Her Mother’s Secret by Rosanna Ley | Blog Tour Book Review

Published by Quercus

Available in ebook and paperback (14 June 2018)

464 pages

Source: ARC review copy

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for Her Mother’s Secret – and happy paperback publication day to Rosanna Ley.  My thanks to the publisher for the review copy and to Anne Cater of Random Things for the tour invitation.


|   About the Book   |


Escape to the heart of enchanting Brittany with the bestselling author of The Villa and The Little Theatre by the Sea. The perfect treat for fans of Santa Montefiore and Veronica Henry.

For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland – the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany – afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea’s failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?

Despite Colette’s wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother’s flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette’s mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?

The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret – one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.


|   My Thoughts   |

Colette has been estranged from her mother Thea for many years, the reason why becoming clearer as the story goes on. Moving away from Belle-Île-en-Mer some 15 years before, Colette has made a life for herself in Cornwall, she has a flat she loves, a job and a boyfriend. When she receives a letter from her mother’s neighbour in Belle-Île, letting her know that her mother was very ill, Colette feels she has no choice but to go to her.

The story has several narrators, including Colette. Each has their own part in the story, and most are connected in some way to Thea. Thea herself was from Cornwall initially and left home for a job as an au-pair working for Mathilde and her family in Belle-Île.

The main characters are engaging and have distinctive personalities, superbly drawn with each narrator gradually revealing their story and drawing the reader in. There is Colette, at first reluctant to return to her childhood home but rediscovering her love of flowers by taking over her mother’s neglected flower shop whilst trying to make her mother as comfortable as possible. Étienne – a thriller writer but having another story that he wants to tell.  He doesn’t want to be there but has to deal with the clearing and the sale of his late mother’s property and feels the weight of the past heavily on his shoulders. Mathilde’s daughter Élodie, who creates beautiful sculptures from driftwood but does not have the courage to follow her dreams and then finally Mathilde, who used to be Thea’s best friend and who has secrets of her own.

Rosanna Ley has written a beautifully descriptive and poignant story and the location is a character in its own right. As soon as I arrived at the setting of Belle-Île, an island in Southern Brittany, I was hooked and now, having Googled it and seen how gorgeous it looks, I want to go there!

Don’t expect a fast read, this is a book that needs to be savoured.   This is a very slow paced, character driven story of past secrets, deception and betrayal. There was one point when I thought I had worked out ‘Her Mother’s Secret’ but I was way off beam.

Her Mother’s Secret is a substantial book and one that you can immerse yourself in.  The gorgeous cover and setting would make it an ideal holiday read – or actually even an ideal read at any time.



|   Author Bio   |

Rosanna Ley has had six novels published by Quercus Books. She has worked as a creative writing tutor for many years and has written articles and stories for a number of national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.



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