The Little Shop of Found Things
by Paula Brackston
St. Martin's Press
Readers - don't you love finding a story that takes you away? Away from all the day to stresses and worries? A fantastical story that envelops your senses? Well, that is The Little Shop of Found Things in a nutshell. Paula Brackston's smooth, delicately intricate style goes down like a warm hot cocoa on a cold, snowy day.
As you can read from the back of the book Xanthe, with her special abilities and her mom, Flora relocate to Malborough, open an antique shop, and purchase a chatelaine at an estate auction. The Mother of a wrongly executed servant communicates via the chatelaine. This ghost threatens to harm Flora if Xanthe refuses or fails to save her daughter. Xanthe travels back and forth, establishing friends with whom she relies heavily upon for protection and information. While desperately searching for hard evidence to prove the servant's innocence, she falls in love. The time-traveling Xanthe must choose between eras and the two most powerful loves on earth - that between mother and daughter, and that between soul-mates. Should she choose the latter, her Mother would surely perish. How would this one decision change all of their futures? Considering she was in love in a "time" where she hadn't even been born yet.
As with most series starters this book lays the foundation for what will come next. And Paula Brackston does a good job. I just couldn't understand why some areas were rushed and felt needlessly thin. There's going to be a second novel and this one is only 320 pages, why hurry? I didn't feel the desperate tug on Xanthe's heart for the love she would leave in the 1600s. I could relate to the Mother tug - but I didn't have enough information to feel "desperately torn." I couldn't even see how he was so over-the-top, all in, in love.
The Little Shop of Found Things is a mystery, suspense/thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, romance...something. And it IS that extra something that sets this novel apart. I enjoyed reading this story. I cannot stop wondering what kind of antique will trigger another otherworldly adventure for Xanthe. (And hoping I don't have to wait very long to find out.)
A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander
New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.
Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.
It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she's confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.
While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.
With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.
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