Love or independence? Few choices remain for Nell and her new family on the Kansas frontier.
Kansas, 1872. Unwed mother Nell Lillington hopes to support her daughter Sarah and friend Tess by working as a seamstress in an isolated seminary. When her only ally among the seminary's leaders dies, she must choose between returning to her old life in Chicago and remaining in charge of her destiny.
As her talent as a dressmaker begins to win her commissions, Nell attracts the attention of two suitors: Reiner Lehmann, a wealthy senior student, and Judah Poulton, an impoverished professor. Shocking news from back home and another death at the seminary press Nell to make her decision. A disastrous winter journey, a treacherous game, and an impossible love could finally wrest control of Nell's life out of her hands for good.
Eternal Deception is the second book in a series of engrossing historical fiction novels. If you like intriguing mystery, charming romance, and surprises you won't see coming, you'll love this story of one woman's battle for herself on the 19th century frontier.
©2015 Jane Steen (P)2016 Jane Steen
Eternal Deception, by Jane Steen, is the second book of The House of Closed Doors series. In this book, we continue with Nell’s journey in search of independence and a place for herself and her family in the world. By the end of the first book, she was a very young unwedded mother with a friend heading for the Kansas frontier to work as a seamstress for a Seminary.
Nell is a great character; she is stubborn, patient and determined to follow her dreams. And she is still learning and growing, making mistakes along the way and falling into traps. The book is very detailed in terms of a historical description of the place and the period, showing the beauty, difficulties and hardships of the frontier for all its inhabitants. Nell is isolated in the Eternal Life Seminary, with a tiny growing town an hour away, and her friend Catherine Lombardi and her family on a mission a day away. The hardness of circumstances is also reflected in the people who surround Nell, depicting a money- and status-driven society and revealing to Nell the difficulties of starting again, of being accepted in the identity she has chosen and is creating for herself, and of leaving behind the mistakes she committed (and this is not just a problem of that period). Her long awaited independence is constantly threatened not only because she must conform – to a certain extent – to society, but also because she is now responsible for Tess and Sarah, and that responsibility means that her choices will affect them both (including the consequences of her past choices). It is quite interesting to follow Nell’s struggle for balancing happiness and security for all of her chosen family, and how she matures along the way.
The book brings a great period reconstruction, showing the rapid development of border towns while (from afar) we heard about the Chicago reconstruction after the great fire, but at the same time it brings a relatable and compelling story of personal growth. Jane Steen is an excellent storyteller, her prose is very elegant, her characters are colorful and entertaining and I can’t wait to see what comes next for them all.
I was given a copy of the audio book in exchange of an honest review and I would recommend it to everyone, but particularly to fans of historical novels. The narration is outstanding with an excellent range of voice and tone, improving the listener experience. (And since I had previously bought the ebook, so anxious I was to keep reading about Nell, I can tell).
Eternal Deception is book 2 after The House of Closed Doors. I listened to both books and enjoyed them immensely. In a nutshell, Eternal Deception is interesting, well-written and beautifully narrated. This book follows the adventures of Nell Lillington (sp) as she tries to make a life for herself, her friend Tess, and her illegitimate daughter Sarah, after leaving her birthplace and going to Kansas. The stigma of illegitimacy that affects her daughter plays a part in Nell's decision making. But it is Nell herself about whom I could not help but care and worry over. She is fiercely independent and this character trait does not always work out well for her. Jane Steen does an excellent job of writing and holding one's interest in the entire cast of characters. Their strengths and weaknesses, along with the plots and subplots, kept me concerned and anxious to get back to listening whenever I had to stop to do other things :-) I have listened to several of the many books narrated by Elizabeth Klett and she is the best! I love her voice and the way she is able to use her voice to characterize and distinguish the different people in the book. All in all, a very fine listening experience. I'm hoping for a sequel!
I really enjoyed the suspense and mystery in this audiobook. There are lots of shady characters in this story but one of the more interesting ones is Judah. I suspected there was more to him than meets the eye, and yes there is! I found all the characters interesting in their own way and was never completely sure of their true nature until it was revealed. The relationship between Nell and Tess is sweet but I was hoping for more romance for Nell. The narrator, Elizabeth Klett, continues to do an outstanding job with the character voices and personalities. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!
I enjoyed the first book in this series and wanted to find out what happened next to Nell, Martin and Tess. In the first book, Nell is naive, a bad judge of character, and makes stupid mistakes but she is young and tenacious. Unfortunately, 4 years later she is no wiser, no better judge of character, is still making incredibly stupid decisions and has lost much of the tenaciousness that endeared her to me in the first book. As the book went on, I found that I did not like this older version of Nell very much, after all.
The narrator is still good but her voicing of Tess becomes very annoying. She sounds like she constantly needs to blow her nose. Tess is in this one from the very beginning, unlike the first one, and although I do like this character (frankly, imbecile or not she seems to have better sense than Nell at all times), the voice gets on my nerves. I don't enjoy books if I don't like the main character, so I probably won't be continuing the series.
Jane Steen is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! Eternal Deception follows Nell to Kansas. She becomes a seamstress at a seminary out in the middle of nowhere. Luckily she has her friend, Tess and her daughter, Sarah to keep her company.
While Nell is earning a living and contributing to her nest egg, her good friend, a Viking Warrior lookalike (personally my favorite kind of warrior), Martin, is investing her money very wisely.
Nell is not the favorite among the women in the seminary, especially the house keeper and the matriarch of the home (and her trembling hair). She is still able to hold her own, and doesn't put up with anyone making her feel bad.
I really have enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next. Elizabeth Klett did another perfect performance.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher courtesy of Audiobook Blast. This is an unbiased review.
Reading book 1 made it most enjoyable to see where these characters have gone.
I love the way the characters moved along in this story. Really makes me want to read book 3.
Elizabeth Klett brings feeling to the characters. You would not get them acted out for you if you just read it.
Any time some one dies even if it is from sickness I cry. I have a tender heart. I had an extreme reaction when the men were fighting.
This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.
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