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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare

ISBN: 978-1400234202

Publisher: HarperMuse

Publication Date: 04/12/2022

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars

The fate of the world is often driven by the curiosity of a girl.

What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke remains a mystery, but the women who descended from Eleanor Dare have long known the truth lies in what she left behind: a message carved onto a large stone and the contents of her treasured Commonplace Book. Brought from England on Eleanor’s fateful voyage to the New World, her book was passed down through the fifteen generations of daughters who followed as they came of age. Thirteen-year-old Alice had been next in line to receive it, but her mother’s tragic death fractured the unbroken legacy and the Dare Stone and the shadowy history recorded in the book faded into memory. Or so Alice hoped.

In the waning days of World War Two, Alice is a young widow and a mother herself when she is unexpectedly presented with her birthright: the deed to Evertell, her abandoned family home and the history she thought forgotten. Determined to sell the property and step into a future free of the past, Alice returns to Savannah with her own thirteen-year-old daughter, Penn, in tow. But when Penn’s curiosity over the lineage she never knew begins to unveil secrets from beneath every stone and bone and shell of the old house and Eleanor’s book is finally found, Alice is forced to reckon with the sacrifices made for love and the realities of their true inheritance as daughters of Eleanor Dare.

In this sweeping tale from award-winning author Kimberly Brock, the answers to a real-life mystery may be found in the pages of a story that was always waiting to be written.

  • Historical women’s fiction

  • Stand-alone novel

  • Book length: approximately 135,000 words

  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs


“In this complex, compelling, and beautifully crafted novel, Kimberly Brock explores not only the enigma of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, but also the boundless mysteries of love, family, and the human heart. As Alice Young and her daughter Penn settle into Evertell, the crumbling ancestral estate they’ve just inherited, they discover secrets long hidden in the shadows there, keys to understanding their own veiled pasts. This is a story filled with many charms, both literal and figurative, and I guarantee it will captivate readers from the first page to the last.”

—William Kent Kreuger, New York Times bestselling author

“Brock’s lush narrative is rich in American and Virginia history with deep roots in the mysterious disappearance of the lost colony on Roanoke Island.”

—Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Left Undone

“Amid the atmospheric backdrop of the Lowcountry, Brock stirs up a beguiling blend of family legacy, historical mystery, and generational connections, examining the unbreakable ties of mothers and daughters, the power of stories told and stories hidden, and the unquenchable need to understand those who came before us.”

—Lisa Wingate #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Friends

“From the haunting first line, The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare transports the reader to a mysterious land, time and family . . . the captivating women of the Dare legacy must find their true inheritance hiding behind the untold secrets.”

—Patti Callahan, New York Times bestselling author

“Multi-layered and shimmering with beautiful prose, Kimberly Brock has crafted a luminous story that deftly ponders the way of sacrificial love.”

—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things

'The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare is an intriguing, dreamy story about the impact of one unhealed woman who has yet to reconcile her past in such a way that lends itself to transparency with her young daughter . . . Author Kimberly Brock delicately balances mystery, family lore, and honoring one's forebears in sonorous language throughout a sweeping story with three points of view, two timeframes, and remarkably steady pacing. Weaving myth and legend with historical fact pertaining to an age-old American mystery, The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare is a spellbinding, beautiful story written by a graceful hand with just the right amount of mysticism.'

-- New York Journal of Books

“Expect the book to attract an eager audience of readers who enjoy women’s fiction.”


“A beautiful keepsake of a novel that is at once historical and speculative, “The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare” is the empowering tale of nearly 20 generations of women surviving, thriving, and sometimes vanishing, by virtue of their abilities to shoulder the weight of their pasts, to discover and learn the lessons of their present, and to pass on their wisdom from mother to daughter through the inheritance of their stories—some of which may even be true.”

—The Post and Courier

“The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare is a beautiful exploration of the bonds between women; the stories they pass down to one another through grief, adversity, and triumph; the secrets they keep; and the inner worlds they share. Brock has crafted a keenly observed, heartfelt tale that will linger with readers long after they finish reading.”

