Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Eleanor's Secret” as Want to Read:
Eleanor's Secret
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Eleanor's Secret

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  44 reviews

Can Eleanor follow her heart in troubled times?

Eleanor Roy is determined to do her bit for the war effort after being recruited by the War Artist Advisory Committee. When she meets handsome artist Jack Valante, her dreams seem to be finally coming true when Jack promises to help her pursue her ambition of becoming an artist. But after a whirlwind romance, Elean

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published May 17th 2018 by Ebury Digital
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Eleanor's Secret, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Eleanor's Secret

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  200 ratings  ·  44 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Eleanor's Secret
It was London, 1942 and Eleanor Roy had joined the War Artist Advisory Committee, or WAAC as it was known. She was tasked with signing artists to sketch, draw and paint the war so everyone at home saw the images depicting what their loved ones were going through. Eleanor herself was an artist; had recently graduated – and dreamed of becoming a war artist herself. But the struggle was that the establishment would only take male artists – it was hard for Eleanor to make her way.

When Eleanor met ar
Dale Harcombe
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In London 1942 Eleanor Roy, recruited by The War Artist Advisory Committee (WAAC), meets artist Jack Valante. There is an instant attraction that lead to something more as time goes on. But then Jack is posted overseas and despite their love for each other, he disappears from her life. There are secrets Eleanor doesn’t know about Jack. Moving on in time in Melbourne 2010, Kathryn receives an urgent request from her grandmother, Eleanor. This concerns a precious painting and also digging in to th ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“War art was the public face of the warring nation; their visible response to the conflicts and a reflection of their national grief.”

Eleanor’s Secret is the second novel by British-born Australian author, Caroline Beecham. It’s 1942 and, as well as her volunteer work, Eleanor Roy is holding down two paying jobs and keeping an eye on her fragile younger sister, a trainee nurse. She’s lucky to have work in the field she loves: art. On behalf of the Ministry of Food, she organises artwork for
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
4.5 stars
Eleanor’s Secret, the second novel from author Caroline Beecham promises to be ‘an engrossing wartime mystery of past deceptions, family secrets and long-lasting love…’. I go this and so much more from this first rate dual time frame narrative novel.

Eleanor’s Secret transports the reader to London in the year 1942, a time of war, uncertainty and great upheaval. Eleanor Roy is the central protagonist of this mystery, come love story. Eleanor is an ar
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

Eleanor's Secret by Caroline Beecham. (2018).

London, 1942. Eleanor is an art school graduate recruited by the War Artists Advisory Committee and dreams of becoming one of few female war artists. Eleanor then meets Jack, only to be quickly separated by his sudden posting overseas.
Melbourne, 2010. Kathryn is leaving her family at home at her grandmother Eleanor's request for help to return a precious painting to its artist. But that sear
Finally manage to find a war book that wasn't a complete drainer!

This actually kept me pretty entertained. It was blessedly light on all the horrors-of-war details and focused more on the art and artists, which I found quite interesting. It's a new angle, thus quite refreshing.

The split views between the 1940s and 2010 also allow for variation and make things a bit more interesting, particularly as the mystery surrounding Jack's disappearance grows deeper and more intriguing. I was very curious
Alicia Huxtable
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-wins
Caroline Beecham is a fantastic author. She takes a subject and creates such a beautiful picture in the minds eye that you just can't help but become completely engrossed within the story.
This story set in the war follows Eleanor and her work with the War Artist Advisory Committee. And it follows Jack, one of the war artists....... And Eleanor's love.
This book gave me goosebumps on more than 1 occasion.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, giveaways
Thanks to Allen & Unwin for sending me this copy.

3.5 stars

This is the first book I've read by this author. I immediately found myself engrossed in the 1940s storyline of Eleanor, the WAAC and Jack and remained so during these sections of the book throughout. Unfortunately I wasn't as taken with the modern day elements of the story which I found dragged a bit and Eleanor's reluctance to be forthcoming with information that may help find Jack frustrated me. This was definitely an engaging love sto
Jeanette Lewis
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
(Will Dyson was Australia's first war artist who travelled without pay to France where in 1916 he saw some of the bloodiest fighting in history. Ben Quilty, is Australia's modern day acclaimed war artist and at this present time has an exhibition on view at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Brisbane until October.)

In 1942 Eleanor is working for the Ministry of Food and has been sent to have a contract signed by artist Jack Valante where she finds him drawing war orphans in an old estate building.
From the Australian author of Maggie's Kitchen, Caroline Beecham, comes her second novel, Eleanor's Secret. Eleanor's Secret is a historical fiction novel told in the third person with a dual timeline. Set in London 1942 and Melbourne in 2010, it is the story of a two young women revealed in five parts.

In 1942, the reader follows in the footsteps of Eleanor Ray. A young woman who works for the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC), her true calling is to be a war artist. Knowing little about wa
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
review to come on my blog.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Eleanor's Secret by Caroline Beecham, (author of Maggie's Kitchen) which I read just a couple of years ago and also loved.

Eleanor's Secret is a new and slightly different story focusing on War Artists.

This story is full of mystery and intrigue ~ an artistic flair and a touch of romance.

It's absorbing, easy to read, very interesting ~ full of history and research into War Artists of the 1940's.

