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Secrets of Nanreath Hall

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,791 ratings  ·  216 reviews
This incredible debut historical novel—in the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson—tells the fascinating story of a young mother who flees her home on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the daughter who finds her way back, seeking answers.

Cornwall, 1940. Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to
Paperback, 393 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

----Søren Kierkegaard

Alix Rickloff, a critically acclaimed author of historical and paranormal romance, has penned a heart touching historical fiction called, Secrets of Nanreath Hall that revolves around two women, in two different timelines, searching for their own identities, one is looking for her biological mother's family and her forgotten background, while the other leaves everything behind for love. Both the stories
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The Secrets of Nanreath Hall is a pleasant dual timeline story that intrigued me and felt atmospheric. I could visualize the big English manor and the pre-war/war setting. Most of characters are likable and realistic but some are more complicated than others. The author did a great job of evoking sympathy for some of them. Look forward to other books by this author! This is a good weekend read enjoyed with a cup of tea. If you like historical fiction, I think you will enjoy this book.
Colleen Turner
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Find my full review (and giveaway information) on my blog

I'm a sucker for dual timeline novels! This format has become one of my favorites and, when done right, can immerse me even deeper into the lives and situations presented and, in doing so, make me care for the characters more than I might have expected. Some of my favorite novels are told in this style and I can't get enough of how the separate timelines twist together and reveal secrets about the oth
Jenny Q
Kitty Trenowyth, the pampered daughter of a wealthy earl, yearns to choose her own future, to explore her artistic talents, to experience more than her sheltered life has so far allowed. When her father commissions an artist to paint her portrait, he brings with him Simon Halliday, a handsome assistant who awakens both physical desire and a desire to prove to herself and her family that she can make it on her own. But life in the real world turns out to be far harder than Kitty ever expected. Sh ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A heartbreaking story, told from two different perspectives and timelines. The author captured the devastating losses two World Wars unleashed on the lives of so many.
3.5 to 4 stars. Great historical details. A pleasant, easy-paced listening/reading experience. All the characters from the 1914 timeline seemed shallow & caddish---which I guess is what helped the more modern characters learn from their poor life choices. Anna, from 1940, seemed brave, though anst-filled. Not enough of Tony, a favorite character. Glad that Hugh redeemed himself. Satisfying ending.
Lynn Spencer
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
C+ at AAR, so 3.5 stars For the longest time, Susanna Kearsley, Lauren Willig, and Susan Meissner were the only authors I regularly encountered who wrote dual timeline novels. However, they seem to be everywhere all of a sudden. I love this device, so I’m certainly not complaining. In fact, I was quite eager to read Secrets of Nanreath Hall, with its World War I and World War II storylines connecting a mother and daughter. Unfortunately, the execution in this book ended up feeling disjointed and ...more
Renée Rosen
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Two women and two wars separated by a generation filled with secrets that kept me turning pages to get to the mysterious truth. At the heart, this is a novel about searching for one’s identity. The vivid writing combined with such an intriguing story make Alix Rickloff an exciting voice in historical fiction.

Add this to your shelf. You can thank me later! :)
Paula Adams
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story, rather disconcerting at first with changing from Kitty's story in the early 1900s to Anna's story in the 1940s. Good characters, good plot lines, good period details. Very enjoyable read. ...more
Sharon Bruce
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a nice read with a good ending. I enjoy reading books during two time periods.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Secrets of Nanreath Hall" is a historical fiction tale told in two times. The first time is WWI where Kitty is the spoiled daughter of a titled family who falls in love with the proverbial "guy from the wrong side of the tracks." Her life is upended when she gets pregnant and is practically disowned from her family. The second time is WWII takes up Anna, Kitty's daughter, story. Anna's mother died when she was very young and she was left with a lot of questions. When chance sends her to her mot ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-giveaway
This book follows two times lines of both mother and daughter as they move through life altering events. Each chapter moves back and forth between the mother (Kitty) and daughter (Anna). A nurse serving during WWII Anna has been stationed at Nanreath Hall, her mother's birthplace, which has become a hospital for wounded servicemen. Once she arrives Anna starts digging into her past to discover who her mother and father were as real people, and learns more about her own character in the process a ...more
Reading Fool
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2016
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

This historical fiction novel is the story of two women: Lady Katherine Trenowyth, in 1913, who is unhappy with the stifling life that her noble background has given her; and Katherine's daughter Anna, in 1940, who wants to learn more about her mother and the secrets that her family has hidden for a generation. The story is told in alternating chapters set in the two different time periods. Sometimes predictable, it still kept me engage
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: she-reads
I've been lucking out on can't-put-down-ers. This one certainly fits the bill. From trying to figure out the secrets of Lady Katherine to trying to figure them out for her daughter and nephew, it's a whirlwind of a war(s) story. Easy, entertaining, and happy read. The ending isn't all wrapped up in a bow, but even I can forgive that after a plot like this! ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I found that the dual story line didn't do much for me. It wasn't well enough developed for both characters. It seemed to just get bogged down in itself. It could have just been told through Anna's voice and been as effective. It was an okay read, but not stunning. ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Engaging novel that alternates between the mother’s first person narrative in the years leading up to WWI, and the third person story of her daughter in the early years of WWII. The mother had fled a vapid aristocratic existence in an English country house to pursue her dream of being an artist and living with a dashing bohemian who wouldn’t marry her, got her pregnant, and was promptly killed in the war. The mother died when her daughter was six, leaving her to be raised by friends. As an adult ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love novels that rich in historical detail! And this one was one of them! It covers Pre WW 1 in 1913 and goes to WW 11 in 1940, in England! It loved the way Alix would go back and forth in ea time period. It was easy to get up and so easy to follow the characters!
I loved Lady Katherine and her daughter, Anna! I just hate that this story has ended!
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
There was a sad part when a much loved walking path was blocked!
Ricki Treleaven
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received Secrets of Nanreath Hall via Once Upon a Book Club subscription box.