—Megan Chance, bestselling author of A Splendid Ruin

“A richly atmospheric, distinctively Southern story of mothers and daughters, family secrets, and what it means to find home.”

—Elizabeth Blackwell, bestselling author of Red Mistress

“Kimberly Brock’s The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare is an immersive, engrossing tale about the lost colony of Roanoke, but even more significantly, about the relationship between a mother and daughter whose lives have been irrevocably altered by loss. Brock’s writing is lush and captivating, and her characters are rich and complex. A masterful work by an expert craftswoman, The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare is not to be missed.”

—Aimie K. Runyan, bestselling author of The School for German Brides

“For readers of Patti Callahan and Kate Morton, this harrowing exposition on history and loss is a juxtaposition of love, hope, and the wisdom that binds women across centuries. The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare’s plea that we learn from each other, grow from each other, and empower each other is wrapped in an arresting, urgent voice that reads as much a rallying cry as a tract on the burden of women to suture the cracks of history. A magnanimous undertaking steeped in impeccable research, Brock offers a feast of a narrative that crackles with a resonant, binding echo of sisterhood across the centuries.”

—Rachel McMillan, author of The Mozart Code

“Kimberly Brock should be on everyone’s Southern fiction auto buy list. The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare is an absorbing, lyrical love letter to the magic of the South and to the almost supernatural tie that binds one generation’s life song to the next. Brock’s Evertell—the presumed homeplace of the mysterious Eleanor Dare and her heirs—is important not because of the names and dates etched on a rock long ago, but because of the triumphs and heartaches, joys and stumbles that whisper through the ages to caution and encourage each Dare heir—and us, too—to strive for better, to love bigger. Only in doing so will we settle into ourselves and step into who we were made to be.”

—Joy Callaway, international bestselling author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Kimberly Brock (Author), Brittany Pressley (Narrator), Harper Muse (Publisher)

I love Brittany Pressley! Perfect narrator for this book.

My Review

Spellbinding. Whimsical. Atmospheric. Mysterious. Historic.

Storytelling at its finest.

Atlanta author Kimberly Brock delivers a meticulously researched, complex, and lyrical tale of generations of women who have survived by the weight of their often secret pasts to discover essential lessons and pass them on to their daughters.

THE LOST BOOK OF ELEANOR DARE is like a keepsake treasure. The power of the story and strong bonds of mother-daughter relationships. The author's passion shines through on each page.

Alice and her daughter, Penn, are returning to their ancestorial family estate, Evertell in Savannah, GA. As she opens the envelope and deed to Evertell with the antique key to the old rambling estate, her memories rushed back to days she wanted to forget after her mother's death. However, maybe she can sell it to help pay for Penn's education.

From Roanoke survivor 1590 Eleanor Dare, the commonplace book, the stones, to WWII Savannah, GA as they uncover the truths.

The Dare Stones are a series of 48 rocks chiseled with messages to be from those survivors of the famous Colony of Roanoke who went missing between 1587 and 1590. From war, sickness, massacres, misery, and survival. Are they real?

The author's characters come alive on the page, from historical details to myths and legends. A mix of history, mystery, and a heartfelt, beautiful story of resilience, strength, and survival of women.

Intertwining past and present, told from three points of view, two timeframes, the engrossing story not only explores the enigma of the Lost Colony of Roanoke but the bonds of family, its mysteries, and the heart with stories handed down through generations.

I look forward to reading more from the talented Kimberly Brock! For fans of Patti Callahan Henry, Sarah Addison Allen, and Kate Morton.

Thank you to #HarperMuse and #NetGalley for a digital ARC to read, review, and enjoy. Also, recommend the audiobook narrated by my favorite Brittany Pressley!

About the Author

Photo Credit: Claire Brock Photography

Kimberly Brock is an award-winning novelist whose debut THE RIVER WITCH (Bell Bridge Books, 2012) earned her the prestigious Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2013 from the Georgia Writers Association. She is the founder of Tinderbox Writers Workshop and has served as a guest lecturer on the creative life and Modern and Southern Gothic literature for many writing workshops and events including at the Pat Conroy Literary Center. She lives near Atlanta with her husband and three children.



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