Second review of the day? Yes, it is. And you may recognize the book, since I have posted the cover reveal.
“The Secret Notebook“, written by Julia Wild, is a War time and Contemporary Romance, a book with a Dual Timeline, published on July 8th 2021 by One More Chapter.
I want to thank Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, and Julia Wild and One More Chapter, via NetGalley, for the eCopy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.
Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…
About the Author
Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication.
Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.
After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle.
Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.
Ever since I found the subgenre of dual timelines, I have been in love. And this book had that.
As we follow Izzie’s journey after her nan Molly passed away. Not only do we follow Izzie’s life, we also follow Molly’s thanks to a secret diary that nan kept during WWII. That dual timeline had the perfect balance.
To those that know me, you guys know that have a soft spot for historical related stories, even when it’s a dual timeline, and when it comes to WWI and WWII it’s quite a special part of the world’s history that I like reading about. When I was in school it wasn’t my favorite subject, but the novels that talk about the people instead of just the political and war elements, made me interested.
In this case, the book give us Molly’s story during WWII and I get to connect with her. The hardships, the interactions, love and family relationships during that time period, the life the people dealing with those circumstance had. It was all so powerful and emotional.
I have always been very close to my grandmothers, and after losing my grandma Stela I realized I didn’t know a lot about her still. So I kind of connected with Izzie in that way. In the revelations we end up getting about our loved ones, even after they had passed away.
Overall, it was an emotional journey, but also one that made me thankful to have taken with the characters. It almost made me want to start writing my grandma Julia’s story right now, so that I don’t loose the chance.
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