Secrets of Nanreath Hall is yet another family drama set in Cornwall, England across both world wars. Lady Katherine's story is quite unbelievable: She seems too smart to have fallen for someone like Simon and live in abject poverty when he's unwilling to introduce her to his family. I wanted to like Katherine and Simon since both are artists so I was a little disappointed that I didn't really care. One draw for Kath
Aug 27, 2020 added it
Given to me by a friend. Pretty standard fare. The author writes some paranormal and I was hoping for that to appear. Pandemic read.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Anna's parentage has never been a secret, but when her new post is to Nanreath Hall - the home where her mother once grew up - she hopes to get her adoptive parents' opinion before deciding. Graham and Prue Handley have something to tell her, but unfortunately before they can reveal what they know they're killed in a London bombing leaving Anna orphaned once again.

When she arrives at Nanreath Hall, Anna finds she has a cousin and aunt in residence. The cousin is curious but her aunt wants nothi
Aug 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is my favorite type - historical fiction that teaches me something new but is really about people and their relationships with one another.
Rachel (borntoberustic)
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book, and now I'm sitting on my couch, wondering how on earth I am supposed to review a book that has left me feeling so raw and conflicted! So I'm going to start off simply...

First of all, Rickloff's writing style is excellent! This book alternates between Kitty's story (written in first person) and her daughter, Anna's story (written in third person). Not many people could have pulled this off without making the storyline seem jumbled and confusing, but Rickloff pulls it o
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alix Rickloff has written historical and paranormal romances, but Secrets of Nanreath Hall is her first historical novel. It's a disturbing, fascinating story of a mother and daughter. But, it's the daughter's story, the atmospheric depiction of World War II, that brings the story to life.

In alternating chapters, Rickloff tells of Lady Katherine Trenowyth and her daughter, Anna Trenowyth. As a young woman, passionately in love, and wanting to be an artist, Katherine fled from her family estate a
Focusing on the life of Anna, she’s back in England after the horrors of the evacuation of Dunkirk. I loved Anna’s character – so determined and self-assured, with a need to ‘do her part’ in the war effort, she’s made great sacrifices to serve. Adopted as a child, she discovers that her adoptive parents have been killed in the blitz. If that weren’t enough change for Anna with all of her other worries and duties, she’s been assigned to work at a military hospital at the grounds of her birth fami ...more
Mary Eve
I started reading this book during a busy month. Any other time, I would've devoured this wonderful tale of loss, chance, family secrets, and finding one's way home despite the obstacles. There are those books that one reads and it is just that - reading. Whilst the story may be somewhat entertaining, it ceases to draw you in and fails to connect oneself to place or protagonist. Just another book you quickly want to finish. Then, there's that lovely, lively book that finds its way to your hands ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Historical fiction is by far my favorite genre, particularly stories that take place in war-torn Europe, so I immediately jumped at the opportunity to receive an advanced reading copy (ARC) of “Secrets of Nanreath Hall” by Alix Rickloff. In her debut historical novel, Alix depicts the lives of two strong women – a mother and daughter – living through WWI and WWII, respectively.

Lady Katherine, who’s story begins in 1913 before the first world war, struggles with society’s pressures of being prim
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is ultimately a story of class in an England that is changing due to both World Wars. It is two different stories; one of a mother, the other of the daughter and each one takes place during one of the Great Wars. Lady Katherine Trenowyth grows up with all of the privilege that being the daughter of an Earl can bring her but it also brings confining expectations. Katherine meets a man – an artist’s assistant that encourages her in her own burgeoning talent and he opens her heart. With his su ...more
Christine Roberts
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is 1940 and Anna Trenowyth's latest assignment as a WWII Red Cross nurse is to travel to Cornwall and care for wounded soldiers at Nanreath Hall. However, this is no ordinary assignment for Anna. She is a Trenowyth and so are the owners of Nanreath Hall. However, they are not known to each other and are not aware that they are least, not yet. How is Anna related to the aristocratic family of Nanreath Hall and why does no one know of this long lost Trenowyth?

Secrets of Nanreath Hal
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Katherine and Anna Trenowyth and the place that brings mother and daughter together Nanreath Hall. Anna doesn't know much about her mother when she begins working as a nurse at Nanreath Hall but the story goes back to when Katherine was a young woman living there with her family. Katherine's love of art leads to her romance with the artist Simon Halliday. Anna also learns about the Trenowyth family during this time. I loved getting to know these characters and the story is c ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 May 20, 2017 06:41PM  

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Critically acclaimed author of historical fiction, Alix Rickloff’s family tree includes a knight who fought during the Wars of the Roses (his brass rubbing hangs in her dining room) and a soldier who sided with Charles I during the English Civil War (hence the family's hasty emigration to America). With inspiration like that, what else could she do but start writing her own stories? She lives in M ...more

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“He gushes over you. If I have to hear one more time how Trenowyth knows just the right way to give an enema, I shall scream.” 0 likes
“What’s the occasion?” “Friendship.” He rose from the bench and held a gloved hand out to her. “And second chances.” 0 likes
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