The gripping new historical novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Bletchley Park and The Forgotten Secret.
A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.
1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…
Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of a disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?
Sweeping historical fiction perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Kathryn Hughes and Tracy Rees.
This is a fascinating time slip between two very different women - Esther and Millie. They are tied together by location though their lives have very different trajectories - Esther is a smuggler (much like half her town), determined to help her father at his pub, whereas Millie is looking for a fresh start in what used to be Esther's home a few centuries later.
Both time periods have a super strong sense of place and such a different vibe, but I loved seeing how the two different stories tied together. I found some of the past emotional and tense whereas the present was more hopeful, even from the very start, and found myself rooting for both women.
For a quality time slip with smugglers, betrayal, and fresh starts with home renovation, I seriously recommend giving this one a go!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via Rachel's Random Resources; all opinions are my own.
Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe but home is Mudeford, where this novel is set.
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