It was lovely to pop in to visit Jo at My Chestnut Reading Tree as part of the Secrets We Keep blog tour. Jo has a super selection of reviews in both crime and women’s fiction – well worth a visit!!
You can check out the stop here:
and here’s a copy of the post:
Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour for Faith Hogans second novel Secrets We Keep.
About this book…
Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept.
A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele Parks.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?
As soon as I saw the beautiful cover of this book, I knew it was one I had to read and thank goodness I did as I have now discovered a fabulous new writer. And Faith Hogan is definitely a name for everyone to look out for in the future as I have a feeling she is just going to increase in popularity. Here she used historical flashbacks to a huge success as she tells the tale of Kate who, very bravely, returns to her family in Ireland and changes her lifestyle for a more peaceful existence. But the past had a way of catching up with you when you least expect it, even if it’s not your secret that’s about to be uncovered.
I absolutely adored this book. It came to me at a time when I needed a warm and cosy read and chose this due to its promise of a mystery and its stunning front cover. I wanted to be swept away in into another world and this worked perfectly for me. The village that Kate relocates to sounded idyllic, a slower and more relaxed way of life that I’m sure most of us dream of running away to on our most stressful days. And the idea of The Bathhouse and tearoom made me practically pack a bag and jump on a plane to search it out! It’s my favourite daydream being able to live the lifestyle that lands on Kate’s all here.
I have always been a fan of the historic flashback and here it is used to great effect, telling the story of Kate’s grandmother and great Aunt and twisting it around Kate and Iris in the present day. Iris was a girl ahead of her time and I found her story heart breaking in places as her future would have been very different if she had been born years later. There was a real sense of time and place in those chapters as they flowed beautifully while keeping the reader in suspense about what had happened at the bathhouse and more importantly, why. Faith Hogan has created some warmly written characters here and used beautiful and atmospheric settings to enhance the chain of events that unravel.
I think the only character I didn’t take to was Todd. The chapters leading up to his own epiphany didn’t really make me warm to him like I had expected and I usually quite like a bad boy! So by the time his story merged with everyone else’s I really wasn’t sure where it would take him or even where I hoped it would take him.
I felt like I was leaving behind old friends when I finished this homey tale. This is a life affirming, relaxed and engrossing read from start to finish and I loved it. I can’t wait to see where Faith Hogan takes us from here and I will definitely be waiting patiently to find out.
Thank you to the author and Aria for my netgalley copy of Secrets We Keep.
Secrets We Keep: A bittersweet story of love, loss and life is published by Aria on 1st February 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.