Author Alix Rickloff has a new historical novel that follows two generations of women through both World Wars. Kerry Hammond is here to give us her review.
Secrets of Nanreath Hall by Alix Rickloff was released in Trade Paperback, from publisher William Morrow Paperbacks, on August 2. Rickloff has published several books in her historical and paranormal romance series. This book was more in the genre of an historical novel of suspense and I was intrigued by the promise of characters seeking clues to unravel family secrets. I was not disappointed.
Lady Katherine Trenowyth was under the control of her parents all her life, expected to make a good wife to a husband of their choosing. When she falls in love with an artist and leaves her family behind, it is the hardest thing she has ever done. Without their support she is forced to make her way in her new life, relying on her artistic talents and her love for the man she left them for. When she becomes pregnant, her life changes yet again, and more tragedy is in store for her.
Anna Trenowyth was six years old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died, leaving her in the care of adoptive parents Graham and Prue Handley. She doesn’t remember much of her mother, but when Prue and Graham summon her home from her work as a nurse during the war, she is intrigued at what information they plan to provide. When she arrives in London, she is devastated to find out that the couple has been killed in an air raid, and the information they felt the need to impart has died with them.
As Anna grieves for the loss of the only parents she has ever known, she is posted at Nanreath Hall to care for the wounded soldiers. Nanreath is where her mother was raised and it’s where she finds a cousin and an aunt who greet her with barely veiled hostility. As she gets to know these long-lost relatives, she finds clues to her mother’s life and learns more about the reasons she left Nanreath.
Rickloff has created wonderful characters and given them a story that’s worth telling. I found myself hoping that tragedy wouldn’t befall Lady Katherine, even though I knew it would, and worrying over Anna’s fate, even though I knew she would be alright. I became invested in the lives of these characters because they were so well written.
Secrets of Nanreath Hall is reminiscent of the books that I love by author Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton). I enjoyed how the story unfolded between Lady Katherine in 1913 and Anna in 1940. I can tell how much I enjoy a book when I try to pick a favorite storyline or time period and can’t choose because both are equally intriguing. If Rickloff continues to write in this genre, I will absolutely continue reading.
This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.