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Publisher's Summary

Beloved New York Times best-selling author Susanna Kearsley delivers a riveting novel that deftly intertwines the tales of two women, divided by centuries and forever changed by a clash of love and fate.

For nearly 300, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher.

Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing - for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

As Mary's gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to her, Sara faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew - about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women are united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the unlikely coincidences of fate.

©2015 Susanna Kearsley (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

A grand adventure...Susanna Kearsley just keeps getting better and better! (Lauren Willig, New York Times best-selling author)

What listeners say about A Desperate Fortune

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Thoroughly enjoyed the dual stories...

What did you love best about A Desperate Fortune?

The historical side of the tale

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Desperate Fortune?

Mary being swept away by her long lost brother

What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

she brings to life both main characters

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Engulfed

1 person found this helpful

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2 in 1

I have had this on my TBR list for a while now, and I’m sorry I didn’t get to it sooner!
It is a Great story coupled with Amazing narration!
I particularly liked that the story followed 2 woman in 2 separate time periods, yet their stories were not intertwined, which keep for an interesting story, wanting to know what happened to both of them!
The narration was fabulous! It is rare that a single narrator can pull off male and female, as well as different languages and accents.
I have now added both Susanna Kearsley AND Katherine Kellgren to my favourite search’s.

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Very good narration. Nice, absorbing story

Miss Kellgren is one of the best narrators I've ever listened to at Audible. Her very good narration made the story come alive. And another wonderful novel from Miss Kearsley. Hope she writes book 2 on Mary and McPherson's adventures in Spain.

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  • D Taylor
  • 12-26-16

Painful narration

Love Susanna Kearsley books but the narration by Katherine Kellgreen spoils them. Bring back Carolyn Bonneymen! I have just seen the latest edition to Audible is also Katherine Kellgreen so I am reluctant to get it. Overall this story is great but the pronunciation and style of narrating is hard on the ear. I would say give it a try and get past the voice but it's not easy.

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  • bookylady
  • 10-10-16

Interesting Story, Spoiled By The Narrator

Any additional comments?

Susanna Kearsley has long been a favourite author of mine and I was really looking forward to getting engrossed in this book. It has her hallmark elements of mixing the past and the present and the subject matter ( exiled Jacobites, ciphers, modern day code-breaking, Asperger's syndrome ) was really interesting. But.... the overall experience was spoiled by the narrator. Her voice was sometimes boring and sometimes strident and I found it off-putting. Part of me wanted to give up on it; I only kept going because I wanted to learn more about the Jacobite elements. It was a good job I persevered because otherwise I would have missed a whole section at the end about the author's research which, for me, was the best part of the book.

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  • Nicola
  • 05-20-16

let down by the narrator.

very disappointing. couldn't bring myself to finish the first chapter as the narrator was so bad. Another month to wait now until I can order another audio book. I will certainly be downloading samples before purchasing from now on.

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  • Amanda
  • 08-29-15

interesting story

but spoiled for me by the way it was read. I found it frustrating to have the voice of the main character in the present time over acted. it's a shame because I've always enjoyed Susanna Kearsley's books

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  • Patricia
  • 06-22-15

A great story, shame about the Narrator

A really good story but unfortunately the Narrators voice grated at times upon me. The story was at times like one of the characters, very much monologued! Sentences were so long that it was hard to follow at times, it would have been improved by shorter ones. I have had to be honest, it did spoil my enjoyment at times.

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  • Margaret
  • 01-23-16

Terrible

This is the worst book I have ever read from the Author, I love her books but words fail me with this one...the narration is awful...I persevered but it got no better...I gave up before the end!

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  • Nick
  • 05-27-21

Contrary to other reviews....

I thought the narrator was fine, found the story slow at times but well researched & interesting enough to keep me hooked.

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  • Ellen Lingwood
  • 03-25-21

A rather dull story.

Not Ms Kearsley’s best story but it was ok. However I’m afraid I found the narrator’s voice irritating She was good at performing different accents but she didn’t enhance an already mediocre book.