Sunday, July 23, 2017

A NAME UNKNOWN by Roseanna M. White

What do political intrigue, a pending war, identity fraud, and  the need for family and a sense of
belonging have to do with each other?  In Roseanna M. White's finely crafted novel A NAME UNKNOWN all these elements blend into a delightful story.  Rosie has been part of a band of pick pockets and thieves (think David Copperfield) since she was left without parents at a young age.  Now a grown woman, her "jobs" are more sophisticated, bordering on espionage.  The start of WWI threatens and the British are questioning everyone's loyalty. Even the king is considering changing his German-rooted surname to a more English sounding one.  Likewise Peter Holstein is seeking a way to squelch the rumors about his ties to Germany.  Can he prove his British loyalty despite having a German paternal grandfather and a German mother?  Hindered by his constant stutter, Holstein hopes that proof of allegiance lies in the family's huge, but vastly disorganized library.  What he really needs is someone to help him sort out the immense mess.

Rosie, although an accomplished thief, will charm you from the first pages.  Maybe it will be the way she cares for the younger members of the "family" or perhaps it will be the humorous challenges she exchanges with her brother.  For me, it was the description of the skirt she so carefully created, copying the latest fashion magazine, ending up with an outfit that rivaled the work of London's best tailors. Then there is the way she tackles a new assignment, even learning another language and spending hours of study in libraries and museums.  All the subterfuge and assumed identities may have you remembering classic art theft/spy movies.   And we know that those movies relied on a spark of romance, and A NAME UNKNOWN will not disappoint in that category.  I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Celebrate Lit.  All review opinions are mine.

If you are interested in other people's reviews of this novel, check out the following bloggers and their take.  Special note, my blog date was changed to today because of a conflict.

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July 20: Genesis 5020*
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 22: Bigreadersite*
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 26: God1meover*
July 26: Carpe Diem*
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 31: Cafinated Reads

A bit more about the book
She’s Out to Steal His Name.

Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.
When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

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