A Stranger at Fellsworth: A Treasures of Surrey Novel, Book 3

Written by Sarah E. Ladd
Review by Gini Grossenbacher

A Stranger at Fellsworth opens in 1807 as the young Annabelle Thorley discovers she is in a state of financial ruin with no prospects after her father has died and her betrothed has abandoned her. After her brother makes their household miserable with violent parties and insists she marry the unsavory Mr. Bartrell, she flees with her maid Crosley to Fellsworth, the home of her distant aunt and uncle. They offer her a teaching position, which she accepts. She befriends Owen Locke, the gamekeeper, whose child Hannah she teaches at the Fellsworth school. In turn Owen Locke realizes that Annabelle represents the love he has missed since his wife died. When Annabelle’s brother and Mr. Bartrell come to Fellsworth on a hunting expedition, Annabelle and Owen face not only a threat to their peace but also to their future dreams together.

This novel reads well and fast; its vivid imagery and likeable characters fill the pages. The well-crafted metaphors and tight sequences make for an absorbing read. Though set around the Regency period, the style is fresh and the voice genuine. The spiritual aspect of the novel does not overpower; it is woven into the plot and provides a graceful way to unite the beliefs and morals of Annabelle and Owen Locke. I want to read more in the series.