24 July 2020

The Widow of Rose House | First Line Friday + The Friday 56

First Line Friday is hosted weekly by Hoarding Books.
The Friday 56 is hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

I have to finish a few books this weekend (because I'm a book-club procrastinator), including The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller.

First Line: Alva Penrose Rensselaer Webster had been inside Delmonico's for nine seconds before Mrs. Henry Biddington asked the maitre d'hôtel to throw her out.

From Page 56: Did it change anything? She still didn't have the time. She still didn't believe in ghosts—couldn't afford to believe in ghosts.


A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel.

It's 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren't as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn't need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.

Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva's new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva's history―and her heart.

Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: October 8, 2019

Now, feel free to leave a line from a book near you in the comments below.
And be sure to stop by Hoarding Books and Freda's Voice for a peek into other books.


  1. Happy Friday!

    This one sounds like a really interesting read, and I really love that cover.

    On my blog this week, I'm sharing the first line from Remembering the Cowboy by Mandi Blake:

    "Camille Vanderbilt was back in Wyoming on a mission: find Noah Harding."

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend with lots of time to get your reading caught up :)

  2. Interesting lines! Have a wonderful weekend!!

  3. I'm currently reading Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks (a very cool name, btw). I'm on chapter 12, so I'll share the first line from there: "Seawater made poor wash water." I think I'd have to agree! Hope you have an excellent weekend. 🙂❤📚

  4. I love that opening! Happy weekend!

  5. Happy Friday! I've been in the mood to read my old Victorian novels, so my first line is from "St. Elmo" by author Augusta J. Evans. This is not the actual first line, but one that I like for how descriptive it is:

    "Until her wild song waked echoes among the far-off rocks, the holy hush of early morning had rested like a benediction upon the scene, as though nature laid her broad finger over her great lips, and waited in reverent silence the advent of the sun."

  6. Happy Friday! Today, I'm sharing the first line from A Foreign Crown by Jen Geigle Johnson. "The mist over the water cleared enough that Prince Layton Christian Wilhelm could see through his spyglass the Jolly Roger unfurl off the topmast of the enemy ship."


  7. Happy Friday!!

    Over on my blog I am sharing the first line from Start with Me by Kara Isaac.
    "Of course, this latest allegation has been a huge shock to all of us."


    Have a lovely weekend!

  8. I like the opening, even though this is not something that I usually read :)

  9. Sounds good. Thanks for sharing!

  10. My first line is from DON’T KEEP SILENT by Elizabeth Goddard
    Denver, Colorado
    Dread warred with hope as Rae Burke shivered in the cold outside on the porch.