A Place of Secrets Audiobook
Written by Rachel Hore
Narrated by Jilly Bond
Published on January 31, 2012
Audio is 2333 hours and 20 minutes
Publisher List Price: 26.99 USD
Speechify Price: Coming soon
A runaway bestseller in Britain with over 100,000 copies sold, a riveting historical mystery in the tradition of Kate Morton
In Rachel Hore’s A Place of Secrets, auction house appraiser Jude leaves London for her dream job at Starbrough Hall, an estate in the countryside, examining and pricing the manuscripts and instruments of an eighteenth-century astronomer. She is welcomed by Chantal Wickham and Jude feels close to the old woman at once: they have both lost their husbands. Hard times have forced the Wickham family to sell the astronomer’s work, their land and with it, the timeworn tower that lies nearby. The tower was built as an observatory for astronomer Anthony Wickham and his daughter Esther, and it served as the setting for their most incredible discoveries.
Though Jude is far away from her life in London, her arrival at Starbrough Hall brings a host of childhood memories. She meets Euan, a famed writer and naturalist who lives in the gamekeeper’s cottage at the foot of the tower, where Jude’s grandfather once lived. And a nightmare begins to haunt her six-year-old niece, the same nightmare Jude herself had years ago. Is it possible that the dreams are passed down from one generation to the next? What secrets does the tower hold? And will Jude unearth them before it’s too late?
Rachel Hore is the author of four novels including the critically acclaimed The Glass Painter’s Daughter and The Memory Garden. worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.,
1. Jude, Claire, Summer, Gran, and Esther all seem to exhibit unique strength, yet possess their own frailties. How do they overcome their weaknesses? Do you think that these traits get passed down through generations?
2. Jude has been tormented by her dreams of running through the woods since she was a child. Now her niece Summer is having the same nightmares. What is the role of dreams within the narrative? Are dreams merely derivatives of our imagination, or are they discernible windows into our daily lives?
3. The distinct settings in the novel add to the mood and plot of the story. Describe the different settings (ie. the city, Norfolk, the woods, the folly) and their role in respect to the characters. How do Jude’s priorities change depending on her location?
4. The two men in Jude’s life—Caspar and Euan—seem to be complete opposites. What do you think accounts for Jude’s change of heart when she decides to stop seeing Caspar? Why is she so drawn to Euan?
5. Describe Jude’s relationship with her sister, Claire. There seems to be some resentment between the two, yet it is clear that they still have a strong bond. Are we irrevocably tied by blood?
6. Gran says, “Things aren’t easy to forget. Yet we must put them behind us and make the best of life.” Do you agree with what Gran says? Is it best to forget about our secrets, or do we need to face them in order to move on?
7. Jude has an immediate connection to Chantal when she meets her at the Wickham estate. What brings these two women with vastly different backgrounds together? How would you explain the power of shared experiences in creating intimate bonds?
8. Chantal mentions that it was fate that brought Jude to Starborough, but Jude believes that things in life aren’t dictated by destiny, but are “chaotic, random.” How much of a role does fate play in the events of the story?
9. How effective is the story in travelling between the eighteenth century and the present? Do you think that this is done successfully through Esther’s letters?
10. Jude is accused several times of putting her late husband, Mark, on a pedestal after his death, yet she later has suspicions of his fidelity during their marriage. What accounts for this shift in view? Is Jude finally able to move on after realizing that her husband may not have been “perfect?” Do you believe that there is one soul mate for each person, or is it possible to have a second chance at true love?
11. What is the significance of the star necklace that gets passed down through generations? What does the journey symbolize and what does it mean when the missing diamond is found? Do you think the necklace ends up in the right hands?
“Sumptuous prose, deft plotting, lush settings, troubling personal histories, tragedy, heady romance and even a smattering of 18th century scientific wonderment mark Hore’s fourth novel as her most accomplished and enthralling yet.” —Daily Mirror
“Hore once again shows her gift for bringing the past to life: her understanding of memory, stories and craft is as strong here as in The Memory Garden.” —Waterstone’s Books Quarterly
“Rachel Hore’s intriguing Richard and Judy recommended read, which is layered with a series of mysteries, some more supernatural than others.” —Independent
A Place of Secrets was published on January 31, 2012.The A Place of Secrets Audiobook is 2333 hours and 20 minutes. Speechify has the Unabridged edition version of the audiobook.
Both the publication language and the narration language are in English.