Today is release day for The Secrets of Hawthorn Place by my good friend Jenni Keer! I was lucky enough to get an early copy of it and I can promise, you'll love this fun time dual-time story! Read on for the blurb and my review!
Two houses, hundreds of miles apart...yet connected always.
When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.
But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.
Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.
What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever...
What a wonderfully, well-written treat The Secrets of Hawthorn Place is! The premise of this novel drew me in, simply because I couldn’t figure how Ms. Keer would be able to write a book about 1896 and the present day without it either being boring or confusing. Let me tell you, it was neither. The past flowed like tiny ripples in a creek, always carrying along the present-day part of the story.
When the book opens, Molly, a rather poorly put-together young woman, arrives home to her parents’ house for some coddling after a relationship gone bad. It’s immediate to the reader that Molly has some issues, the least of which is the breakup with her boyfriend and where she will live because of it. Molly is struggling having graduated college, but not finding a place in the world where she fits. She needs to do some soul-searching and thankfully, her mother sees it more than Molly does. Needing to place to stay for a month, but also needing closure and forgiveness from her now-deceased grandmother, Molly takes the journey to stay with her grandfather on the coast. It is there that she will come to visit the past in a way that hasn’t happened since the 1900s.
While we are reading Molly’s story and her adventures along the way to find herself, find true love, mature, and find a place in the world, we’re reading the story of Percy Gladwell and Violet Marston and all that transpired in their lives one hundred years earlier. It was their love that created the vexing situations Molly’s family has lived with over the years.
It is difficult to review this book without giving spoilers from either the past or the present part of this novel. I can say every word was worth reading and the beautiful descriptions of the Dorset coast made me feel like I was there rather than in the middle of Wisconsin. The ending was so much fun and left you smiling as you closed the book with a happy heart. I was swept away by the love that was hidden and found in The Secrets of Hawthorn Place. A sweeping five stars from me for this novel that defies time but trusts in love.
Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales, filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters.
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