I absolutely loved reading Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson! It has so much depth and passion and romance and suspense and mystery all rolled up into one! There is a perfect balance of tragedy intermingled with the sweet love that is thinly veiled within the stubborn heart of a young woman trying to find her place in the world. What Kate’s heart longs for is always obscured beneath what she thinks she wants and what she knows is expected of her. Set in northern England in the 1820’s, Blackmoore is a house, more of a castle, perched precariously between the moors and the ocean. The cold, foreboding nature to the structure is suppressed by Kate’s love for the home she sees in her dreams. But Blackmoore is not all she expected. Having longed to go there all her life, she keeps a romantic notion in her heart of what it will be like. The unenthusiastic welcome she experiences at Blackmoore barely overshadows her excitement. Even as she is mistreated by the haughty guests, she finds solace and excitement by exploring the many rooms and secret passageways just as she had always imagined. What I hadn’t expected about the story was how many layers there were to the characters. Expertly taking the reader deep into the characters’ pasts, Julianne Donaldson gradually shows the reader why Kate behaves the way she does. The reader watches as Kate plunges through experiences she doesn’t want to relive and wishes she could forget. I cried several times while feeling Kate’s pain and struggles. I cringed as she was hurting and felt the passion she slowly allowed to flow between herself and her childhood friend, Henry. The tension is palpable throughout the book as the reader experiences Henry’s unrequited love for Kate. But the story itself is nearly lost in Julianne’s writing. The images she creates with her words are exquisite. I was swept away into Kate’s world for just a few short days since I couldn’t put the book down! I can’t wait to read it again! Have you read Blackmoore? What’s your opinion? -Julie L. Spencer
Read Julianne Donaldson’s other novel Edenbrooke.