My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time taken to read -
Pages - 548
Publisher - Penguin Books
Source - The Works
Blurb from Goodreads
Can truth stay hidden for ever?
Set in the 1930's, the classic novel from bestselling author Lesley Pearse tells the story of one girl's struggle against cruelty and, her quest for love.
Twelve-year-old Adele Talbot's unhappy mother Rose succumbs to madness after a family tragedy and Adele is placed in a bleak children's home. But when her trust is betrayed she runs away - hoping to find her grandmother in Sussex.
By the time she does so, Adele is desperately ill and has to be nursed back to health among the beautiful Rye Marshes. And then she meets the wonderful Michael Bailey.
As friendship blossoms into love and they come of age together - Adele becoming a nurse and Michael joining the RAF - she believes she can put her troubled past behind her. But with the outbreak of war and the sudden appearance of Rose, bearing shocking family secrets, suddenly all of Adele's hopes appear impossibly fragile ...
Life has never been very kind to Adele, ignored and abused by her parents, when a tragic accident forces Adele to takes off to find her grand mother. Used and abused, Adele finally makes it to a safe haven, finding love and acceptance with her grand mother and meeting Michael. We follow her growing up, getting a career and finally finding her place, despite world war two going on. However as is the way, the past rears its ugly head and Adele finds everything she loves being threatened and the past no longer able to be ignored.
I do love Pearse, she covers some very tough topics and "Secrets" is no exception. Abuse, neglect, briefly paedophilia, relationships, family, secrets, war and friendship to name but a few. Poor Adele is just a child when we meet her and deprived of basic care, love and mistreated by those meant to love and cherish her. We watch her bloom and grow, relationships form and the social issues presented between the classes in the 1930/1940s.
I can't say which story lines I favoured most because there were so many, in fact I don't think I could pick out one I hated. Obviously the paedophilia one made my skin crawl and I hated the perpetrator, in fact both the individuals. Everyone else I think shaped the story perfectly, it was emotive and keeps the reader hooked page after page. 5 stars for me this, I have another few of Pearse on my TBRM and will be buying the others I have still to read.
View all my reviews