Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!

The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl


My Review:

A century apart, this dual timeline story tells of two very different women, living in Ireland, and the secret from the past that links them. The insight into Ireland in 1919, the abuse of power by those seeking to annihilate those striving to free the country from the rule of England and the turmoil, devastation and destruction which ensued is brought vividly to life.

One of the people caught up in these turbulent times is Ellen O’Brien and it something she hid that is discovered a century later by Clare Farrell. Forty-nine year old Clare has inherited a property in Ireland and the money necessary to help her escape from her unhappy marriage. Encouraged to make the most of the opportunity by her two sons, she moves into the house she has happy memories of visiting with her Mum as a child. As she makes new friends and starts to regain her self confidence and self reliance, Clare seeks to discover just why the artefacts were hidden and the history of the people named in them.

It is a heartwarming story from both eras and the ending is a brilliant culmination, bringing the threads of the story from both timelines together in a conclusion that certainly left me smiling. Whilst life and experiences for both women are very different, both are prepared to stand up for what they believe in and it feels like you watch them grow and develop their own strengths through their experiences as their stories progress.

The detective work to discover more about the artefacts that Clare discovered is the key link to these women and I found it an intriguing read, a story of struggles, decisions, secrets and love a century apart. I have absolutely no hesitation in highly recommending this fascinating story which I found to be a real page turner and fascinating read, especially as my maternal grandparents were around the same age as Ellen, both born and living in Ireland during the same era!

I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.


A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.

Purchase Links

UK  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Secret-heartbreaking-gripping-historical-ebook/dp/B07H2PMPR3

US  – https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Secret-heartbreaking-gripping-historical-ebook/dp/B07H2PMPR3  

Author Bio –

Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –

Website:  https://kathleenmcgurl.com/

Twitter: @KathMcGurl  https://twitter.com/KathMcGurl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenMcGurl/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathleenmcgurl/

Follow the tour: 

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of. The review is my own, honest opinion after reading this fascinating story.

7 comments on “The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl

  1. carhicks
    April 3, 2019

    Another wonderful review Elaine. I really want to read this one, and have put it on my TBR. I am fascinated with the history of Ireland.


    • bicted
      April 3, 2019

      I really enjoyed this and the dual timeline is used superbly. Hope you get to read it soon to see if you found the ending a brilliant way to link and round everything off, too! Kathleen McGurl is one of my go to authors for fascinating stories, hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

      Liked by 1 person

      • carhicks
        April 3, 2019

        She is not an author I have ever read before, but I will have to see what else is out there. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bicted
        April 4, 2019

        Her stories are definitely ones I suspect you’ll enjoy. I hope you get to read them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • carhicks
        April 4, 2019

        I got it, so will definitely get a chance to read it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bicted
        April 4, 2019

        Hope you enjoy it and look forward to reading your review to find out what you think!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Stationmaster’s Daughter by Kathleen McGurl #Review #DualTimeline #BlogTour | splashesintobooks

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