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Publisher's Summary

“This is a spellbinding page-turner of a book.” (Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale.)

A mesmerizing novel of dark family secrets and a young woman’s rise and revenge set against the backdrop of the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The eve of destruction. After her mother’s death, penniless May Kimble lives a lonely life until an aunt she didn’t know existed summons her to San Francisco. There she’s welcomed into the wealthy Sullivan family and their social circle.

Initially overwhelmed by the opulence of her new life, May soon senses that dark mysteries lurk in the shadows of the Sullivan mansion. Her glamorous cousin often disappears in the night. Her aunt wanders about in a laudanum fog. And a maid keeps hinting that May is in danger. Trapped by betrayal, madness, and murder, May stands to lose everything, including her freedom, at the hands of those she trusts most.

Then, on an early April morning, San Francisco comes tumbling down. Out of the smoldering ruins, May embarks on a harrowing road to reclaim what is hers. This tragic twist of fate, along with the help of an intrepid and charismatic journalist, puts vengeance within May’s reach. But will she take it? 

©2021 Megan Chance (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about A Splendid Ruin

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The Story Fell Flat

Carly Robins did a wonderful job narrating a story that just seemed to fizzle out in the end. Even the author seemed to be throwing everything at it towards the last hour of narration but it was too late and not satisfying. It took a long time for naive May Kimble, the main character, to smarten and toughen up and then to seek revenge. The romance part of the book came too late and was unnecessary. However, I enjoyed how the San Francisco earthquake literally saved her from her mistakes. All in all, the story was OK and a pleasant read.

1 person found this helpful

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distracting narrator

story was ok, but voices of narrator were distracting. a little robotic with exception of voice for main character.

1 person found this helpful

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Long story

I was excited for this book cuz I love historical fiction but this one fell flat for me. The story seems to go on and on forever and the main character, May Kimble was kind of irritating. She was so trusting and naive which I suppose she had to be to put her in the situation that IMO she got in. And while I love a good romance I feel like the romance in this story was a little forced and I certainly could have done without it. I was reading along while listening to this story and I’m not sure if it’s just the formatting of the ebook but there’s no discernible paragraphs or indents for characters’ dialogues. It was really hard to read, but Carly Robbins did a superb job narrating. So kudos to her!

1 person found this helpful

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great book

I really wasn't expecting this book at all, when I started reading I instantly felt hooked but at some point, I was going to give up because the main character May was really showing so much naivety, I was pulling my hair and screaming whenever she was doing something dumb but I didn't know what was coming, the whole story gave a huge change and that's when I was glad I waited and I read until the end...

May is a character that will slowly start to develop with the story, at first you may think she is so naive, she believes everything they tell her because she is completely alone so she really didn't know she was surrounded by an entire pack of wolf who was ready to destroy her and keep anything that belonged to her.

after many terrible things, decisions, and mistakes May finally wakes up and grows some strength to fight hard for everything she lost and everything they stole from her. this is when the story gets super awesome. I was waiting for this moment when May finally pulls her pants up and starts her on great revenge, you could hear me cheering from behind go May, go May, go!!!

May didn't deserve all the things her "family" was putting her through but in the end, she never lost her dignity, her kindness her education, she was better than any rich woman in SF, and she showed that over and over again.

The Sullivans were terrible, including May's aunt all of them were evil and so ignorant they lived under pretenses and what society may think, all of them were liers and with hidden agendas that May was not aware of but I'm glad she was able to make great friends and in some way that made her succeed in many ways.

many great secondary characters that gave so much depth to this story but also very terrible characters that were so evil and so destructive. but definitely, my favorite character of all was Dante and China Joe and many more who were the ones behind everything good happening.

great narrations by Carly Robins really love her voice and how she brought so much to these amazing characters

overall good story and great characters.

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this is not your normal mystery

The description of the middle hospital was truly disturbing. The narrator did a wonderful job and was very clear in her enunciation. I would highly recommend this book.

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Someone should tell the narrator

that the gerund form ends with an -ing, not an -in'. Constantly having to listen to examples such as playin', or thinkin', is bad enough, but the poet Brwonin'? Really? One of the most annoyin' performances I've heard, and a shame, too, as the story is quite good.

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Really?

She never does anything to help the women in the asylum. Honestly!!! No excuses for this gals lack of character.

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Not perfect but pretty satisfactory

This was a good historical novel, the romance is very light and not graphic. It feels like this would have benefitted from being fleshed out a little longer

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Good but...

I had read Megan Chance’s other historical several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This one was good too, I didn’t struggle to get through it, but it was kind of expected in terms of the plot. I think Chance could have done better. Still worth reading though the narrator annoyed me at times. She often started or lapsed into the wrong voice for the heroine. Not enough to detract from the story completely but it was a bit jarring at times.

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dollightful

absolutely love the book, could hardly put it down. my only complaint would be that someone found it necessary to take God's name in vain even though it was only once in the book. I did not appreciate that.8

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  • Christopher Morris
  • 01-24-21

An Enjoyable Listen

This was my first experience with historical fiction and I really enjoyed it. I found the narrator kept me engaged and the story unfolded at a nice pace. The ending may be a little disappointing for some but I enjoyed it. Wouldn't mind looking into some more of this author's work.