A page-turning, emotional WW2 novel for fans of Barbara Taylor Bradford, Lucinda Riley and Kathryn Hughes
A view to the past…
When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.
Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…
Readers are loving The Secret Notebook:
‘I loved this book from beginning to end! I couldn’t put it down’ Laureen
‘A truly lovely, sweet and romantic story…A gorgeous, relaxing read’ Jenn
‘An excellent and heart-warming read filled with love, secrets, betrayals, and growth’ Etta
‘Made me feel very nostalgic for the place I grew up in’ Ruth
‘A great read that should be at the top of your summer book list’ Meredith
‘A beautiful story, I loved every word!’ Laura
The Secret Notebook tells two love stories that despite parallel themes are separated over time. Following the death of her writer husband, Rufus, Izzie has returned to her Nan’s former home in Blackpool with whom she had a very close relationship. As she sets about doing the place up so she can sell it, she finds her nan’s notebook hidden away in her old attic bedroom. Nan Molly’s notebook is filled to the rafters with diary entries, letters, photos and a zillion other memories written during the war years and telling her love story with Jack.
Molly’s story tells of her first encounter with her eventual husband and his twin brother when they are billeted to stay at her step-mother’s B&B. From dancing to falling in love, mistaken identities to getting pregnant, her nan’s story is full of love and hope, but it’s not without sadness and drama.
As Izzie reads this, she has met up with her own first love, the man she always thought rejected her, Justin. It becomes clear the two still have feelings for each other – can they overcome the misunderstandings that affected their lives as her nan did with those in hers?
It slightly amused me that when Izzie read about her nan stepping out with Joe, she presumed him to be her grandfather – the man she’d grown up with – as opposed to his twin brother, Jack (cue the misunderstanding that changed Nan’s life for the better) Maybe it’s just me, but as an adult, I knew my grandfather’s name; Izzie didn’t seem to.
Overall, the storyline is a tad predictable, but it is sweet and heart-warming and an easy read with some great insights into the war years and life in a Blackpool B&B back then. A quick read and most enjoyable as the two stories intersect.
My thanks to #NetGalley #HarperCollinsUK #OneMoreChapter and the author #JuliaWild for my copy of #TheSecretNotebook in exchange for an honest review.