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In the Company of Secrets (2007)

por Judith Miller

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395863,142 (3.64)7
Fiction. Christian Fiction. Historical Fiction. Historical series set in Pullman, Illinois, from bestselling author Judith Miller. Her meticulous research shines in an engaging, fast-paced story.
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  WBCLIB | Jun 13, 2023 |
I found this book at my independent movie theatre and thought: great! mystery and espionage during the Pullman era - this has all the elements of a fantastic spy story.
Instead, I got a melodrama with Christian morals - pretty much everything I don't like. I'll hand it to Miller though: she does a great cliffhanger and at the end of the book, I was tempted to seek out the sequel. Of course, that's never going to happen.
The writing is fluid but the characters are stereotypical, the plot predictable and the Bible theme both moralistic and simplistic.
Not for me!
Not for me. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Mar 16, 2021 |
Olivia Mott and her employer's daughter, Lady Charlotte, escape to America harboring all sorts of secrets. Olivia has relied on Lady Charlotte to provide her with a recommendation so that she can get a job at the prestigious Hotel Florence when they arrive in Pullman. Unfortunately for Olivia, Lady Charlotte's recommendation is so exaggerated that Olivia wonders how she will live up to her new boss's expectations! Lady Charlotte, meanwhile, must lie and claim to be a widow when she discovers she is pregnant from an affair. Nightly, Olivia and Charlotte literally have to compare notes so that each other knows what lies have been told to cover up previous lies.

Olivia also manages to capture the attention of two different men in town. Samuel Howard serves as a town manager of sorts for Mr. Pullman, the founder of the town, and Fred DeVault is a local employee. Mr. Howard would like to have Olivia all to himself at all times, while Olivia is developing a great affection toward Fred.

All the while, Olivia feels so guilty for all the lies that she must continue to tell. How can she ever pray to God, much less sit in church, when she knows her life is full of so much deceit?

This was my first experience with Judith Miller's writing, and I loved every minute of it. From the very beginning, In the Company of Secrets is filled with beautiful descriptions and a wonderful history of the town of Pullman, Illinois. Just a warning--be prepared to be left hanging because you will have no choice but to read book 2 to know the rest of the story! ( )
  blissbooksandjewels | Nov 26, 2020 |
(There are some spoilers in this review)

What happens when you build an entire life on a foundation of lies? Consequences!

Olivia travels to Pullman, Illinois from England with the Lady Charlotte. Charlotte is unmarried and pregnant. In order to be hired for a position as the assistant chef at the Hotel and to protect Charlotte's honor, they fabricate a pack of lies and stories about who they are. As time progresses, Olivia's closest friends Fred and his mother, Mrs. DeVault, as well as her cousin Albert and his girlfriend Martha are all deceived by who they are. In the end Olivia realizes the importance of honesty and seeks the Lord's forgiveness for what she has done. She tries to begin a fresh in her walk with the Lord. However, she keeps the truth about the lies hidden. She is eventually found out and has to face the consequences.

I am very baffled by this book. It drove me crazy at parts and I wanted to stop reading it, but I was also intrigued to see how it would all play out. I was disappointed in the end that the loose ends were not tied up. I understand that it is a series, however it felt very confusing at the close of the book. The two main characters were the reasons why I wanted to put the book down. Charlotte has her baby and neglects him and eventually abandons him. I know that this happens in the real world, but Charlotte's snobbery is the main reason behind her poor attitude towards the baby. Being a mother of 2 small children, this made me quite upset. Olivia is extremely naive when it comes to men and seems to be quite spineless when it comes to standing up for herself. She constantly lets herself get walked over and lives in complete fear that someone will find her out. I read for enjoyment and I prefer to read about women who are strong, truthful and stand up for what is right. I did enjoy the historical side of this book. Although, I am not quite sure where the "Postcards" come into play, learning a little about Pullman and the railworks in 1892 was quite interesting.

Even though I have conflicting feelings regarding this book, I am curious to see how Olivia's character progresses. Seeing as how the library does not yet have this series in electronic form though, I will not be continuing. I was able to purchase this book for free at Barnes & Noble.

Bethany House Publishers ( )
  BookwormMama14 | Jun 15, 2015 |
As it states in the front of this book, "Judith Miller is an author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels". I was entertained and educated on the town of Pullman, Illinois. My thinking was this series would take place on a Pullman train car (I didn't read what the story was about, but got this from the cover and the series title), and was surprised to discover that Mr. Pullman built a town around his production of his Pullman railroad cars. I enjoyed learning about this town and was pleasantly surprised at the end of the book by that fact that the author encouraged her readers to visit this town. I think I would like to do that next time I travel up near Chicago.

The Bible verse at the beginning of this story was aptly quoted, "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor.. . .". I quickly discovered how much trouble one can get into by not telling the truth. Olivia Mott didn't set out to lie, but she finds herself fleeing England and her job as an assistant cook to the Earl and Countess of Lanshire, and taking with her Lady Charlotte, their daughter. Upon arriving in Pullman, IL she finds herself in real trouble with a deceptive job reference, a pregnant Lady Charlotte, and a story to go along with it all which is far from the truth. She finds herself being sought after by a Pullman supervisor and a Pullman employee and although she only has eyes for one of them, she refuses to be honest with both of them. Eventually her lies will be found out and then there will be consequences.

I liked the story line, the characters and the things I learned about the town. I also liked the way it just naturally led itself into a sequel, book two, "Whispers Along the Rails". It left you hanging a bit as to what will become of Olivia and made me want to pick up book two and begin reading. There was a little bit of danger, adventure and romance and left me wanting more, which is a good fit for me. ( )
  judyg54 | Sep 15, 2014 |
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Fiction. Christian Fiction. Historical Fiction. Historical series set in Pullman, Illinois, from bestselling author Judith Miller. Her meticulous research shines in an engaging, fast-paced story.

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