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The Palace of Darkened Windows   By: (-1976)

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The Palace of Darkened Windows by Mary Hastings Bradley is a gripping and atmospheric tale that takes readers on a journey back in time to the small, secluded town of Deerfield. Set in the late 18th century, this historical fiction novel explores the complex dynamics of love, family, and societal expectations.

The story centers around the Onderdonk family, specifically sisters Rachel and Mercy. Rachel, the older sister, is beautiful, vivacious, and rebellious, while Mercy is meek, gentle, and obedient. The stark contrast between the two sisters sets the stage for the conflicts that arise throughout the narrative.

One of the key themes explored in The Palace of Darkened Windows is the limited choices available to women during this time period. Rachel's unyielding spirit and desire for independence clash with the expectations placed upon her as a young woman in her community. Her refusal to conform to societal norms leads to some heartbreaking consequences, causing readers to empathize deeply with her struggles.

Bradley's writing is exquisite and evocative, transporting readers to the quaint world of Deerfield. Her attention to detail and vivid descriptions of both the settings and characters allow readers to envision every scene as if watching it unfold before their eyes. The author's ability to effortlessly capture the essence of the era adds an extra layer of authenticity to the story.

The Palace of Darkened Windows is a slow-burning novel that skillfully builds suspense and tension. As secrets unravel and the truth is gradually unveiled, readers become fully invested in the lives of the Onderdonk sisters and their tumultuous journey. The narrative is filled with unexpected twists and turns, keeping readers engaged and eager to uncover the next revelation.

Furthermore, the book delves into intricate family dynamics, exploring the complexities of sibling relationships and the lengths one would go to protect their loved ones. The interactions between Rachel and Mercy are particularly poignant, as they navigate their contrasting desires and attempt to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way.

While some readers may find the pacing of the story slow at times, it serves to further immerse readers into the historical context and the daily lives of the characters. Bradley's meticulous attention to detail ensures that no aspect of the story is overlooked, contributing to its rich tapestry.

Overall, The Palace of Darkened Windows is a beautifully written novel that transports readers to a different time and place. Mary Hastings Bradley's expert storytelling and compelling characters make this a must-read for fans of historical fiction. The intricate exploration of female identity, societal expectations, and the timeless struggle for autonomy makes this book resonate with readers long after they have turned the final page.

First Page:

The PALACE of DARKENED WINDOWS

By MARY HASTINGS BRADLEY

AUTHOR OF "THE FAVOR OF KINGS"

ILLUSTRATED BY EDMUND FREDERICK

NEW YORK AND LONDON D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 1914

[Frontispiece illustration: "'It is no use,' he repeated. 'There is no way out for you.'" (Chapter IV)]

TO MY HUSBAND

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. THE EAVESDROPPER II. THE CAPTAIN CALLS III. AT THE PALACE IV. A SORRY QUEST V. WITHIN THE WALLS VI. A GIRL IN THE BAZAARS VII. BILLY HAS HIS DOUBTS VIII. THE MIDNIGHT VISITOR IX. A DESPERATE GAME X. A MAID AND A MESSAGE XI. OVER THE GARDEN WALL XII. THE GIRL FROM THE HAREM XIII. TAKING CHANCES XIV. IN THE ROSE ROOM XV. ON THE TRAIL XVI. THE HIDDEN GIRL XVII. AT BAY XVIII. DESERT MAGIC XIX. THE PURSUIT XX. A FRIEND IN NEED XXI. CROSS PURPOSES XXII. UPON THE PYLON XXIII. THE BETTER MAN

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"'It is no use,' he repeated. 'There is no way out for you'" Frontispiece

"'I do not want to stay here'"

"He found himself staring down into the bright dark eyes of a girl he had never seen"

"Billy went to the mouth, peering watchfully out"

THE PALACE OF DARKENED WINDOWS

CHAPTER I

THE EAVESDROPPER

A one eyed man with a stuffed crocodile upon his head paused before the steps of Cairo's gayest hotel and his expectant gaze ranged hopefully over the thronged verandas... Continue reading book >>




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