Review: The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

 

What It’s About:

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.

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My Thoughts:

Intersecting ley lines provide a mystical energy source for Xanthe, a psychometric, to travel in time to see the people who “sing” to her through the antiques she and her mother sell. With this premise, Paula Brackston’s new series will certainly provide readers with many delicious tales of time travel and romance.

Ms. Brackston’s latest story abounds in historical detail. Her writing style really draws you into the story. The present-day characters in the small English town of Marlborough are delightful. The ease with which Xanthe and her mother, Flora, become part of the community made me long for life in a small, cheerful town. From the teashop owner, to mechanic to pub owner and history buff, each of the secondary characters made the story richer. There were a couple instances of unexplained tertiary characters that left me wanting. Nothing was added to the story by the inclusion of the characters, nor did it detract much from the novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical romance as well as the present-day playful banter between Xanthe and Liam, a handsome, young mechanic in town. I had been hoping for a solid romantic connection (as in HFN ending); while not completely satisfied with he romance aspect, Ms. Brackston does end her story with a glimmer of hope for a future relationship.  The mother-daughter story is quite charming and sweet. I love Flora’s upbeat, positive attitude. Both the past and present have their own antagonists who are at cross-purposes. This creates a complex conflict spanning centuries.

I fell in love with Paula Brackston’s writing when I happened upon The Witch’s Daughter at my library. I’ve ready many of the author’s books since, and her storytelling never disappoints! The Little Shop of Found Things is a delightful time-travel story with just the right amount of romance and mystery to be a truly engaging read.

 

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