tells her about Marshall’s attack. Rebecca is allowed to stay overnight while Sadie comes up with arrangements for the young woman to stay with members of her family. By morning, Alyce, who has been unable to conceive, comes up with a plan to allow Rebecca to stay as long as she gives her child up to the Eatons to raise as their own. On the eve of June 19, 1886 Rebecca goes into labor.
Fast forward to 1904 in Madelia, New York. Rebecca Galloway lives in a room with her beautiful daughter Patricia in Anne and George Kaufman’s home-store, where she works as a clerk. Patricia has no idea that she has a twin sister living in Buffalo as the daughter of the Eatons. When her mother finds out that she is dying of cancer, she is forced to reveal the secret of the birth of her twin daughters. Even the Eatons never knew about a twin. They only knew that Rebecca disappeared from their home sometime after Sadie handed them their beautiful daughter, the first of two baby girls born that night.
While Anne and Rebecca have been as close as sisters, leaving Patricia in Anne’s care isn’t possible. Husband George has a roving eye, and Rebecca fears for her daughter’s safety when she is no longer there to protect her. She makes Anne promise to send Patricia to the Eaton’s in Buffalo immediately after her funeral. Will Patricia’s journey to find her twin sister lead to acceptance or rejection when she finally meets her and her parents?
This Christian Historical Fiction, arranged in three parts, weaves the devout Christian Faith of Rebecca, Patricia, and other characters throughout the storyline. Locations include the Hotel Athenaeum at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York. This title is part of “The Tour of Mansion Series 1” that includes homes based on actual historical mansions that are open for public tours.
I have always been a fan of Historical Fiction Novels, and this one didn’t disappoint. The characters were interesting, and the plot held my interest such that I finished the 352 page book in two days. This well-written novel incorporates well-researched facts as to historical time periods and locations. This was my first read as part of a three-month free trial of Kindle Unlimited. I definitely will be reading another in the series.