Starting the new year on the blog with a book recommendation. I’m actually cheating as I began reading this one over Christmas, then stopped and finished it this morning.
The Secrets of Hawthorn Place is the story of Molly, a spoiled immature girl who, after the breakupof her relationship, ends up staying with Wally her grandfather in his beautiful and unique house on the Dorset coast. She discovers there is another house, weirdly identical in every way to her grandfather’s but in Norfolk! Both were designed by Arts and Crafts architect Percy Gladwell. Uncovering the secrets in Percy Gladwell’s life, as well as helping her grieving granddad cope with the death of his beloved wife leads Molly to do a lot of growing up. She learns new skills, develops a new maturity and meets a man she could possibly love.
There’s a quirky, magical element to the book too, which I won’t spoil.
I absolutely loved it! It has all the elements I long for in a book. A dual narrative historical story, a funny plucky main character, beautiful houses, a poignant love story of forbidden love and one about confusion and misunderstandings. As I was very close to my grandfather, I was especially touched by Molly’s relationship with hers. The book made me laugh, become exasperated with the heroine – and shed a few tears too. It’s not often this jaded reading palette encounters a book which encourages me to go to bed early and ignore the siren call of social media but this one did.
I don’t know how Jenni Keer will follow this one but, as soon as her next book comes out, I’ll be buying.
As I finished reading it in January 2022, it’s my book of the year!