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.
July 18: Faithfully Bookish
July 18: These Splendid Sentences*
July 18: Bibliophile Reviews
July 18: Neverending Stories
July 19: Bookworm Mama*
July 19: Seasons of Opportunities
July 19: Blogging With Carol*
July 20: A Reader’s Brain*
July 20: Genesis 5020*
July 20: Just the Write Escape
July 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
July 21: Fiction, Faith, and Fun
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 21: Connie’s History Classroom*
July 22: Bigreadersite*
July 22: Fiction Aficionado*
July 22: Avid Reader Book Reviews*
July 22: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS*
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 23: Inklings and notions*
July 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
July 24: Pursuing Stacie
July 24: Cordially Barbara
July 24: Reflections of my Bookshelves*
July 24: Zerina Blossom’s Books*
July 25: God’s Little Bookworm*
July 25: Blossoms and Blessings
July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot
July 26: God1meover*
July 26: The Fizzy Pop Collection
July 26: Carpe Diem*
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
July 27: Splashes of Joy*
July 28: With a Joyful Noise
July 28: Have A Wonderful Day
July 28: Christian Bookaholic*
July 29: Thoughts from Mill Street
July 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses
July 29: Karen Sue Hadley*
July 29: Faery Tales Are Real
July 30: His Grace is Sufficient
July 30: History, Mystery & Faith
July 31: Reader’s cozy corner
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Red Headed Book Lady*
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.