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Her Mother's Secret

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  879 ratings  ·  138 reviews
1918, England. Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora's life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father's chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father's life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by Hachette Australia
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The elation of everyone around in Leonora East’s small village of Sutton Veny was high – the war was over; it was Armistice Day 1918 in England and the celebrations continued long into the afternoon. But joy soon turned to despair as Spanish Flu struck viciously – Leo spent her time dispensing medicine from her father’s chemist shop, praying that it would help. Late in the night, as she wearily entered the home where her father was waiting, she was devastated to find him struggling to breathe.

Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Last year, the author of Her Mother’s Secret, Natasha Lester, blew me away with her novel A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald. In fact, I recall stating this novel was my firm favourite for the best historical fiction novel I had read in 2016. Lester is back, with a bang and a fabulous new release that I rate another firm five stars.

Natasha Lester’s fourth novel, Her Mother’s Secret, features Leonora (Leo) East as the central character. The book opens in the year 1918
What This Book Is About
Setting - Sutton Verny, England, November 1918.
We jump into the first chapter with Leonora and Joan, conversing about how to make mascara, back then soap flakes and vaseline made it too gooey. Now these two were friends, Joan, a nurse, Australian, Leonora (Leo for short) works with her Dad who is the pharmacist.
So introducing .... Harold East, Leo's Dad. Both Harold and Leo live on the premises. You see, grief had struck Harold when his wife died giving birth ... his app
4.5 stars.
From the moment I opened Her Mother's Secret I was caught up in a story that entertained me and had me reading on into the night. It ranges in setting from England to New York, from the time at the end of World War 1 to the beginning of World War 11.

It is the story of a young woman - Leonora who has a dream, to become a maker of cosmetics. She has just a little money, a lot of knowledge and a couple of really good friends she finds along the way. She is both talented and tenacious. Bu
Her Mother’s Secret is the second novel by Natasha Lester that I read this year. It has a few things in common with A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald: it’s set mostly in the interbellum New York; the main heroine, Leonora (Leo) East is a young woman ahead of her times, who’s determined to make it, no matter what.

Leo East is the only daughter of the chemist in a small English village. She works in her father’s shop, and in her spare time, she mixes rouge and mascara formulations. She dreams to make them
Yolanda Sfetsos
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, historical
Last year I read an amazing historical romance called A KISS FROM MR FITZGERALD by Natasha Lester. So I was very excited when Hachette Australia sent me this ARC.

Leonora East is a simple girl living in a small English village. She works in her father's chemist shop and loves experimenting with cosmetics, which she sells to army nurses and hopes to one day sell openly. Leo also loves spending time with her friend, Joan--an Australian nurse--and looking after her father.

When the war is over, every
Karen ⊰✿
Leonora (Leo) leaves England for New York at the end of WWI with a dream of making cosmetics. While on the trip over she meets some young, rich NY socialites who change her life, in some ways for the better, and in other ways not at all.

Natasha Lester is a great Australian author. I have read all of her novels and perhaps that is why this one so so particularly disappointing. Her earlier work has actually been her best, and for reasons that I can only assume are commercially driven she has stopp
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Once again I am absolutely blown away by Natasha Lester's writing. This book is magnificent! It tells the story of Leo who goes from a girl creating mascara in her father's shop in the first world war to a pioneer of women's cosmetics in New York City. After her father's death from the killer flu, she travels by ship to NYC to start a new life and realise her dream of manufacturing cosmetics. On the ship she meets Everett Forsyth, and the consequences of that meeting will affect her life in the ...more
Pauline McLay
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Natasha Lester writes her characters with empathy and sympathy, even the antagonists. She has written a story of strength and love and compassion. I loved the history behind the story, the fashion and colour. I found myself cheering Leo in her experiments, I wanted to boo the irritating men. (I find myself frustrated that we still haven't come far enough in a near century.) Natasha Lester has a wonderful skill in moving the story swiftly but missing nothing along the way, and of introducing new ...more
Linda Phillips
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Natasha Lesters' previous book "A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald" stormed its way into the romance genre as imho the best book of 2016, and "My Mothers Secret" follows the same formula, also set in New York between the world wars. I didn't see the ending coming, the hallmark of a great author and a 5* rating is well deserved. ...more
Krystle Sky
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked on this book from the very first chapter. Such a captivating story with likable characters, one of those books that I consciously slowed down my reading in the second half because I didn't want to finish the book so soon! This book captures the era so believably and has a great pace through the story. Even though there is romance, I feel it carries more depth in the story than some others and as such was utterly entertaining and enjoyable to read. It's always exciting to discover a ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Leo, a pharmacist's daughter, who is determined to revolutionise the cosmetics industry by starting her own company. She wants it all, though—business success and love! The story begins in England at the conclusion of WWI, then moves to New York in the 1920's.
I'm not usually a reader of historical romance, but I make exceptions in support of fellow Western Australian authors! This story picks you up and whisks you away from day-to-day life, and it doesn't let up until the f
Marie McLean
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Her Mother’s Secret tells the story of Leo East, a young woman devastated by the loss of her father to influenza at the end of WWI. With no family left in England, she embarks on a journey to New York where she overcomes great odds to establish a successful cosmetics empire.

