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Hope Between the Pages

By Pepper D. Basham


Winter 1913

Sadie Blackwell holds a position few Appalachian girls possessed: coveted employment as a housemaid at the grand Vanderbilt estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Inheriting her mother’s position as maid to the massive, two-story library, Sadie not only gains access to thousands of beloved books, but also to Oliver Camden, an Englishman visiting as the estate.
Forbidden to cross the social divide, the two develop an unlikely friendship over stories which leads to a clandestine romance through letters.
When Sadie saves Oliver’s little sister from being stampeded in the middle of the street by a runaway carriage, she is brought even further into their family’s good graces, allowing the unexpected relationship with Oliver to bloom into a true possibility. As war begins its steady capture of the world, Sadie is forced into the reality that not every story has a happy ending, and her first journey far from her beloved Blue Ridge Mountains may end in heartbreak.

Present Day

Clara Blackwell has helped her mother keep the family bookshop afloat since her father’s death. An unabashed introvert, the quiet but engaging world of story has always been her safe place from the wounds of the real world, but when she discovers a letter from her great-great grandmother hinting at a lost romance and an undiscovered inheritance, Clara must step outside her small world and embark on a journey that leads from Asheville to Derbyshire, England. With only the name Oliver as a clue, and the snippets of information she learns from researching her ancestor’s employment at the Vanderbilt’s estate, Clara must navigate the unwelcome involvement of a fortune-hunting uncle, an increasingly confusing list of clues, and an unexpected romance of her own. When a series of threatening notes show up and a fire nearly destroys the bookshop, Clara realizes that unearthing the past may alter her heart and her future.


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