Please join me today on the Blog Tour for an enchanting Dual-Timeline story set in Ireland which I have been fortunate to receive an advance copy of and am thrilled to share my thoughts here in my review.
The Forgotten Secret - Katherine McGurl - My Review
The Forgotten Secret is a captivating dual time-line story which follows the fascinating lives of two women living a century apart, each battling for independence, which mesmerised and thrilled me throughout.
In the present we have middle aged Clare, a somewhat downtrodden wife and mother, who seizes the chance of escape from her humdrum life which has suddenly been provided by a surprize inheritance, a rather dilapidated farmhouse in Meath Ireland. She is married to an utter stinker of a husband and personally, I find it virtually impossible to believe anyone would have stayed with him the length of time she has! Having brought up 2 delightful sons, now both adults has been one of her greatest achievements and one result of the marriage she doesn’t regret.
This made me view her as a total doormat to begin with but she actually grew on me a lot and as she grows the strength to stand up for herself, I began to understand why she didn’t want to rock the boat until she was handed a lifeline. It also made me think how many women today must remain stuck in a pretty dire marriage, just because they really haven’t had the chance to break free and fear their own inability to cope alone.
Anyway, Clare moves to Ireland and into the run-down old building she has inherited, alone, with the plans to begin to renovate it, little by little. As she gradually begins to blossom and make new friends she also makes a discovery of some old hidden documents which make her wonder about past occupants of the farm and she begins to do a little research.
Meantime we have a charming parallel story running. 100 years earlier, also in County Meath, lives Ellen. She too gets a chance to break free from her humdrum existence with her grumpy and unappreciative Dad, as she takes a job in service in the Big House. But this is 1919 in Ireland and the country is divided, trouble is brewing and Ellen, young and in love, falls foul of the conflict and finds her life changed beyond recognition.
The two stories are both superb in their own right. The young woman and the somewhat older one both wormed their way into my heart as I read late into the night finding the book so captivating I couldn’t bear to put it down. It flows effortlessly in an appealing style to intrigue readers of all ages.
A completely engrossing drama that had me in its clutch throughout with a heartbreaking core and a little twist about how the two women's stories are linked which surprised and delighted me.
The Forgotten Secret
A country at war
It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.
And a long-buried secret
A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.
For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.
Buy your copy here or from your favourite bookstore:
About the Author and where to find her
The Author - Katherine McGurl
Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels. @
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