Emma Jansen runs a successful catering business. She was raised on an estate in Glen Cove, New York called Rolling Hill. Her mother was a valued member of the owners' staff, and they lived above the garage. When Emma learns that the grand main house and its surroundings are to be raised and replaced by luxury apartments, she is heartbroken as the estate holds precious memories for her including those with her father, who passed away when she was young as well as her lifelong love for Henry van der Wraak, the grandson of the former owners. She also treasures her memories of her friendship with Leo, the son of the van der Wraaks’ driver. While Emma tries to save the estate from demolition, she is once again caught up in old feelings for both Henry and Leo as hidden secrets about the past come to the surface. The story effectively volleys back and forth from the present to the past as the three friends go from childhood to young adulthood.
Author Brenda Janowitz writes books often using real-life figures as inspiration. In The Audrey Hepburn Estate, she draws from aspects of the titled actress' life as well as her wonderful classic movie Sabrina. The book is a quick and enjoyable read. The Long Island setting of Rolling Hill was very well done as was all the other descriptions from the elaborate food to the clothing. And as someone who loves a beautiful book cover, this one is a standout. There's lots to like about this book which is a good combination of historical and contemporary fiction with some romance and mystery.
Emma is wisely told, "Home isn't a place. Home is the people you want to be with, the ones you come back to at the end of the day. It's the life you create for yourself, not an actual place." This isn't a tearjerker book but these lines sure made me tear up.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars. Historical & Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Publication Date: April 18, 2023.
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