Review: The Secret Years by Barbara Hannay



Read from September 14 to 22, 2015

Synopsis: When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather Harry’s World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as ‘George’ and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy’s family history that has been kept a mystery . . . until now.

How did a cattleman from north Queensland find forbidden love with the Honourable Georgina Lenton of London and persuade her to move to his isolated outback property? And why are the effects of this encounter still reverberating in the lives of Lucy and her mother, Rose, now?

As the passions of the past trickle down the years, three generations of one family pull together. Each must learn in their own way how true love can conquer the greatest challenges of all.

From the wild beauty of the Australian bush to England’s rugged south coast, this is a deeply moving story of heartbreak, heroism and homecoming by a beloved, multi-award-winning author.

Bookish Things: 384 pages. The cover is lovely and very apt given the story.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $7.12.

My Review: 

The Secret Years is the first of Barbara Hannay’s books that I’ve read, and I can guarantee you, it won’t be the last.

The story takes the reader on a multi-time lined journey through ravaged war zones, both past and present, and explores relationships between lovers, family and extended family and friends.

Lucy (our present day protagonist) is the granddaughter to Harry, the male protagonist from the historical time line – but he still plays a part in the present day timeline too. The story weaves its way through the timelines of several love stories, and stories of self growth and discovery. These beautifully depicted scenes, even the ones in war-torn London and New Guinea, really transport the reader into the story and allow for a greater sense of taking part in the story.

I think the most beautiful thing about this story was not the sizzling romances, nor the freshly transformed relationship between mother and daughter, but the tender and sweet relationship between Lucy and her grandfather Harry. This was of particularly special interest to me because I lost my grandfather a couple of years ago and felt a solid connection between Lucy and Harry’s relationship and that of my grandfather and I.

I did thoroughly enjoy the story, the emotions ran high in every facet of the story and the level of drama and secrecy only added to the deliciously tantalising tale that Barbara weaves. If her other books are as good as this one, I am certainly in for a treat.

My copy of this book was from Netgalley, and possessed a number of weird formatting issues and typos, but as an ARC I expect that these issues would have been rectified before publication.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

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