Wow! Brenda Janowitz, author of “The Audrey Hepburn Estate” has written a spectacular, captivating, and intriguing novel. I loved everything about this book. The genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Suspense and Fiction. The author vividly describes the characters, the scenery, the plot, and the events. Brenda Janowitz is a wonderful storyteller, and brings such a sensory feel to the story. One can smell the flowers, the food, the drink, hear the characters, feel and see the art. The author does raise the question, “When is a home, and when does a house become a home.” The author also discusses visiting the past, second chances and forgiveness.
Brenda Janowitz was inspired to write this story based on Audrey Hepburn, especially in the. movie role of “Sabrina”, and the Glen Cove Estate where her characters lived above the garage, known as “The Audrey Hepburn Estate”. There is an added section in the novel where the author discusses events in the book that evolved from Audrey Hepburn and “Sabrina”.
The colorful and dramatic characters are described as complex and complicated. There is “good and evil” in some characters. The protagonist, Emma Jansen, a Chef, is devastated when she hears that the house she grew up in, is going to be demolished. She takes the train to Glen Cove, to see the mansion, and the apartment over the garage where she lived with her family. Emma’s mother was the maid to a wealthy family. Emma remembers her childhood friends, Henry and Leo. Henry was the wealthy grandson, and Leo was the son of the family’s driver. Emma always loved Henry, but it seemed like it was forbidden, because of Henry’s wealth.
In the present, Leo, Henry, and Emma meet again. Emma wants to prevent the house from being destroyed. There are several deep and dark secrets from the past that can be devastating. There are betrayals, lies, and murders. There are twists and turns. There is also the suspense of stolen art, Nazi’s and Nazi hunters.
I highly recommend this entertaining, memorable and thought-provoking novel. Kudos, Brenda Janowitz on writing such a fantastic novel!