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Island of Secrets

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  3,678 ratings  ·  146 reviews
'As I remember, the story started at about six o'clock in the morning on the fourteenth of September, 1943...'

All her life Angie 37-year-old London-born has been intrigued by her mother's secret past. Now, planning her own wedding she feels she must visit the remote Cretan village her mother grew up in, despite her objections. Unbeknownst to Angie her elderly grandmother,
ebook, 400 pages
Published March 9th 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,678 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll say from the start that I don't usually read "great summer read" novels like this, but this book was recommended and loaned to me by a friend at work so I thought I would keep an open mind and give it a try.

The book is about a woman called Angie. She is going to get married and has Cretan heritage, however when she asks her mother about her family her mother becomes very upset and refuses to tell her anything about her roots. So, she decides that before she gets married she will go to Crete
Tracey Madeley
This story centres around Angie trying to reconcile her family and find her Greek roots. It incorporates the history of World War II and the Nazi invasion of Crete and the atrocities committed. This is told through the reminisces of Angie’s grandmother Maria. The book reminds me very much of Victoria Hyslop’s The Island, also set in Crete. Although the history is very good and well researched, I found the repetitive nature of the telling very tedious. Maria tells the story of the Nazi invasion o ...more
Melisa Broadbent
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh......... how I enjoyed this book. I was lucky enough to win a copy for the lovely people at Readers First and sorry to say that it took me a bit to get around to reading it.

The original synopsis reminded me of The Island by Victoria Hislop (this is also mentioned on the front of the book) which I had read some years ago but had very fond memories of.

The story is mainly set in Crete where the author, Patricia Wilson had lived and I adored her descriptions of this throughout the book. It star
Anne Mackle
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I bought this and downloaded it to kindle because it was set in Crete and I was going there on holiday. I started it on the plane and finished it a day later.

In present day London Angie is preparing for her wedding to Nick. Angie's mum, Poppy left her home and family in Crete thirty years ago but Angie wants to re-connect with them and invite all her Cretan family to her wedding. Against her mother's wishes Angie travels to Almeria in Crete to find her grandparents.

The next part of the story tak
Ria Marshall
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was originally drawn to this story because of the location, being Crete and also that it is based during World War 2. The story begins well with Angie planning her wedding and visiting her estranged grandmother. The first chapters of this book are well written and provide a good foundation for a fabulous story. However i became increasingly irritated with the main character, Angie. As she finds out more and more about how complex and emotionally unsettling her mother and grandmothers past are ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quite torn over this one as the story has split timelines. I found the flashbacks fascinating and wanted to keep reading them, but the present day timeline was not for me. I found the main character quite annoying and quickly got fed up with the authors ‘tricks’ to keep me reading. I found the present day writing style very frustrating and the dialogue quite unrealistic which was a shame as the flashbacks were beautifully written. I didn’t care much for the unfolding of the story as it felt like ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
I only got halfway through this novel before giving up. The writing was just really annoying and didn't really manage to draw me into the story. The flashbacks were better written than the framing narrative for some reason, but that wasn't really enough to keep me interested.

The book is at its best when it depicts the atrocities committed during WWII because it doesn't shy away from the violence and brutality of the era, but "Island of Secrets" unfortunately focuses on an assortment of bland cha
May 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was attracted to this story by the subject of WWII. However, this story seems to be written by an amateur writer, who tries to tell the story in one breath. As a reader I don’t care about what the main character is doing every step of the way during a day.

@FB: Best Historical Fiction
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Review also found at

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

I was really looking forward to this book due the subject matter of World War II.  As an avid reader of any book dealing with this subject, I have yet to read anything related to what occurred in Greece during this time.  Any opportunity to learn more through fiction is a welcome opportunity for me.

