Thank you to Sarah Hardy for the invitation to join the blog tour and to Bookouture for the digital review copy. Last year I read and enjoyed The Girl Without a Name by Suzanne Goldring (see review at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/11/05/the-girl-without-a-name-by-suzanne-goldring/)
Two ordinary sisters. A long and brutal war. A heroic sacrifice…London, 1915. As German bombs rain down on the East End of London and hungry children queue for rations in the blistering cold, fifteen-year-old Florrie is forced to grow up fast. With her father fighting in the muddy trenches, Florrie turns to her older sister Edith for comfort. But the war has changed Edith. She has grown quiet, with dark shadows under her eyes, and has started leaving the house at night in secret. When Florrie follows her sister through the dark and winding streets of London, she is shocked by what she discovers. But she knows she must keep her sister’s secret for the sake of their family, even if she herself must pay the ultimate price…
Years later Kate, running from her broken relationship, is sorting through her dead aunt Florrie’s house, which she shared with her sister Edith. As she sits on the threadbare carpets, looking at photos of Florrie during the war, she notices the change in her aunt – from carefree young girl with a hopeful smile to a hollow-cheeked young woman, with dark sad eyes.Determined to put her family’s ghosts to rest, Kate must unearth the secret past of her two aunts. Why is there a hidden locked room in the little house they shared? What is the story behind the abandoned wedding dress wrapped in tissue and tied up with a ribbon? And when Kate discovers the tragic secrets that have bound her family together, will she ever be able to move on?
A heartbreaking historical novel of war, tragedy and the sacrifices we make for those we love. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Kristin Hannah and Victoria Hislop will be hooked by The Shut-Away Sisters.
A thought provoking book about how the First World War changed the lives of so many families in ways that couldn’t have been anticipated in 1914. I’ve read many historical fiction books set in this period, and this book created some interesting discussion points about loss and grief. The story also looks at the impact of the Spanish Flu, the last global pandemic the world faced.
I enjoyed reading about how Kate discovered the secrets about her great aunts that had been hidden for decades. However, it was the story of the era of Florrie and Edith that I enjoyed the most in this book.
Happy to recommend for a thought provoking read about how lives were changed by the First World War.
Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant, specialising in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Whether she is working in her thatched cottage in Hampshire or her seaside home in North Cornwall, Suzanne finds inspiration in the secrets hidden by everyday life.