One Moonlit Night by Rachel Hore

The hardback book

Thank you to Rhiannon and Sara-Jade at Simon and Schuster UK for the invitation and stunning hardback book to read and review for the blog tour. I enjoyed reading A Beautiful Spy last year and you can read my review at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2021/09/17/a-beautiful-spy-by-rachel-hore-2/

Synopsis:

Accept it, he is dead.
No, it’s not true.
It is. Everyone thinks so except you.

Forced to leave their family home in London after it is bombed, Maddie and her two young daughters take refuge at Knyghton, the beautiful country house in Norfolk where Maddie’s husband Philip spent the summers of his childhood.

But Philip is gone, believed to have been killed in action in northern France. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Maddie refuses to give up hope that she and Philip will some day be reunited.
 
Arriving at Knyghton, Maddie feels closer to her missing husband, but she soon realises that there’s a reason Philip has never spoken to her about his past. Something happened at Knyghton one summer years before. Something that involved Philip, his cousin Lyle and a mysterious young woman named Flora.
 
Maddie’s curiosity turns to desperation as she tries to discover the truth, but no one will speak about what happened all those years ago, and no one will reassure her that Philip will ever return to Knyghton.

The extraordinarily powerful new novel from bestselling author Rachel Hore. 

My thoughts:

The book starts with two pages set in 1977, with Grace waiting to meet someone in London.

Then we travel back in time to 1941, when a very young Grace finds herself homeless after a German bomb destroys her family home. Her mother Maddie has been told that her husband is missing after the Dunkirk evacuations. Maddie, Grace and Sarah travel to Norfolk to stay with Philip’s family at an old manor house, Knyghton.

Knyghton holds many secrets for the Anderson family, and Maddie starts to learn more about the family as she settles into her new life.

We also hear Philip’s story, about his journey across France, avoiding the occupying German forces, whilst trying to get back home to his family.

One Moonlit Night was an enjoyable read, full of mystery, history and family drama. Maddie is a strong character who is seeking to do her best for her family. This is another excellent historical fiction novel by Rachel Hore I’m happy to recommend.

Author Bio (from Amazon):

I’m the author of eleven bestselling novels, the most recent of which is A Beautiful Spy. My twelfth, One Moonlit Night, is published in the UK in May 2022.

I came to writing quite late, after a career editing fiction at HarperCollins in London. My husband and I had moved out to Norwich with our three young sons and I’d had to give up my job and writing was something that I’d always wanted to try. I originally studied history, so it was wonderful finally to put my knowledge to good use and to write The Dream House, which is partly set in the 1920s in Suffolk and London.

Most of my novels are dual narrative, often called ‘time slip’, with a story in the present alternating with one set in the past. I love the freedom that they give me to escape into the past, but also the dramatic ways in which the stories interact. My characters are often trying to solve some mystery about the past and by doing so to resolve some difficulty or puzzle in their own lives.

The books often involve a lot of research and this takes me down all sorts of interesting paths. For The Glass Painter’s Daughter I took an evening class in working with coloured glass. My creations were not very amazing, but making them gave me insight into the processes so that my characters’ activities would feel authentic. For A Week in Paris I had to research Paris in World War II and the early 1960s through films and books and by visiting the city – that was a great deal of work for one novel. Last Letter Home involved me touring a lot of country houses with old walled kitchen gardens in search of atmosphere and to explore the different kinds of plants grown there.

Places often inspire my stories. The Memory Garden, my second novel, is set in one of my favourite places in the world – Lamorna Cove in Cornwall – which is accessed through a lovely hidden valley. A Place of Secrets is set in a remote part of North Norfolk near Holt, where past and present seem to meet. Southwold in Suffolk, a characterful old-fashioned seaside resort with a harbour and a lighthouse, has been a much loved destination for our family holidays and has made an appearance in fictional guise in several of my novels, including The Silent Tide and The Love Child.

Until very recently I taught Publishing and Creative Writing part-time at the University of East Anglia, but I recently became a full-time writer, which felt like a bit step. My boys are all grown up now and finding their way in the world, but we still see a lot of them. My husband David is a writer, too (he writes as D.J. Taylor), so we understand each other’s working lives.

I find I have to have a regular routine with my writing, not least to keep the book in my head. My aim is to sit down at 9am every morning and write till lunchtime, then again the afternoon, but there is often something ready to interrupt this, not least our Labrador pup Zelda, so I go with the flow.

I hope that you are able to find my books easily and enjoy them – I am always happy to hear from readers! Happy reading! 

Visit Rachel at http://www.rachelhore.co.uk, or follow her on Twitter @rachelhore or Facebook

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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