Adult Fiction,  Auslit Review

Review :: The Keepsake by Julie Brooks

If you’ve been here before you might know that I’m a sucker for a book that brings together stories from different timelines, so I was super excited to read Julie Brooks’ new novel, The Keepsake. The team at Hachette kindly sent me an early copy for review – check out my thoughts below.

What is Julie Brooks’ The Keepsake about?

1832: The morning after her father’s funeral, Prudence Merryfield wakes to the liberating thought that this is the first day of her new life. At thirty-five and unmarried, she is now mistress of her own fate. But a cruel revelation at the reading of her father’s will forces Prudence to realise that taking only the most drastic action will set her free. 

Present day: Eliza is gifted a family heirloom by her aunt – a Georgian pocket book, belonging to her ancestor, Prudence Merryfield, whose existence reverberates through the lives of generations of Eliza’s family, the Ambroses. Intrigued by what she reads inside, Eliza is drawn more and more into the infamous ‘Merryfield Mystery’. What happened to Prudence who so bravely dared to defy convention two hundred years ago – then disappeared?

My review of The Keepsake by Julie Brooks

In The Keepsake, I think Brooks does a wonderful job of linking two young women almost 200 years apart through a family mystery that Eliza, in the modern day, feels compelled to solve and her desire to understand Prudence. I feel like there are some really nice parallels pulled out between the women, in terms of the pressures or expectations they felt they were under from their families or societies. This theme is also explored really well through two side young women from whom we also get some POV chapters: Bessie who comes into Prudence’s life as a maid and Lupe who Prudence meets when she is shipwrecked (which I think was probably my favourite part of the book).

I loved the way the plot unfolded in this one, the timing of tidbits of information being uncovered in the present day timeline to reveal the next surprise in the past worked really well for me and there were a few times I actually gasped out loud. I really enjoyed the mysterious bits of the book – I feel like the plot moved along nicely and the ending was satisfying and made sense.

While I think the Prudence story line is the star of the novel, I did also enjoy spending time with Eliza in the present day. The development of her friendship with a man she meets at the start of her story worked well for me, and I loved seeing her with her aunt Jude.

I thought this was a great read and would recommend it for fans of authors like Kirsty Manning and Natasha Lester, or anyone who loves books featuring women who push the boundaries of convention or a twisty mystery.
Big thanks to the team at Hachette for sending me this copy.

xo Bron

The Keepsake by Julie Brooks
Out now from Hachette
Source: I received a free copy from Hachette (thank you!)
Category: Historical fiction

The Keepsake on Goodreads
Find Julie Brooks on Instagram here, and her website here.

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One Comment

  • deanne01

    Wonderful review. I love time slips as well and how they finally mesh together so well at the end. They are really fascinating. I’ll be looking this one up.

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