Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this charming book; Her Mother’s Secret by Jan Baynham. As always sit back, grab that cuppa and enjoy.

It’s 1969 and free-spirited artist Elin Morgan has left Wales for a sun-drenched Greek island. As she makes new friends and enjoys the laidback lifestyle, she writes all about it in her diary. But Elin’s carefree summer of love doesn’t last long, and her island experience ultimately leaves her with a shocking secret …

Twenty-two years later, Elin’s daughter Alexandra has inherited the diary and is reeling from its revelations. The discovery compels Alexandra to make her own journey to the same island, following in her mother’s footsteps. Once there, she sets about uncovering what really happened to Elin in that summer of ’69

What a wonderful debut!! I can guarantee from reading this emotional, heart-wrenching and feel-good book, that Jan Baynham will have a long career in writing and I cannot wait to see what other beauties Jan is going to gift to us all.

The story is split in two different era’s and two different but connected women; the story opens in 1991 with Alexandra who after losing her beloved mother; Elin she is trying to come to terms with her life without the woman who meant so much to her, she feels like a cuckoo in the nest at home. She is trying to keep peace and to grieve for her mother, there is nothing but arguments between her and her father so she moves to her grandmothers, which is when she found old diary of her mothers.

She soon learns some surprising and shocking truths as she starts to get to know the mother she thought she knew, who turned out have many secrets; such as Alexandra, being an artist herself never knew her mother had gone to art college and spent time in Greece, it is while discovering who her mother was – and as in the process who she is too – Alexandra decides to go to Greece to learn more. Elin’s story is told via the diary, we are transported to 1969 Greece as her story is told and this is where her secrets and all the emotion that will be wrapped up in what is about to be revealed really hits the reader.

I love the descriptions of Greece, it’s clear and vivid, the writing instantly transport s the reader from their armchair to that beautiful island. The small details really make each scene stand out, the way landscapes look an in certain light, the clearness of the sea, the food, the people, the houses. Everything is there to whisk you away, and I thoroughly loved experience 1969 Greece from the comfort of my home.

This story really captured me, I can’t put my finger on why I was so drawn to it, maybe because it was so far away from what I usually read? Who knows, but from reading the back blurb I was hooked. I wanted to learn Elin’s secret and I wanted to know how whatever happened to her effects her daughter; Alexandra twenty-two years later. You just know that whatever occurred in Greece and to Elin isn’t going to be happy and there is going to further sadness, but I loved the way the real connection between mother and daughter, they both have a real passion for art and for life, it is as clear as a bell that they had a strong relationship.

I really liked how this is written, I do love a split timeline, and this is done really well it keeps the reader engaged with each of the characters in the two time zones and there is no confusion over who is who and where they fit into each of these two moment’s lives as all is revealed slowly throughout the book.

I have to mention the opening; my oh my that is a real doozy! It was a real surprise to start a book with such a tasty morsel of intrigue, as a reader, I was like a fish on a line eager to know what is going on and how that prologue relates to the story – well I am not going to tell you but all is revealed and it is so wonderfully done!

Overall, a perfect escapist book, it’s warm, charming, poignant and engaging, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

This was an Arc from the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Liz, at Choc Lit. xx

4 thoughts on “#Review | Her Mother’s Secret by Jan Baynham #HerMothersSecret @JanBaynham @RubyFiction

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