The Betrayal (The Guernsey Novels book 6) by Anne Allen book review

the betrayal anne allen

The Betrayal (The Guernsey Novel – Book 6) written by Anne Allen, publisher Sarnia Press is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2l8KipY

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?
Who betrayed Leo?
Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?

renoir guernsey

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Two tragedies just less than 70 years apart, is there a connection?

A time slip mystery that takes you to a war torn Guernsey, who at first were coping fairly well but with the threat of German occupation the small island and it’s community were soon left isolated from the rest of Europe.

Now in 2011 Fiona and her twin brother Nigel, the new owners of a long-established antique shop in Guernsey, are fizzing with excitement of the paintings they have just found hidden amongst the property.  With Fiona’s expertise in the field of Historical Art and her current work for the V & A museum, Fiona recognises the possible work of local artists Naftel and Toplis but another painting looks almost like a Renoir, which totally astounds Fiona.  Renoir was known to have created fifteen paintings of Guernsey during his stay on the isle in 1883.  To have first hand sight of one of his works was every Art Historian’s dream.  The twins, Fiona and Nigel, knew then that what they have stumbled across could be a pivotal moment in the art world and especially important that this was found in Guernsey.

As Fiona was authenticating the painting back in London she knew nothing of the danger her brother Nigel was in.  Coming home on a high with news of the painting Fiona was in for a traumatic shock when she discovers Nigel’s body.  Fiona is utterly devastated, she has lost not only her twin brother, her best friend but also the last remaining member of her immediate family.  She is shocked that the police believe Nigel’s death may be suicide and sets out to find the truth with the help of a local private detective.

We follow Fiona on her search to find out what exactly happened on this fateful day.  We also follow her on her journey to find the original owners of the Renoir painting.

The storyline also travels back in time to 1940 and of the inhabitants of Guernsey during the war, in particular to Leo Bichard, his young wife Teresa and new baby Judith.  The fear of the future during the war, the fear of being separated during evacuation and the fear of losing everything.

I really enjoyed this story especially going back in time to 1940, reading about the social ramifications of the war fascinates me but also as Guernsey was such a small isle I could understand how isolated and alone the islanders must have felt.  The author, Anne Allen, has packed The Betrayal with drama, history, intrigue, anguish and grief but I also felt a strength of warmth of friends rallying around to support one of their own in their desperate hour of need.  Also the spark of love at a time when your life has been shattered was a welcome distraction to all the emotional despair.  4.5/5*

To learn more about Anne Allen and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://anneallen.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author

 

 

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The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman book review

summer of impossible things

The Summer of Impossible Things written by Rowan Coleman, publisher Ebury Press, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audio CD and audiobook format.  The hardcover is still available at an incredible price of £6.00 on amazon UK!

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2xrI6yC

Product Details (as amazon page)

If you could change the past, would you?

How far would you go to save the person you love?
Luna is about to do everything she can to save her mother’s life.
Even if it means sacrificing her own.

bay ridge bridge sunset

When you finish reading a story that completely overwhelms you and you are left shaken with emotion and feeling almost hungover this is the sign of an excellent novel.  Rowan Coleman’s latest novel, The Summer of Impossible Things, got me from the start to the finish.  I was captivated by this almost other worldly love story.  A story of a love between a mother and a daughter; a story of a love that seemed almost impossible to believe but the consequence of never feeling the strength of this love is almost too  heart breaking to think about.

We follow Luna on her quest, along with her sister Pia, to find out about her mother’s pre-wed life in Brooklyn, NYC.  To 1977 when the streets were filled with a buzz surrounding the making of the movie Saturday Night Fever which brought certain fame to parts of the city.  To a time when the city was filled with a darkness that brought a fear.  To a time that was such a pivotal moment in her mother’s life that it weighed her down.

Such a moving, poignant story that left me spellbound, with my emotions heightened and the anticipation of what was to come was almost too hard to bear.  A book I was desperate to find out what happens next but as each chapter drew on I was fearful to how the author would finish my emotive journey with the characters … I wasn’t disappointed.  Truly outstanding storytelling.

To find out more about Rowan Coleman and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://rowancoleman.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/rowancoleman

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rowancolemanauthor/

The Traveller’s Daughter by Michelle Vernal book review

the travellers daughter

The Traveller’s Daughter written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2el7paJ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Her mother’s secret…

For fifty years Rosa kept the secrets of her past hidden from her beloved daughter, Kitty. The hurt and pain, the guilt over what she’d done, was something she could never face. But now the time has come to share the truth of Kitty’s heritage…

Her daughter’s discovery…

Kitty never knew anything about her mother’s early life. But after her death, the discovery of Rosa’s journal opens Kitty’s eyes to a whole new world-a family she’s never known and a love she’s never dreamed of…

The fate of a family…

Now Kitty must travel to her mother’s homeland, but after fifty years, can the sins of the past be forgiven? Or will history repeat itself? With a decades-old family feud threatening her future, can Kitty put right what once went so wrong?

Join Kitty as she follows in her mother’s footsteps from the South of France to Ireland, discovering who she is along the way in this beautiful tale of forbidden love and fancy cupcakes!

french macarons

This was a stunning emotive journey of discovering your heritage, a heritage that has been kept hidden from you since you were born 31 years ago.  A journey that opens up old wounds from a past that has never been forgotten, a journey that evokes so many emotions from newly felt wounds.  A journey of self-discovery.  A journey that starts healing the hurt and feuds from a past that almost felt lifetimes ago.  A beautiful love story in two parts spanning generations.  Michelle Vernal has written an intoxicating story filled with wonderful Irish dialect, charm and traditions surrounding the folklore and heritage of the travellers of Ireland.  I do love it when an author expresses her characters using a regional accent it brings the personas to life and you can feel their emotions more.

This story of a time slip romance and family saga is set in the current day with Kitty grieving for her recently deceased mother.  She is contacted by a stranger, a man that knew her mother who wishes for Kitty to travel to the south of France to retrace her mother’s steps in a pivotal moment in the man’s career and also one that was momentous for her mother.  A jpeg of a photo of her mother is attached with this message and Kitty is literally spellbound by the image of her mother as a young woman and the look of utter adoration at the young man aside of her.  As Kitty knew nothing of her mother’s past from before she married Kitty’s father she is intrigued to learn more.  She sets off on an unknown adventure to the south of France hoping to learn more of her mother’s upbringing and young adult life.

I adored this story from the present day of Kitty being flown to France and to the story of Rosa her mother growing up as a traveller in Ireland and falling in love with a young man from a family that held a longstanding feud with her own.  Hearing about the lifestyle of the travellers was fascinating and felt a little idealistic with their simple attitudes to life and moving along when the time felt right.  Life was ultimately very hard for the travellers but was faced with a strength and love to survive.

An evocative, emotive romance that I didn’t want to end.  This was my first introduction to the work of Michelle Vernal and I can’t wait to read more of her stories.

To find out more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following links:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MichelleVernal

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/michellevernalnovelist