I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for The Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeleine and be able to finally share by review of this fantastic book.
The Secrets Between Us is available on ebook now and will be available in paperback on the 19th April. The ebook is currently only 99p for the whole of January and can be purchased here.
A gripping mystery with a heart-breaking revelation, The Secrets Between Us is a sublimely satisfying story of lost love, betrayal and the dangers of war.
Perfect for fans of Kate Morton’s The Lake House and Dinah Jeffries’ Before the Rains.
High in the mountains in the South of France, eighteen-year-old Ceci Corvin is trying hard to carry on as normal. But in 1943, there is no such thing as normal; especially not for a young woman in love with the wrong person. Scandal, it would seem, can be more dangerous than war.
Fifty years later, Annie is looking for her long-lost grandmother. Armed with nothing more than a sheaf of papers, she travels from England to Paris in pursuit of the truth. But as she traces her grandmother’s story, Annie uncovers something she wasn’t expecting, something that changes everything she knew about her family – and everything she thought she knew about herself…
I’ve been a big fan of Laura Madeleine since I read her first book The Confectioner’s Daughter. So you can therefore imagine my excitement when I was offered a copy of her latest book and invited onto the blog tour, as I think this is her best book yet.
The story alternates between 1993 and Annie’s journey to try and find her grandmere, and Ceci’s story in 1943 describing her life in a small mountain village near the Italian border. Unusually for a dual time line story I enjoyed both sides of the story, finding both Annie’s and Ceci’s story fascinating.
I’m a big fan of WW2 fiction and love reading books about that period, particularly if they are regarding a different side of the war then I had read before. I hadn’t read much about the Italian Occupation of parts of France or about the Jew that were sent to border towns to be kept an eye on. The story of their plight was very poignant to read about . We all know the story of what happened in the Holocaust but I still always hope for a happy of different outcome and then the truth of what happened always shocks me anew.
Laura’s fantastic descriptions of life in the small french town makes you feel that you are really there watching all the action unfold. I felt that I knew all of the characters personally which made me much more invested in what happens to them. As with her other books the author particularly has a fantastic way of describing food, sot that the reader feels that they can almost smell and taste the food mentioned. I again found myself looking up recipes for the food that she mentions as I wanted to make it myself.
One of the best things about this book was that there were no amazing coincidences . Annie doesn’t discover her grand mere or her story by chance, instead she unfolds the secrets in real time at a normal pace which I felt made this story more realistic and enjoyable.
The build up to the ending was absolutely brilliant. The reader is aware about halfway through the book that something big happens at a certain date, and with every chapter headed with a date the reader is very aware of a count down as such towards this date. Toward the end of the book I literally couldn’t put the book down and read late into the night, when with a small baby I should have been getting sleep while I could. The tension and uncertainty felt by the characters, in particular Celeste, was almost palpable and felt so real that i was totally swept away with the story. I simultaneously wanted to read on to discover what happened and wanted the story to never end as I had so enjoyed it! Always a sign of a good book.
This is Laura Madeleine’s third book and the third that I have been lucky enough to read. She is one of my favourite authors and one that I always recommend when asked. A comparison to Kate Morton is quite common at the moment but in this case it is definitely deserved and if you are a fan of Kate Morton or Kate Mosse you will enjoy this book.
Huge thanks to Hannah Bright and Transworld publishers for my copy of this book and for inviting me on the blog tour.
About The author:
After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine changed her mind, and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge. She now writes fiction, as well as recipes, and was formerly the resident cake baker for Domestic Sluttery. She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom. You can find her on twitter @esthercrumpet.
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