Review: Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E Ladd

Emberwilde forest looks just gorgeous on this cover and I’d love to explore it (in theory), but bad things always seem to happen in the forest, don’t they?

Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E Ladd
Treasures of Surrey, Book 2
Thomas Nelson, 2016

Isabel Creston is uprooted from her life as an aspiring teacher at Fellsworth School when she learns she has family who is living and wants her to come to live with them. In an instant her life’s course is changed and she enters into the unknown with only her sister as a comfort.

I really liked Isabel. She is headstrong yet hesitant in her new life with her aunt and uncle. The aunt always gave me a weird vibe every time she was in the room! Her aunt’s remarks stung on several occasions, and she was controlling and opinionated. I felt like telling her aunt to give Isabel some space.

In several scenes sprinkled throughout the book, Isabel stares at the portrait of her mother’s image. Those moments were some of the most powerful scenes to me. I felt that Isabel was searching. Not only was she trying to find herself in her mother, but also seeking how she was like her mother, not in visage, but in character. It had to be an inexplicable swirl of emotion for Isabel to feel, looking at the mother she could not remember, but desperately wanting to feel connected to her in some tangible way.

Another moment that stuck out to me was towards the end. I won’t give anything away, but I just loved the decision Isabel made. I felt that she stayed true to herself and accepted the consequences. She didn’t let the cost of her decision sway her conscience.

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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