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Secrets of a Whitby Girl: Dark family secrets. Will all be revealed?

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Whitby 1901. Sarah Brook has kept diaries for most of her life. Now eighty-five and at the end of her own journey, she allows her favourite great-niece Esther to read them. But while full of Sarah's thoughts and dreams, and family stories, the diaries also hold dark family secrets about the past, which are about to be exposed... Whitby 1832. When their mother tragically die Whitby 1901. Sarah Brook has kept diaries for most of her life. Now eighty-five and at the end of her own journey, she allows her favourite great-niece Esther to read them. But while full of Sarah's thoughts and dreams, and family stories, the diaries also hold dark family secrets about the past, which are about to be exposed... Whitby 1832. When their mother tragically dies, life changes dramatically for Sarah and her siblings. Arabella is ordered by their father to assume the domestic role - something she fears will destroy her hoped-for relationship with John Sharp, captain of her father's whale ship, the Sea King. Little does she know that Harriet has an idea to ensure she doesn't end up with a hard life like Arabella: she will ensnare John and marry him. Charley too has his own escape plan: determined to forge a life at sea against his father's wishes, he stows away on the Sea King. But when tragedy strikes the Sea King in the Arctic, the Brook family, and those near to them, are forced to make crucial assessments about their futures...


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Whitby 1901. Sarah Brook has kept diaries for most of her life. Now eighty-five and at the end of her own journey, she allows her favourite great-niece Esther to read them. But while full of Sarah's thoughts and dreams, and family stories, the diaries also hold dark family secrets about the past, which are about to be exposed... Whitby 1832. When their mother tragically die Whitby 1901. Sarah Brook has kept diaries for most of her life. Now eighty-five and at the end of her own journey, she allows her favourite great-niece Esther to read them. But while full of Sarah's thoughts and dreams, and family stories, the diaries also hold dark family secrets about the past, which are about to be exposed... Whitby 1832. When their mother tragically dies, life changes dramatically for Sarah and her siblings. Arabella is ordered by their father to assume the domestic role - something she fears will destroy her hoped-for relationship with John Sharp, captain of her father's whale ship, the Sea King. Little does she know that Harriet has an idea to ensure she doesn't end up with a hard life like Arabella: she will ensnare John and marry him. Charley too has his own escape plan: determined to forge a life at sea against his father's wishes, he stows away on the Sea King. But when tragedy strikes the Sea King in the Arctic, the Brook family, and those near to them, are forced to make crucial assessments about their futures...

30 review for Secrets of a Whitby Girl: Dark family secrets. Will all be revealed?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    The story, seen through Sarah’s diaries, begins in 1832 in Whitby, a whaling town in England. Sarah’s father owns a successful shipping business. Sarah’s sister, Annabelle, has assumed her late mother’s role of managing the household. Her other sister, Harriet, is an ambitious young woman who is looking for a husband and an exciting life. Their brother, Charley, is very excited about the whaling ship and wants to join the crew rather than work as a clerk in his father’s business. The whaling sh The story, seen through Sarah’s diaries, begins in 1832 in Whitby, a whaling town in England. Sarah’s father owns a successful shipping business. Sarah’s sister, Annabelle, has assumed her late mother’s role of managing the household. Her other sister, Harriet, is an ambitious young woman who is looking for a husband and an exciting life. Their brother, Charley, is very excited about the whaling ship and wants to join the crew rather than work as a clerk in his father’s business. The whaling ship and the whale blubber they harvest and bring to port are the main source of income for Benjamin, Sarah’s father. The reader follows the story of the quest for whale blubber from Whitby port to the whale hunting grounds where the whales are captured, the blubber is gathered, and taken back to Whitby harbor. Although it was a very dangerous job for the whalers, it was a very profitable business and a main industry for Whitby. I found the story very interesting, especially the description of the whaling industry.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jakara

    An easy, enjoyable read. Some parts were a little slow or predictable but still held my attention.

