I started reading this book during a busy month. Any other time, I would've devoured this wonderful tale of loss, chance, family secrets, and finding one's way home despite the obstacles. There are those books that one reads and it is just that - reading. Whilst the story may be somewhat entertaining, it ceases to draw you in and fails to connect oneself to place or protagonist. Just another book you quickly want to finish. Then, there's that lovely, lively book that finds its way to your hands and once you've lost yourself in its pages you never want to leave it behind. Secrets of Nanreath Hall is the latter and exactly why I love historical fiction. Set between alternating periods of WWI and WWII, two women struggle to define themselves within a distinguished family that has hidden their secrets well inside the walls of Nanreath Hall.
Another fabulous read of 2016. I fell in love with ALL of the characters, each one growing closer to my heart as the story gained momentum. While the plot is not altogether original, I never felt as if I'd read this before. The scenes of war are vivid and I could hear the engines of airplanes screaming across the British skies. I could sense the fear and feel the heartbreak when letters brought news of lost loved ones, another casualty of war that changed lives in an instant. I ached for the young soldiers dashing off to war, imagining himself a hero but returning as a broken weary veteran, a constant battle inside the war between remembering and forgetting. It felt as if I was at the train depot standing among the women who kissed their soldier's lips for the very last time. Nanreath Hall came to life and I could smell the salty sea air, picture the transformation of the once great home now being used as hospital for the wounded and dying. Yes! Strong characters lived and breathed between the pages and captured my imagination until the very end. Superbly written. Five shiny gold stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"Doubt that the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love." - Shakespeare
*I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to William Morrow for sponsoring the giveaway and to Alix Rickloff for writing a story that I'll always remember.