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Ratings and Book Reviews (9 24 star ratings
9 reviews
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Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
24
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    Beautifully written! Extremely captivating,

    The Forgotten Secret is another fantastic dual timeline story that is not easy to put down nor is it easily forgotten. It’s a gripping, haunting story about two women with related stories, one in the 1900’s and the other in the present time. The extraordinary story line is extremely captivating and beautifully written. I enjoyed reading this book. I highly recommend it. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for this book in exchange for an honest review.
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    Historical Irish Fiction

    The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl is a wonderful historical Novel of Ireland. It is told in two time periods by Clare in 2016 and Ellen in 1920. The characters are realistic and the settings well described so the reader will feel a part of the story. This book has so many interesting details of history, real life struggles, joys, tragedies, war, mysteries, even an element of genealogy. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book.
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    Great historical fiction.

    My Rating: 4.5 Stars Clare Farrell has inherited an old farmhouse in County Meath, Ireland. The timing couldn't be more perfect because she had been looking for a way to end a very unhappy marriage. She takes control and leaves her husband for Ireland and is determined to make a go of it. As she starts to reupholster a chair, she finds something that looks like it might be the key to discovering her past. The timeline shifts in this story to July 1919 with Ellen O'Brien, young, idealistic and in love. She leaves home for a job that ends up involving her in the war currently taking place. The man she is in love with is involved in the turmoil that is destroying Ireland. What ensues then changes her life and that of others irrevocably. What Clare finds has been buried to decades and she might just find a long-lost relative. Meanwhile, her sons offer great moral support. All the while, her past with her husband is never far from her mind, especially as he is not quite ready to let their marriage go. The Forgotten Secret seamlessly shifts between past and secret. The past is rather exciting, albeit tragic with regard to Ireland struggling for independence from Britain. Also, what Ellen experienced for a time there in Ireland, at what was referred to as The Magdalene Laundries, was nothing less than tragic. Sadly, what happened there, also referred to as asylums was based on real history. With regard to Clare, we have a woman needing to reestablish herself, and even entertaining new friends and a possible love interest. This was an enjoyable story in essence, although quite sad at times. Not only was I able to read it in one sitting, Most times when history is mixed in with a dual timeline like this it can be rather interesting, as this book proved. I am definitely looking forward to much more from Kathleen McGurl. Many thanks to HQ Digital and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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    Pensive, interesting, and insightful!

    The Forgotten Secret is an intriguing tale predominantly set in County Meath during the summer of 1919, as well as present day, and is told from two perspectives, Clare, a middle-aged woman who stumbles across long-hidden family secrets after moving to Clonamurty Farm to rediscover herself and start afresh, and Ellen, a young girl in love who finds herself unexpectedly caught up in her country’s fight for self-identity and independence against Anglo rule. The writing is fluid and thoughtful. The characters are strong, kindhearted, and courageous. And the engaging and fascinating plot is written in a past/present style that sweeps you back and forth through all the highs and lows of both Clare and Ellen’s life. Overall, I would have to say that The Forgotten Secret is a warm, compelling, absorbing novel that does a lovely job of highlighting and reminding us of a time, where for years, Ireland endured rebellion, oppression, political upheaval, and economic instability.
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    Haunting

    The Forgotten Secret is compelling, intriguing, and haunting. It’s told in a dual-timeline and held my attention and got to me emotionally the entire way through. Kathleen McGurl’s writing is excellent here. There was some telling rather than showing, however, Ireland’s harsh past is well-depicted, and the story is moving. I enjoyed the dual-timeline. Not every book that attempts this succeeds, but The Forgotten Secret does this so well. I loved both Claire and Ellen’s stories and how they were brought together in the end. This is a gripping and emotional story. I recommend checking it out! *I read this book as part of a blog tour with Rachel's Random Resources. All opinions are my own.*
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