Title: Secrets of Nanreath Hall
Author: Alix Rickloff
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: August 2, 2016
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Cornwall, 1940. Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn her adoptive parents Graham and Prue Handley have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she’s been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother’s childhood home—Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six years old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can’t unravel. Anna’s assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she’s never known—and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past.
Cornwall, 1913. In the luxury of pre-WWI England, Lady Katherine Trenowyth is expected to do nothing more than make a smart marriage and have a respectable life. When Simon Halliday, a bohemian painter, enters her world, Katherine begins to question the future that was so carefully laid out for her. Her choices begin to lead her away from the stability of her home and family toward a wild existence of life, art, and love. But as everything begins to fall apart, Katherine finds herself destitute and alone.
As Anna is drawn into her newfound family’s lives and their tangled loyalties, she discovers herself at the center of old heartbreaks and unbearable tragedies, leaving her to decide if the secrets of the past are too dangerous to unearth…and if the family she’s discovered is one she can keep."
My Two Cents:
"Secrets of Nanreath Hall" is a historical fiction tale told in two times. The first time is WWI where Kitty is the spoiled daughter of a titled family who falls in love with the proverbial "guy from the wrong side of the tracks." Her life is upended when she gets pregnant and is practically disowned from her family. The second time is WWII takes up Anna, Kitty's daughter, story. Anna's mother died when she was very young and she was left with a lot of questions. When chance sends her to her mother's family home to work as a nurse, Anna is hopeful that she will begin to unravel the mystery of her family and her origins. I love a good story about family secrets and this book definitely fits the bill.
I loved both Kitty and Anna. Their plights are very different. Although they are mother and daughter, their upbringings were very different. Kitty grew up extremely comfortable and Anna's life was much different. The contrast was really fantastic. Even though they grew up in such different environments, they still have the same ambitious, independent spirit. In books that take place in more than one time, I usually have a favorite. Because these characters are so strong, I enjoyed both parts of the book equally. I especially liked seeing how the author joined these characters together throughout the book.
WWI and WWII are two of my very favorite times to visit through books. I really liked that this book took place in both time periods. It was so interesting to see how Nanreath Hall changes throughout the book. During Kitty's time, it is a glorious house filled with riches that many can only dream of. During Anna's time, it has been turned into a hospital and has lost some of its luster during the war. I thought the author did a great job of showing the differences.
Overall, this book had some good twists and turns that kept me guessing. According to Goodreads, this looks to be Rickloff's first plain ol' historical fiction and I will be on the look out for more. This book will appeal to those who like family secrets and vivid characters.