My review of A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

For nearly 300 years, the mysterious journal of Jacobite exile Mary Dundas has lain unread — its secrets safe from prying eyes. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas has been hired by a once-famous historian to crack the journal's cipher. But when she arrives in Paris, Sara finds herself besieged by complications from all sides: the journal's reclusive owner, her charming Parisian neighbor, and Mary, whose journal doesn't hold the secrets Sara expects. 

It turns out that Mary Dundas wasn’t keeping a record of everyday life, but a first-hand account of her part in a dangerous intrigue. In the first wintry months of 1732, with a scandal gaining steam in London, driving many into bankruptcy and ruin, the man accused of being at its center is concealed among the Jacobites in Paris, with Mary posing as his sister to aid his disguise. 

When their location is betrayed, they’re forced to put a desperate plan in action, heading south along the road to Rome, protected by the enigmatic Highlander Hugh MacPherson.

As Mary's tale grows more and more dire, Sara, too, must carefully choose which turning to take... to find the road that will lead her safely home.

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492602027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492602026

'A Desperate Fortune' is simply beautiful from beginning to end. If you love historical fiction, then the past life storyline concerning Mary Dundas and the Jacobites will keep you guessing until the end. There are many twists and turns within this storyline and surprises to come. I won't spoil it for you. As for the present day storyline concerning Sara Thomas being a code breaker who finds herself in Paris, France, helping out a British historian decode Mary's diary is a gorgeous story in and of itself. I found Sara to be a character refreshingly humble with romantic innocence and a passion for history. The author is to be applauded for working in Sara's having Asperger's Syndrome while not letting it stop her from living a very fulfilling life. Sara's romantic life gets a boost and I must admit to those chapters being some of my favorites for Susanna Kearsley's tender and heartwarming dialogue scenes truly made me weep.

I have read numerous novels of the author's and, 'A Desperate Fortune' is one that I have fallen in love with and one that will stay with me for a very long time. Two storylines both with stark differences and similarities, the writing is skillfully crafted and gripping. The characters are fully formed, the plots are fleshed out, and you just can't stop reading. I hope everyone reads it and falls in love with the characters as I have.

Again, A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley will be published worldwide on April 7, 2015. You can pre-order now on,  AMAZON UK and if you live in the U.S.,  AMAZON 

For more information on the author and her othr novels,  Susanna Kearsley



Anonymous said…
Just preordered it!
Kimberly Eve said…
Wonderful! I'm so glad you have ordered it. You have to tell me all about it. I hope you love it as much as I have!
Thanks for commenting, sharing, and taking time to stop by! I really appreciate it.