While the storyline involved a
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

A family saga, told from two different points of view. In London in the present day, Angie is planning her wedding to Nick and wants to reconcile her mother Poppy with her estranged family in Crete. We then travel back to 1943 during the German occupation of Crete and find out why the family was torn apart. I really enjoyed this debut novel from this author. The historical part of the novel was quite harrowing in places, but I kept wanting to
Maja Azic
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O ovoj knjizi moglo bi se stvarno reći puno jer knjiga je prepuna iznenađenja. Jednostavno posebna. Prekrasna iako teške tematike. Knjiga o hrabrim ženama i o borbi za opstanak u jako teška i surova vremena. U knjizi se isprepliću prošlost i sadašnjost. Radnja ove prekrasne knjige je na otoku Kreti. To mi je još više zaintrigiralo jer volim jako mediteran a saznala sam još neke stvari o otoku Kreti.
Angelika je mlada žena koja živi u Londonu i želi saznati tajne svoje majke. Zbog toga pred vjenča
Karen Kay
I received this ARC from in exchange for a review.

Angie is marrying Nick, the love of her life. Angie wants to return to her birthplace of Crete with her mother and finally meet her grandparents and extended family, but her mother is violently against returning home saying the family is cursed.

Grandmother Maria recounts the family history to Angie and as each layer of tradegy and war violence are unwrapped throughout the book the story slowly unravels.


Ivana Lukanic
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zanimljiva i čitljiva svakako preporuke za citanje....
Ruth Llandeg
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fabulous book...moving from current time to 2nd World war Crete...some sad sad historical moments....great read...and on to her next book...
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very descriptive novel reminding me of the beautiful scenery in Crete. I thought the novel was very moving and Patricia Wilson has researched well the terrible atrocities of the German occupation of Crete during the Second World War. It was both heart breaking and up lifting at the same time. I would recommend it to those who enjoyed Victoria Hislop’s ‘The Island’ and also those who enjoy reading a family saga.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set during the Second World War years in Greece the story takes place on the island of Crete where Angie returns to her birthplace to visit her elderly grandmother Maria much against the wishes of her own mother. Maria wants to make her peace before she dies to tell Angie the terrible story that she does not want to take to her grave.

German occupation of the island during the war reveals some terrible stories that are based on the mostly true stories told by the elderly women of Amiras. This wa
Megan Jones
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Angelika has always been intrigued by her mother's secret past. Now with her wedding approaching, she visits the remote Crete village where her mother, Poppy, grew up. Angie's grandmother, Maria, is dying and desperate to unburden herself. Maria tells her story, one that begins with the Nazi occupation of Crete during the Second World War and carries life-changing consequences to the present day. 
Wow, this novel is simply perfection. Wilson has brought the tragic history of Amiras to life and do
I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, I had mixed feelings about this. I learned a lot about both the culture of Crete and the Nazi occupation on the island. The voice of Maria did a wonderful job sharing her horrific experience trying to save her boys from being killed. My struggle was with the present day story. It was very repetitive and definitely became too over dramatic for my tastes. And all the pandemonium and interruptions surrounding the we ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A book of 2 halves - one much better than the other!
Angie, a Londoner with Cretan roots wants to reconnect her Mother with her estranged Cretan family after a 40 year impasse. She doesn’t understand how many explosive secrets lie at the heart of this stand-off. The story is told from 2 points in time – the present (and Angie’s impending wedding); and events during and the aftermath of WWII.

The stories of how the Cretans were treated by the Nazis are shocking and the writer uses very direct langu
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finished this book with rather mixed feelings. Parts of the story are absolutely sensational and really blew me away, other parts left me feeling pretty ambivalent and frustrated.

OK, so its a dual timeline story set in the present day and jumps back and forth in time to 1940s in Crete.

