Sunday, January 4, 2009

Book Review: In the Company of Secrets by Judith Miller/5 Stars

About the book:

The truth could cost her everything....

Olivia Mott didn't intend to lie. Somehow, it just happened. And wasn't it all Lady Charlotte's fault anyway? Now Olivia's position as assistant chef at Pullman's elegant Hotel Florence is dependant upon her keeping her secrets. And sometimes lies have a way of leading to other lies. Should Olivia admit her real past and accept the consequences or keep quiet in order to preserve her comfortable new circumstances?

Deception seems to be part of everyday life in the company town of Pullman, Illinois, where the grand Pullman Palace Car is manufactured. Samuel Howard, Olivia's friend and the town manager, seems to think everything is fine, but Olivia observes something quite different. Could it be that Olivia is not the only one harboring secrets?

My thoughts:

This was my first experience with Judith Miller's writing, and I loved every minute of it. From the very beginning, In the Company of Secrets is filled with beautiful descriptions and a wonderful history of the town of Pullman, Illinois. Just a warning--be prepared to be left hanging because you will have no choice but to read book 2 to know the rest of the story!

Olivia Mott and her employer's daughter, Lady Charlotte, escape to America harboring all sorts of secrets. Olivia has relied on Lady Charlotte to provide her with a recommendation so that she can get a job at the prestigious Hotel Florence when they arrive in Pullman. Unfortunately for Olivia, Lady Charlotte's recommendation is so exaggerated that Olivia wonders how she will live up to her new boss's expectations! Lady Charlotte, meanwhile, must lie and claim to be a widow when she discovers she is pregnant from an affair. Nightly, Olivia and Charlotte literally have to compare notes so that each other knows what lies have been told to cover up previous lies.

Olivia also manages to capture the attention of two different men in town. Samuel Howard serves as a town manager of sorts for Mr. Pullman, the founder of the town, and Fred DeVault is a local employee. Mr. Howard would like to have Olivia all to himself at all times, while Olivia is developing a great affection toward Fred.

All the while, Olivia feels so guilty for all the lies that she must continue to tell. How can she ever pray to God, much less sit in church, when she knows her life is full of so much deceit?

5 Stars

Southern?  No
Sass?  No

1 comment:

  1. Ooo I think you've sold me on this one! :)


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