I tore through A Name Unknown like I had nothing else to do but read (if only that were true). I mean, I really had a hard time putting it down, and I yearned for the moment I could pick up the book again. And I also so love working with Bethany House Publishers because they continually offer quality stories.
Book Recommendation Review of A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
On a scale of cotton candy to Brussels sprouts, A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White is Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch. This sweet dish combines an earthy root with a sun-kissed berry. Although coming from seemingly different worlds, rhubarb and strawberries compliment each other. Charged with sweetness, this dish isn’t just softness but offers a bit of crunch, too.
Rosemary Gresham, posing as a librarian but actually a skilled thief, plans to steal Peter Holstein’s house and reveal him as a traitor to England as tensions heighten between Germany and England. She’ll be in and out, leaving with exactly what she wants. But then, in the search for the right paperwork, Rosemary discovers something else. With this new information, will she be able to finish the job?
The characterization of Rosemary and Peter was stunning. I felt as though I had never met anyone quite like either of them, and yet, I also felt as though I had known them forever. Rosemary exuded brash confidence, wordiness, and hardiness while Peter exhibited those same qualities in quieter ways. I absolutely loved these characters, and they stand out as the best part of this story.
Reflecting on the story thread, I enjoyed the history and absolutely delighted in the chance to meet Prince Edward for just a moment. Although certain historical events pushed the story forward, I think the heart of the story rested with Rosemary, Peter, and the townspeople as they responded to each other and these events. Story-wise, I almost wanted the “bad guy” to be badder because the stakes never felt quite high enough. Doom hinted along the edges, but I longed for a moment where Doom left no oxygen for anyone else. In this, I don’t think the story ever reached that pause. However, I did giggle at the wit and interaction between characters, and I even shed a few tears as Rosemary grappled with her core beliefs about herself.
I really enjoyed this book, and I definitely suggest it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and a feisty heroine.
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A Name Unknown Struggles
The bad guy. I struggled with the bad guy because he always seemed to be along the edges of the stories, and I guess someone might argue that the inner demons that both main characters dealt with were also the bad guys. Yes, true, but this story had a real live “bad guy,” and I just didn’t think he was that bad. He never did anything that felt like truly life-threatening.
Which brings me to that moment where the reader wonders, “Will they make it?” You know that part, where you’re about 3/4ths through the book? Yes, that part. I just didn’t believe that Rosemary and Peter were really about to lose it all. Maybe this is just me.
But hold up, I’m completely enthralled with the characters.
A Name Unknown Loves
So if you read the above review, then you know that I’m so enthralled with the characters that Roseanna M. White created for this series. Actually, I happened upon a blog post of hers where she introduced the crew of thieves that Rosemary grew up in, and I knew I had to read A Name Unknown.
Seriously, I loved the variety of personalities and characteristics that showed up throughout the story. I adored that Peter and Rosemary were so awkward and yet so fully themselves. Really, you should read A Name Unknown just so you can meet these two.
Also, I think I’m a little bit in love with Rosemary’s cohort, Barclay. Shhhhhhh. And yes, I know he’s not much in this story, but I like him. I just know it.