WHISPERS IN THE READING ROOM

Shelley Shepard Gray

Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks.

more …

Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder.

She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man

so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

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  • Zondervan
  • Paperback
  • November 2015
  • 352 Pages
  • 9780310338499

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About Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist

for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time

HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes

too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike

trail.

Praise

Gray is a master at integrating rich details and historical accuracies to create an engaging tale

that will take the reader back in time, Strong secondary characters are well integrated. It is a

shame to see this series end.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 starred review

Shelley Gray writes a well-paced story full of historical detail that will invite you into the

romance, the glamour . . . and the mystery surrounding the Chicago World’s Fair.”

—Colleen Coble, USA Today bestselling author of Rosemary Cottage and the Hope Beach

series

Discussion Questions

Is Sebastian Marks a hero? Why or why not?

What were some of Lydia’s strengths? How did she prove to be a capable heroine for a novel set at the turn of the century?

All four main characters have spent most of their lives trying to find the right place to fit in. Do you think this is a common occurrence? Does everyone have to search at one time in his or her life?

The theme of friendship runs throughout the novel, even with Sergio Vlas. How did the need for friendship drive the characters’ actions?

In what ways are Lydia and Sebastian alike? How are they a good match?

What did you think about Vincent Hunt?

One of my favorite things about the writing of this novel was the characters’ love of literature and libraries. How have books enriched your life?

What do you think the future holds in store for Bridget and Vincent? What obstacles, if any, do you feel they will have to overcome?

Each character in the novel eventually comes to terms with the fact that they have been attempting to solve all their problems by themselves. How has prayer and faith helped you over the years?