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In the Company of Secrets [Paperback]

Judith Miller
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2007 Postcards from Pullman (Book 1)
The truth could cost her everything....

Olivia Mott didn't intend to lie. Somehow, it just happened. And wasn't it all Lady Charlotte's fault anyway?

Now Olivia's position as assistant chef at Pullman's elegant Hotel Florence is dependant upon her keeping her secrets. And sometimes lies have a way of leading to other lies. Should Olivia admit her real past and accept the consequences or keep quiet in order to preserve her comfortable new circumstances?

Deception seems to be part of everyday life in the company town of Pullman, Illinois, where the grand Pullman Palace Car is manufactured. Samuel Howard, Olivia's friend and the town manager, seems to think everything is fine, but Olivia observes something quite different. Could it be that Olivia is not the only one harboring secrets?

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Product Description

About the Author

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. When time permits, Judy enjoys traveling, visiting historical settings, and scrapbooking the photographs from her travel expeditions. She makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read! Oct. 13 2013
By Esther
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First book I've read by Judith Miller. I really enjoyed it, especially enjoyed the way the details of this era were woven throughout the story
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read May 22 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed the story. The characters were interesting and the story was hard to put down. I kept wondering when the lies would catch up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars like it Aug. 7 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
like this book, will probably purchase the sequel
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  300 reviews
110 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be Aware this isn't a complete novel April 13 2008
By thewordlover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love historical novels and was interested in this fresh setting and situation. But early on I had reservations. For one thing I couldn't envision how it would be possible for Charlotte, A high class English Lady to be able to have a dalliance with a man who visits her parents home. With servants and her parents about, how on earth did she find an opportunity for physical intimacy in the drawing room? The characters are well drawn and the research is wonderful with all the information about Pullman. But as one other reviewer alluded, the ending was a shock-- not because of a dramatic shift but because this isn't a complete novel but more like an ongoing soap opera where there is no ending. As long as you don't mind reading an episode or else waiting for the entire series to be published so you can find out what happens, this is a great story. On the cover it says Postcards from PUllman 1. But nothing hints that it isn't a stand alone story.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay Aug. 15 2007
By Christie W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For 75% of In the Company of Secrets, I really liked the story, the characters, and the historical charm of the era and Pullman, Illinois. Olivia is a strong heroine, with likeable and relatable qualities. She is a Christian but is struggling with what she truly believes. She always has quite a problem with honesty. In the beginning, Olivia and Lady Charlotte/Mrs. Hornsby concoct a story of lies to cover their backgrounds and the true identity of Mrs. Hornsby. They travelled together from Lanshire Hall in London. Olivia is hoping to get a position as assistant chef in a local hotel. "Mrs. Hornsby" is in search of a jilted lover.

My big complaint is the ending. Nothing is resolved, at all. It just ends. I should have had an inkling that this would be the case, since all throughout the book any impediment or plot twist was wrapped up too easily and abruptly.

I'm curious to read the second in the series, at least to find out how things were wrapped up but I don't think I'll be running out to buy it. Overall a bland and predictable story, and a disappointment.
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not a complete novel May 1 2013
By rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not a complete novel and I wish I had known before I read the book. I wanted to know what would happen so I bought the second part and still the storry was unresolved. I decided not to buy the 3rd book because I feel this is a gimmick to make people buy 1 book for the price of three.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ends without resolution!! May 1 2013
By Denice Rozmus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The overall story was good but the book ended quite abruptly. There was no resolution of the circumstances and the characters were just left in the middle of a delimma. It forced you to the purchase the second book in the series to find out how things were going to be resolved. However, the second book in the series did the same thing...I won't be purchasing the third.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flat and Condescending July 22 2013
By Ashley LaMar - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
In the Company of Secrets (Postcards from Pullman Book #1) by Judith Miller has the potential to be a stellar book. There could be complex characters with an intricately woven plotline however, in the end, it collapses under the weight of the excessive moral lessons and faith-based guilt. The characters are one-dimensional, the story is predictable and overall it is just a very lackluster book. It was an average book until after Olivia Mott (the protagonist) takes a day trip with Mr. Samuel Howard to Chicago. After this trip was over it became a challenging book to finish. I knew what was coming, the story is that predictable, and I was ready for it to end.

A brief synopsis of the book is this: Olivia Mott is a scullery maid in the kitchen of a Lord and his Lady in London, England in the 1890's. She confides in another maid that the head chef has insisted she become his mistress or lose his job. This maid, in turn, confides in the daughter of the Lord and Lady (Charlotte) who happens to be pregnant by an American businessman who visited London. Charlotte decides that she is going to run away to the city of Pullman, Illinois to find, and marry, her American businessman and she is taking Olivia with her. Once they arrive in Pullman Olivia takes a job as an assistant chef at Hotel Florence and the two women begin telling a string of lies to cover up their past.

That entire summary takes place in perhaps 20 pages. From that point on it becomes tedious and preachy. Please forgive the spoilers here but I'm attempting to save you from wasting time and money - the American businessman rejects Charlotte, Charlotte abandons Olivia and the baby in Illinois, all of the lies are exposed and the book ends hoping you will buy book #2. The moral of the story is that one should not lie as lies have a way of always catching up to you. It is a moral that is constantly driven into the reader's mind as it is repeated over, and over, and over again. Every single time that Olivia tells a little white lie, hides from the truth, or embellishes a story that moment is followed by her guilt and her remembering that she was taught not to lie because with each lie she tells she will have to tell two more to cover it up. I repeatedly felt the urge to reach into the pages and knock someone (the author? the protagonist?) off their high horse.

This book also became overwhelmingly preachy. After Olivia returns from her day trip to Chicago she encounters Mrs. DeVault and asks her, through the guilt she is feeling from yet another lie, what it means to be a believer. The most passionate writing of the entire novel comes at this moment when Mrs. DeVault tells Olivia how to be saved by the blood of Christ and gave her scripture to review. The reader is then treated to scripture verses as Olivia struggles with trying to believe that God will still love her despite her lies. The whole thing feels orchestrated to make a reader feel sinful and dirty for the mistakes they may have made in their lives as though the author wanted the reader to close the book, fall to their knees and repent. I wasn't offended by the scripture, as a Christian myself I enjoy stories that discuss the love of our Lord but this felt more like condemnation and judgment than love and forgiveness.

In the Company of Secrets could have been a great novel. There was so much room for the plot or the characters to develop but it never happens. The characters remain flat, the writing is stiff and the tone is critical and judgmental. There are a lot of great clean historical romance novels to read but unfortunately I cannot recommend this as one of them.

Review by Ashley LaMar
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