  3. 5 out of 5

    KL Caley

    This multi-viewpoint novel mainly follows the stories & diaries of three sisters living in Whitby in the 19th Century. With both Arabella and Harriett seeking the attentions of the Sea King Captain, it is immediately evident someone’s heart will be broken. Charley their brother has no desire to take over their fathers business and instead plans to stow away aboard the Sea King. With the Sea King regularly going on treacherous whaling voyages, each time it sails off the family fear what will happ This multi-viewpoint novel mainly follows the stories & diaries of three sisters living in Whitby in the 19th Century. With both Arabella and Harriett seeking the attentions of the Sea King Captain, it is immediately evident someone’s heart will be broken. Charley their brother has no desire to take over their fathers business and instead plans to stow away aboard the Sea King. With the Sea King regularly going on treacherous whaling voyages, each time it sails off the family fear what will happen next. Having visited Whitby the settings in this book where excellent and true to form and the historical scenes like the actual whaling are really well described and action filled. The authors writing style is quite slow making this story ideal for lazy afternoon reads. Although as mentioned, there are a few action based scenes, it is mostly a book about waiting for the ship to arrive, meaning it is quite drawn out. The Bad: I did find the book quite difficult to get into initially, I think largely due to the pace, but I did want to know what would happen, and the synopsis had intrigued me enough to keep up with it and I am quite glad that I did as once you finish the book it is quite endearing and heart-warming. The Good: I loved the ending of this book, although I won’t give it away on here. I also loved the way the stiff father grew throughout the book to appreciate his children. I would certainly be intrigued to read other books by Jessica Blair.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    I love visiting Whitby and have always been fascinated by its history so found this a pleasant little read. "In 1901 eighty five year old Miss Sarah Brook decides that her diary keeping days are over. For her, these pages contain sweet memories along with sad, but for her younger relatives the secrets within could change their entire perception of the family's history if she allows them to read the diaries" Jessica Blair has written over 50 books under various pseudonyms but you do not have to ha I love visiting Whitby and have always been fascinated by its history so found this a pleasant little read. "In 1901 eighty five year old Miss Sarah Brook decides that her diary keeping days are over. For her, these pages contain sweet memories along with sad, but for her younger relatives the secrets within could change their entire perception of the family's history if she allows them to read the diaries" Jessica Blair has written over 50 books under various pseudonyms but you do not have to have read any of these to enjoy 'Secrets of a Whitby girl'. It stands on its own as a novel. The book was gripping, well-paced, heart-wrenching and historically accurate with regards to Whitby's whaling industry. Although Sarah is the main voice throughout the book my favorite character was her sister Arabella. There felt there was more development to her character and poignancy in her story. It did keep me enthralled and although some aspects were predictable this did not have a negative effect upon my enjoyment of the novel. There were still lots of action packed moments to keep me enthralled. I liked how the narrative was framed around the older Sarah's dilemma about what to do with her diaries and I found the diary entry Elena quite effective. The only things that really disappointed me were the deaths of some of the characters! I'd definitely recommend the book and I will look out for the other books by this author.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicky Forrester

    I found this book a little hard to get into initially but I persisted (it takes a lot for me to give up on a book!) and quite enjoyed it in the end. The story was engaging and you could feel the real sense of family about the story. I liked the setting for the story with the old diaries. I'd love to visit Whitby myself sometime as it sounds like such a beautiful place with a lot of seafaring heritage. I found this book a little hard to get into initially but I persisted (it takes a lot for me to give up on a book!) and quite enjoyed it in the end. The story was engaging and you could feel the real sense of family about the story. I liked the setting for the story with the old diaries. I'd love to visit Whitby myself sometime as it sounds like such a beautiful place with a lot of seafaring heritage.

  6. 4 out of 5

    MaryannC. Book Freak

    (3.5 stars) I thought this was going to be a cheesy novel, but I was pleasantly surprised with the little twists and turns of the plot. The story had it's moments of adventure,love,betrayal and sadness, things that keep me interested. (3.5 stars) I thought this was going to be a cheesy novel, but I was pleasantly surprised with the little twists and turns of the plot. The story had it's moments of adventure,love,betrayal and sadness, things that keep me interested.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bronwyn Rykiert

    This was not a bad story about a family form Whitby. Sarah Brooke has kept a diary from her teenage years when a family tragedy happened and now her great niece has found it she would like to read it to find out about her family, she will be shocked with her findings.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Terrace

    A dry read to start with, a few chapters in the characters begin to take life and depth and then it is difficult to put the book down. Believable, sad, tragic, true to life, compelling and engaging.

  9. 5 out of 5

    joanne nuttall

  10. 5 out of 5

    MS Julie Don

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Devlin

    Got this from a reading group and thought it would be pretty naff but I really enjoyed it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carole Slater

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter Unsworth

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

  16. 5 out of 5

    Angela Sumter

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Bailey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beverley Hobson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda Nelson

  21. 5 out of 5

    Olga Baker

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beverley Hobson

  24. 4 out of 5

    philip rafferty

  25. 4 out of 5

    pauline

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fran Piercey

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tony Jules

  28. 5 out of 5

    MRWC

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deirdre

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nialla42

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