LADY OF A THOUSAND TREASURES by Sandra Byrd, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise
Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a treasure indeed.
I found it hard to put aside this exceptional novel to take care of my daily chores.
Sandra immerses us into the lives of Eleanor Sheffield, a curator and evaluator of antiquities, and the wealthy collectors who seek authentication for their treasures. Eleanor has been taught by her father and uncle how to tell an original piece of art from a fraudulent copy. She has learned to trust her eye to spot a forgery. Can she also trust her instincts when it comes to people? Can she trust her uncle’s failing memory, her firm’s longtime employee, or her own perceptions of her beloved’s intentions? It is clear she trusts God to keep her through the many difficulties surrounding her since the death of her father. It has fallen on her to conserve the reputation of Sheffield Brothers, a firm bult by her father and uncle, while forging her way for women to take their place in the business world of Victorian England.
Sandra has done extensive research and even incorporates a few famous people of the time into the story. The legends of the horse pictographs on the chalk cliffs and the Hawthorne brought from the Holy Land were fascinating and added depth and richness to the novel.
The romance was not lacking and was sweetly represented. The object of Eleanor’s affections, Harry, Lord Lydney, is steadfast, thoughtful and loyal to his friends. Harry and Eleanor share a meaningful faith. They show it by living the scripture that they quote. Eleanor has a heart for the downtrodden and makes friends equally above and below her station.
If you are looking for a sweeping tale filled with symbolism, romance, and a Gothic flair— look no farther! This book accomplishes the task. Sandra carefully crafts the plot and authentically captures the flavor of 1866 England. Definitely among my top picks for this year.
*I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to give favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
Back Cover Blurb:
Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.
The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.
Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.
With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.
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