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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 7 star ratings
2 reviews

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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Great historical fiction

    Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in return for review based upon my honest opinion. This book was a fantastic book. It was a dual-timeline story, set in the present and 1943 in the village of Tyneham and surrounding areas. When Melissa’s get away with her boyfriend goes astray she finds her self with lots of time and decides just on chance to check out the reopening of the town of Tyneham that had been requisitioned during wartime and was just now being reopened. It wasn’t her usual thing to do she’s not really overly interested in history but something about this called to her. From the moment she walked into the town her life was never going to be the same again. She sees a picture at the main house and it something about it just won’t let her go. She was unprepared for her day trip and ends up passing out due to dehydration, she wakes up into the face of a semi famous historiian and TV performer. During this book the two of them keep searching for answers and it turns out that his grandmother may hold some of the answers that Melissa wants to know, she wants to know what happened to Victoria and Albert and why does she look scared in that photo that is at the main house. I really enjoyed this book, I loved the dual timelines, the characters are very engaging and heartwarming and honest, the scenery was beautiful and the story heart wrenching and wonderful all at the same time. This will definitely not be the last book that I read by this author I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a great weekend read.
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    The Past and Present

    The story was written as a third person omniscient narrative where characters are described indirectly. The conflict is a mixture of internal and external as characters battle themselves, fellow characters and sometimes society as a whole. Popular themes that were included were war, prejudice, power and corruption, love, death and survival. The story is split between 1943 and 2018, where there are two sets of characters. In 1943, the protagonist is Lady Veronica, a lady of society whose family has the power in Tyneham and is holding back a dark secret about her life as married. She is dedicated to protecting herself as well as her staff. The antagonist is Sir Alfred, or more commonly known as Freddie, the younger twin of Sir Albert and the first love of Lady Veronica. Lady Veronica’s confidant is a young maid name Anna, who grew up in the village and is dedicating to helping Lady Veronica. The final character of the past is Sir Albert, a member of British Parliament, who is married to Lady Veronica, but enjoys torturing his brother whenever given the chance. In 2018, our protagonist is Melissa, a young lady who is in the area because of her boyfriend Liam, but is really just attempting to figure out her life. The antagonist is Guy Cameron, a TV historian whom is in town for the reopening of the village where his family once lived. The story begins with the military takeover of Tyneham and Lady Veronica and Sir Albert addressing the villagers and Melissa is attending the reopening of the village. Melissa finds herself intrigued by the story of Lady Veronica and wants to know what happened to her after the village closed off. Guy decides to help Melissa as his grandmother was a maid for Lady Veronica; they begin to learn about the life of Lady Veronica and Sir Albert, but also about the town itself. As Guy and Melissa learn more, they begin to reveal secrets and the last few days of the town are shown. The ideas are interesting and important as the flow is logical and organized. The voice is individual and appropriate for both the past and present, as the word choice is specific and the sentence structure is expressive. Yes, I would recommend this story. It would be an excellent read for those who enjoy historical tales, combining of past and present ideas, and multiple love stories. It would not be enjoyed by those who dislike tales of abuse, military takeover or white or outright lies.

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