Blackmoore is Julianne Donaldson's second novel. I loved Edenbrooke when I read it last fall and was excited to see another by the same author. This one has a very different feel than her first. Blackmoore reminded me a lot of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. There is a mysterious house, a girl who is full of imaginings about that house and the hero in the story is named Henry just like in Austen's story. Kate, the heroine, even has a moment in the dark while exploring the house where she lets her imagination run a little wild. So I couldn't help but make comparisons.
Kate so badly wants to escape the life and family in which she is stuck. She feels caged and trapped by circumstances and doesn't see any way out except to get as far away as she can go and leave everything behind. She dreams of going to India with a maiden aunt but strikes a deal with her mother that is all but impossible to fulfill.
Donaldson does a great job of expressing Kate's feelings through the symbol of birds. The birds on the moors around the house and the bird that wont sing because it is trapped in a cage in the house. She enlists her childhood friend, Henry to help her keep her end of the deal so she can finally escape the cage she feels around her. Henry's problem is that he doesn't want her to leave.
While I enjoyed the book, I don't know if I liked it as much as Edenbrooke. I liked the light heartedness of Donaldson's first novel. Blackmoore was far more moody and emotional. I think anyone who is fond of Jane Austen like, regency, clean romances will appreciate this one as well. Just make sure you have a few hours to devote to it because you won't want to put it down.
I received a copy of Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson from Shadow Mountain through NetGalley in exchange for my opinion and review.