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November 2, 2022

The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey by Serena Burdick ~ a Review

by MK French

Evelyn was awestruck by the writing talent her husband William Aubrey possessed when they married in 1898 England. He was jealous of her talent when writer's block hit, and stole a draft of her novel to pass off as his own. Betrayed, Evelyn escaped the marriage and was presumed murdered. In 2006 California, Abigail thought she would never find out who her father was after her mother died. When she finds a photograph of him and the message that her great-great-grandmother was Evelyn Aubrey, Abigail goes to England in search of answers. Abigail soon believes that Evelyn had plans in mind when she left William.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey by Serena Burdick
November 2022; Park Row; 978-0778386865
audio, ebook, print (336 pages); women's fiction

Evelyn's and William's marriage starts out idyllic before his volatile temper begins to show. She was already relatively isolated in the manor, her parents not visiting, her writing her only comfort. When they do visit, disaster strikes, further isolating her. Abby lost her mother in an earthquake and was floundering since then, caught in dead-end jobs and relationships. When she loses her sense of stability, she takes off for England. These turning points in their lives set off journeys to search for meaning, who they are in relation to others, who they are on their own, and who they could be in the future.

Women's options were limited in the England of Evelyn's time, and Abby had limited her own due to fear of confrontations and a poor sense of self. While Abby wants to know more about Evelyn, it's always someone else that has to push her along the next step. Evelyn herself says her words are not her own, and she too loses herself for a while. Once she accepts that, she can plan ahead again. Abby's changes are subtle because she learns to be present, to care for others, and to be in the middle of the unpleasant. As she puts it, her cracks have been filled in. I like that image, and how her grief and loss no longer defined her. 

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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