Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie van Riijn sees no harm in setting up a rooftop weather station for her work with the newly established Weather Bureau. While the villagers are suspicious of the mysterious estate and its tragic history, Sophie has come to see it as her own enchanted piece of paradise.
The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover Sophie trespassing on his land.
Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie yet find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There’s a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark can no longer be kept in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?
I would compare this story to a finely detailed woven rug, or an intricately hand painted vase. Overall, I felt this story was exceptionally written and not left without any important or meaningful information. The story began with a bit of mystery and suspense, which led me to feel like I was going to embark on a mystery. Although that was true to a certain extent, the story later took on a different feeling that made me enjoy reading it even more.
I loved getting to know one of the main characters, Sophie. I guess, in a way, I related to her personality so that is probably why I ended up liking her so much. It was nice to see how her personality transcended that of the Vandermarks, especially Quentin and even helped transform his life in the end.
One thing I can say about this story is it is definitely not predictable, which I thought it would be. I thought quite a few things would come to pass, or happen, in the story for both Sophie and Quentin, which never did, and I think this aspect alone made for an exciting read which I can honestly say I wish never came to an end.
As far as any negative thoughts, I don’t have any. The beginning of the story was met with mystery, which made it instantly difficult to put down. As the story progressed and as I began to know the characters, I was hooked.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories that focus on character transformations. I think many people, if not all, will personally relate to the characters Sophie and Quentin in some way. Also, seeing Quentin’s and Sophie’s transformation—redemption, will be inspiring to those of us who may be struggling to see that possibility in our own lives.
5 out of 5 stars. I couldn’t find any negatives to this book. The characters are inspiring and the message is hopeful. Once I started reading the story, it was difficult to stop J
***This book was given to me by Bethany House for an honest review.***