In an era where women are scorned for wearing lipstick and men hold all the power in business, she has to work hard to pursue her dream of producing quality cosmetics that are beautifully packaged and easily available to all
Kerran Olson
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
I really got caught up in this story, I couldn't put it down! I loved the 1920's/1940's New York portrayed, the rebuilding of people and hope after war and disease and tragedy, I loved all the female characters- even the vindictive Faye, because a good 'villain' is so much fun to read! The strong friendships between Leo, Jia, Joan, and Lottie were really sweet, and I also really enjoyed all the historical details Natasha Lester weaves throughout the narrative. The only annoyance for me was the w ...more
Monique Mulligan
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

There's a lot to love about Natasha Lester's writing - not only does she weave captivating stories, but she embroiders them with details that make the stories pop. As I read Her Mother's Secret, I found myself cross-referencing Lalique perfume bottles (and wishing I had some). I was drawn into Leo's world in her small town in England, on the ship as she crossed the Atlantic, and in exciting and challenging New York; I became part of her journey of dreams. Natasha's stories have that w
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Her Mother's Secret is a captivating new novel by Natasha Lester.

It's set in three different eras, starting with 1918 England, Armistice Day, the 1920's through to the 1930's.

The early years in England see Leonora (Leo) making some of the very first modern cosmetics but after a family tragedy she sets sail to New York city with new hopes and dreams of displaying and selling her newly made products.

Autumn in New York sets the scene for falling in love and pursuing her new career.

A lot of research
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Her Mother's Secret is a captivating and beautiful, beautiful love story by Natasha Lester. I couldn’t put this historical novel down set from 1918 England to the 1930’s New York. Leonora and Everett have become my favourite couple in a long time and I enjoyed the research done to bring to life the beginning of women wearing make up in that era - from the back yard experimenting in her father’s chemist at the end of the war to having a multi-million dollar company. Then in the last ¼ of the book ...more
Kirsty Manning
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have a lot of fun reading Natasha's historical fiction and Her Mother's Secret is a fabulous book. Her characters are sassy and the story keeps a cracking pace. But it is the details of the fashion that make her work stand out. I wanted to stroke the silks, pour myself into the ballgowns and spin around with all the ruffles and try that pot of glossy red lipstick smelling of patchouli. Heaven ... ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another stunning book by Natasha Lester. A gripping read, well paced, with an underlying tension which had me holing up in my bedroom, unable to put it down. As with "A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald" there is a backbone of meticulous research which elevates the story to the next level. A bloody good read! ...more
Susan Hoddy
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved the storyline in this book. Kept me wanting to turn the page. Thanks Natasha for an awesome read.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I adored Natasha's previous novel, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, and I think Her Mother's Secret is even better. Although both novels are set in New York in the 1920s, they are independent stories of independent women with no crossover (though I think you should read them both).

I found this story emotionally engaging from the beginning. I was intrigued to see how the romance would be resolved, at one point I couldn't see any way for it to work out. I loved Leo's strong character and her drive to ac
Wow, I don't think my review can do Natasha Lester's novel justice. What a beautiful, heartbreaking rollercoaster of a ride this book took me on. To find a love like the one these two characters found, yet not be able to be together.... To reach for a dream and see it come to fruition in a way you never dreamt... To fight for what you want, what you dream, what you love... I don't know what to say about this novel but that it was fabulous and I highly recommend it, it is definitely a story that ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another really enjoyable book from Natasha Lester.
Theresa Smith
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2017
Her Mother’s Secret is a delightful novel, entirely captivating from start to finish. It reminded me a lot of an old favourite of mine, A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford, although nowhere near as thick! It’s that idea though, that if you have a dream and you work at it, even if you need to become fierce over what you want, then you can make it and still be a good person in the process; it’s that notion which connects these two novels for me, and I love it. Leo East is a fierce but ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Thoughts - http://greatreadsandtealeaves.blogspo...

Last year I read ‘A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald’ by Natasha and just loved it. Therefore I had been greatly anticipating the release of ‘Her Mother’s Secret’ for many months - could it possibly live up to the same standards? Well, I am here to tell you that indeed it does! Natasha’s novel, without doubt, firmly places her at the forefront of Australian historical literature. I adored this book, whipping through it in record time.

Right from the be
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have only just finished Her Mother's Secret, yet I am desperate to start it again from the beginning. Oh how I adored this book, Natasha.

Love, such pure and unconditional love, just oozes out of these pages in the most powerful and romantic of ways.

Natasha's paints the era so vividly. But it's the love between Leo and Everett that is the stand out.

Cliché as it may be, Her Mother's Secret is a roller coaster (or maybe a Coney Island Big Wheel..) of glorious and heartbreaking moments. But it
Danielle McGregor
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a beautiful read!!! I absolutely loved the strength and conviction of the protagonist. In fact all characters were brilliantly portrayed. I loved the gentle detail throughout the book and I really enjoyed all the factual information about time eras, women and make up. The only thing that upset me was Joan disappearing ... but Lester explains this perfectly as the text continues. Such a lovely book to read!!!
Apr 08, 2017 added it
I really liked this book by Natasha Lester. I read it in a matter of days, staying up (far too) late and picking it up first thing in the morning.
I love how Natasha can weave all the threads together of her stories, and I love the details in the clothing and things that hit you out fo the blue in the plot.
If you like Historical Fiction, you will love this
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book and read it in 24 hours. I loved the twists and turns in the plot and enjoyed all the characters - even the villans. I especially liked the second part of the book which focuses on the next generation and could not put the book down at this point. I didn't feel like I was reading a story but was actually there with the characters. A great book which was a real pleasure to read. ...more
Leanne Francis
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s
A sweeping love story that transports you to New York in the early 1900's. Once you open the pages, you can't stop reading. I loved the story and the characters and the setting. I'd highly recommend it. ...more
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Natasha Lester is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS, THE PARIS ORPHAN / THE FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER and THE PARIS SECRET. Her new book, THE RIVIERA HOUSE, is coming in August 2021.

Prior to writing, she worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing.

Her first historical nove

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“She ran straight into Leo’s open arms, unable to stop the tears from falling, feeling at last defended, like a single musical note that had finally found the symphony to which it belonged.” 4 likes
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