Rating:

dawn at emberwilde book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

Sarah E Ladd brings her readers an intriguingly Gothic style tale in her newest book, Dawn at Emberwilde. While her stories usually have chills running down my spine, they have yet to disappoint me and this one was definitely on par with the rest.

Isabel Creston is the leading lady, along with her younger half-sister, Elizabeth, also known as Lizzie. Both these young ladies are orphans, having taken up residence at the Fellsworths Ladies School. Isabel has become a teacher there, while Lizzie is a student. It has become their whole world and they are both happy. Until the day comes when Superintendent Langsby informs Isabel that a relative has been found. An aunt who didn’t know their situation and wants Isabel to come live with her family. The handsome young man who has brought the information, Mr. Bradford, speaks highly of the Ellisons with whom she will be staying. Nevertheless, Isabel is tentative about her journey, wondering what awaits her and her sister. Will they be welcomed as family? What of Mr. Bradford and his obvious interest in her? And most importantly, will the two sisters be able to stick together or be torn apart?

I have to say, while I love the cover and the story line, I would have picked up this book anyways because I know the quality of Sarah Ladd’s writing. Her style is excellent and she has a way of drawing the reader into the story without you even realizing it. This book is intriguing, with a bit of mystery thrown in. But even more than that, it has a plot that just makes you want to continue reading!

Isabel is a puzzle, an enigma who is part lady and part stubborn woman. She is guardian of her younger sister and wants to protect her while also giving her the things her aunt can provide. Isabel comes to realize that the family she has become a member of is divided, her uncle being kind and pleasant, and her cousin Constance being the peacekeeper. And then, there’s her aunt. A woman who is used to getting her way and who is not likely tolerate any contrary opinions from Isabel. The book includes a curse, bootleggers and a constable doing his best to keep his people safe. Definite 5 star read!

Also by Sarah E. Ladd: The Curiosity Keeper | A Lady at Willowgrove Hall


Charity lives in Illinois and is the oldest of 6 children. The family also has 3 dogs and a cat. Reading is a hobby when not cooking, baking, sewing or enjoying music. She reads many different genres but Christian fiction is a favorite. Charity can be found often at her blog, Giveaway Lady

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Thomas Nelson. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.