It's the story of Angie, in her mid 30s and due to be married, and her extended and very complicated family. In London where she was born and brought up by her Mum who has kept her background and past secret and
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Island of Secrets is the debut novel by Patricia Wilson which is set mostly in the Crete village of Amiras, where Patricia once lived. The novel is based on real stories from real women who lived through the unease of the Nazi occupation of the island in1943.
The story tells the history of three generations of women from one family. Angelika is planning her wedding and longs for her mother Poppy to be reunited with her Creteian relatives whom she fled from many years ago. With Poppy unwilling to
Ingrid Fasquelle
Patricia Wilson est l'auteure de romans best-sellers mettant en scène des secrets de famille. Elle a longtemps vécu dans un village de Crète où, un jour, elle a découvert une arme enterrée dans son jardin... les anciens du village lui ont alors raconté un épisode de la guerre qui lui a donné l'idée de ce roman.
L’île des secrets, qui a déjà conquis plus d’un million de lecteurs, dévoile un pan sombre et bouleversant de l’histoire de la Crète pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, une histoire faite
Julie Williams
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are two reasons why I was so excited about this book, firstly it is likened to Victoria Hislop’s The Island which I absolutely adore, then secondly as I love the Greek islands and I am holidaying in Crete later this year, the only decision I had to make was whether to read it now or try and save it as my holiday read. Needless to say I gave into temptation fairly quickly!

Mainly located in Crete this wonderful novel also explores the tragic historical events during WW11 Nazi occupation. Ang
Sally Coles
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Angie is due to get married to her fiancé Nick and planning the wedding brings back that she has never met her Greek relatives - her mother Poppy is from a small village in Crete and left 40 years ago and has never gone back and severed all ties with her family. Angie is determined to mend this rift although her mother is adamant that she should leave well alone, but totally against Poppy's wishes she books a flight to Crete and goes to find her family

Maria is Poppy's mother and she is dying so
Yvonne Hensman
I am familiar with the detail of the Battle for Crete (I wish people would not call it the Battle of Crete) particularly North West Crete and, for many years, had good friends who had been both Resistance fighters (Cretans) and soldiers (British, Australian and New Zealanders). Sadly, all have now passed away.
I was so looking forward to reading this book but was very disappointed. Some of the descriptions are very good but the twists and turns in the story were just too long drawn out, painful a
Claire Meaden
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I usually read crime / thrillers but once in a while I like to read something different and this was a great choice. This story, split between the present day and memories of WWII, tells us of life in a Cretan village far away from the holiday hot spots we generally know the island for. Some of the recounting of events during the war is seriously harrowing, what the Cretan people went through was horrific, as with so many others during that time (and any war for that matter).

Ultimately this is a
Biggy Marshall
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Normally the saying goes that everything comes in 3. Wilson has tripled or quadrupled this - everything and anything that possibly could have happened to the poor bride-to-be, Angelika, and her mother, Poppy, has been squeezed into the story. Don't misunderstand me, I was happy that everybody lived happily ever after, but a a certain point I felt overwhelmed by the unbelievable twists and turns. I am afraid that I am a believer of keeping it simple, and I find that Patricia Wilson has been over- ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Island of Secrets

By Patricia Wilson

Present day, Angie is desperate to discover her family in Crete before she marries fiancé Nick to find out why her mother Poppy left the island under a cloud beforehand was born. As she meets her elderly grandmother and grandfather she first of all needs to discover the horrors that her home village endured during the German Occupation in World War 2 to fully understand how the events that occurred in Amiras during September 1943 affected the Lambrakis and Ko
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-read
A huge thank you to a netgalley and the publishers for a copy of this book.

What can I say - if I could I would give this book 10 stars. This has to be my favourite book this year and it's going to take a lot to top it. I haven't read a book that I've enjoyed this much since The Island by Victoria Hislop and Captain Correlli's mandolin. This book is definitely going to stay with me.

I absolutely loved the historical facts (and they are based on true accounts) and love stories in this book.

The desc
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Patricia lived in the village of Amiras in Crete where her debut novel, 'The Island of Secrets' is set. She was inspired to write when she unearthed a machine gun in her garden - one used in the events that unfolded in September 1943, and much of the novel is based on real stories told to her by the oldest women of Amiras. Women who've never spoken of their experiences before. Patricia still spend ...more
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