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Publisher's Summary

“This is a spellbinding page-turner of a book.” (Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale.)

A mesmerizing novel of dark family secrets and a young woman’s rise and revenge set against the backdrop of the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The eve of destruction. After her mother’s death, penniless May Kimble lives a lonely life until an aunt she didn’t know existed summons her to San Francisco. There she’s welcomed into the wealthy Sullivan family and their social circle.

Initially overwhelmed by the opulence of her new life, May soon senses that dark mysteries lurk in the shadows of the Sullivan mansion. Her glamorous cousin often disappears in the night. Her aunt wanders about in a laudanum fog. And a maid keeps hinting that May is in danger. Trapped by betrayal, madness, and murder, May stands to lose everything, including her freedom, at the hands of those she trusts most.

Then, on an early April morning, San Francisco comes tumbling down. Out of the smoldering ruins, May embarks on a harrowing road to reclaim what is hers. This tragic twist of fate, along with the help of an intrepid and charismatic journalist, puts vengeance within May’s reach. But will she take it? 

©2021 Megan Chance (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about A Splendid Ruin

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Long story

I was excited for this book cuz I love historical fiction but this one fell flat for me. The story seems to go on and on forever and the main character, May Kimble was kind of irritating. She was so trusting and naive which I suppose she had to be to put her in the situation that IMO she got in. And while I love a good romance I feel like the romance in this story was a little forced and I certainly could have done without it. I was reading along while listening to this story and I’m not sure if it’s just the formatting of the ebook but there’s no discernible paragraphs or indents for characters’ dialogues. It was really hard to read, but Carly Robbins did a superb job narrating. So kudos to her!

5 people found this helpful

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Not uplifting

The protagonist gets even in the end, but starts herself on the road of spite, hatred, and revenge. She does not become the “better person.” (You could argue that she’s a little better than her uncle and cousin, but she’s definitely not at the other end of the spectrum.) Might there be a sequel that tells of the trouble her attitude gives her? Possibly her healing?

4 people found this helpful

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loved it all

There are some audible stories that I wish I could love , but the reader has an annoying voice... not this book! The story was great and told amazingly. Highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The Story Fell Flat

Carly Robins did a wonderful job narrating a story that just seemed to fizzle out in the end. Even the author seemed to be throwing everything at it towards the last hour of narration but it was too late and not satisfying. It took a long time for naive May Kimble, the main character, to smarten and toughen up and then to seek revenge. The romance part of the book came too late and was unnecessary. However, I enjoyed how the San Francisco earthquake literally saved her from her mistakes. All in all, the story was OK and a pleasant read.

4 people found this helpful

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Good book

I really enjoyed this book (Audible). Wonderful story line, characters and narrator. The ending was truly one I did not expect. It was the perfect ending!

2 people found this helpful

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distracting narrator

story was ok, but voices of narrator were distracting. a little robotic with exception of voice for main character.

2 people found this helpful

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Close...but no cigar!

The most interesting parts of the book were the description of the earthquake and its aftermath and the conditions of the asylum. The rest of the story seemed a bit too soap opera like for my taste. Characters were fun, but I almost quit reading until the secrets began. The world of the nouveau rich seemed trite and slightly canned until the introduction of deception and tangled lives. I enjoyed listening to the story, but it could have delivered a much stronger message with more originality and imagination.

1 person found this helpful

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A pleasant surprise.

I did not know what to expect with this book, but I enjoyed it very much. It started out a little slow, but the build up was necessary to understand later events in the story. The main character was a little annoying and naive in the beginning, but she grows and changes throughout the book. I also enjoyed the descriptions. I felt like I was going back in time.

1 person found this helpful

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an excellent story

Very well written, poignant and engaging with interesting historical aspects bringing the past to life.
I recommend it unreservedly.

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I left my heart in A Splendid Ruin

As a former San Franciscan, I enjoyed this historical tour of the city I love. The plot was expertly woven and the characters very cleverly developed.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-24-21

Great story and performance

Everything I enjoy, glitz amd glamour along with danger and intrigue and a strong woman

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  • Mitch
  • 03-08-21

a good story

An enjoyable story, it certainly didn't evolve predictably. The mental institution was interesting, and I finished the book hoping for a sequel.

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  • Christopher Morris
  • 01-24-21

An Enjoyable Listen

This was my first experience with historical fiction and I really enjoyed it. I found the narrator kept me engaged and the story unfolded at a nice pace. The ending may be a little disappointing for some but I enjoyed it. Wouldn't mind looking into some more of this author's work.