Set in 1914 England, Roseanna White’s A Name Unknown is an intriguing tale of secrets, national pride, family ties, loyalty, love letters and royal connections all woven into one story.
Orphaned at a young age, Rosemary Gresham aligns herself with other street urchins who eventually bond into a family unit of “brothers and sisters”. Together they rely on petty theft for survival. Rosemary knows no other life until she meets recluse author Peter Holstein, AKA Branok Hollow.
Hired to prove Holstein’s loyalty lies with his native Germany instead of his resident country England, Rosemary poses as a librarian gaining entry not only to his home but eventually his heart.
At 426 pages, with tiny print, the novel is excruciatingly long & does not really gain momentum until well past page 300. However, despite her unfortunate circumstances, Rosemary is a likable spitfire character likely to keep readers turning the pages to discover what she’ll do next.
Peter often gets lost inside his own writing, which coupled with the plethora of family records Rosemary uncovers leaves the reader struggling to keep up with each vein of the story.
Overall, a worthwhile read with an unpredictable ending.
*A complimentary copy of the book was provided in exchange for this review