Thank you to Amanda at Mrs B's Book Reviews and also the publishers, Allen and Unwin fo
Monique Mulligan
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor’s Secret by Caroline Beecham is part mystery, part love story, and proved just right for a couple nights’ winter reading. Beecham’s dual timeline story, set partly in wartime Britain and partly in 2010 London, was carefully knitted together, leading readers on a enjoyable and warm journey of discovery. I found the wartime artists’ aspect particularly fascinating, and indeed, this timeline grabbed me more overall both with its historical fact and the emotional investment.
Kathryn Agar
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
It was an interesting insight into the Second World War. Thought two painters eyes. I like the historical value of the book, but I felt that it was a bit long winded. I would give it three a half stars. Thank you Beauty and Lace book club.
Theresa Smith
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aww2018
Review to come...
Kirstie Ellen
Thanks to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing
This was certainly an interesting read. It didn't turn out to be what I expected from it and it was very slow-going at the start. I still enjoyed it, however, and thought it was really beautifully written! But the whole story is definitely more of a family saga than the nitty gritty historical fiction I was hoping for.

Eleanor's Secret
So! This book is historical fiction set around
Andrea Barton
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Eleanor’s Secret, Caroline Beecham skillfully interweaves two timeframes—World War II and the present. Eleanor’s job with the War Artist Advisory Committee entails selecting artists to portray the war for posterity and propaganda, while as a woman, her own artistic talent is overlooked. The mysterious artist Jack Valante initially resists signing an artist's contract, but cannot withstand Eleanor’s appeal. Their romance blossoms until he is sent to the front. Years later, Eleanor asks her gra ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
ELEANOR'S SECRET by Caroline Beecham is a historical novel with a difference and opened up a whole new world to me as a reader when it came to art in World War II.

Eleanor is working for the War Artist Advisory Committee while also keeping an eye on her family as much as she can. While she feels lucky with regards to her job, her dream is to be a war artist herself and bring the reality of what is happening on the ground to those at home but as she is a woman this isn't a possibility. When her wo
Carley Cesare
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was kindly sent this book by Allen and Unwin when I won Maggie’s Kitchen as part of the Goodreads giveaways.

An interesting take on World War II; once again Caroline Beecham weaves a tale of life in Britain through a government agency. Eleanor, a budding artist as well as an employee of the War Artist Advisory Committee encounters Jack; an established artist. The tale evolves around their joint love of art and friendship when the world is changing at a rapid pace.

Beecham uses Eleanor’s grandda
Katie Rankin
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor’s Secret was a great book that told a beautiful story capturing the tale from a Grandmother starting from 1942 to 2010 with her Granddaughter going to find what happened to her grandmothers sweetheart. It beautifully flowed from 1942 to 2010 with clues being found along the way. Not wanting to give too much away – It was an excellent read and definitely a book I would re-read again.
Thank you so much Beauty and Lace Bookclub and Allen & Unwin for letting me read this beautiful story.
Talking Books
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dual timeline story ranging: 1942 and 2010, that was fabulous reading. Some twists in the story and many likeable characters that twisted the heartstrings.
Review copy received from Allen & Unwin Australia
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming tale of love lost, of chances taken and lives changed. Well written and in the end a history lesson for those of us born after World War Two.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful combination of interesting part of history with lots of secrets, and terrific characters with elements of suspense and mystery - I don't normally read this genre but am so glad I did
M.J. Mallon
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Thank you to the author for a copy – opinions are my own.

This novel attracted me with its artistic slant and Eleanor’s desire to become a female war artist. I’ve never read anything about war artists before so this definitely piqued my interest. I particularly loved the scenes which focused on the war orphans and Eleanor struggling at first to bring them out of their shells, but succeeding by encouraging them to focus on things that mattered to them – taki
Jackie Beecham
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you love being transported back in time and discovering different worlds, then you will fall in love with Eleanor’s Secret. The story line switches between the 1940s and 2016, with the main characters of Eleanor and her granddaughter, Kathryn, the two protagonists. They are both strong and richly drawn and I found both their stories equally compelling. I particularly loved the depth and intricacy of the two storylines which both offer up lots of drama, romance, pace and a mystery that kept me ...more
Eleanor’s Secret was a very easy, pleasant, intriguing and charming read about mystery, love lost and family. There were many elements within the story that I enjoyed.
Firstly, I really liked the characters, especially Eleanor. They were believable, well-rounded and likeable, and each held a purpose within the story-line. Secondly, I loved the author’s descriptions of things, from the settings to the paintings, which created beautiful detailed images in my mind. Furthermore, like this author’s p
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beecham's novel was one that I found deeply engrossing. Though towards the start of the novel I was primarily drawn towards Eleanor's journey, the further into the novel I got, the more invested in both Eleanor and Kathryn's stories, particularly as Kathryn uncovered more and more about Jack Valante. The romance between Eleanor and Jack was one that didn't seem forced in any way, instead being incredibly believable, the way in which the two characters bounced off each other working beautifully. ...more
Dale Pearce
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor’s Secret by Caroline Beecham follows the life of Eleanor during the war in London in 1942 and later in her life in 2010, through her granddaughter, Kathryn.
In 1942 Eleanor is an art school graduate and is recruited by the War Artists Advisory Committee to help artists capture the war in any medium possible. Eleanor’s greatest dream is to become a war artist herself but this proves difficult for her and thus follows her story. Eleanor meets painter Jack Valente through trying to get him t
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Maggie’s Kitchen so was looking forward to another Caroline Beecham book.
Eleanor’s Secret is a really well written and well researched book that covers two timelines.
It is 1942 in war-torn London where we are first introduced to Eleanor who joins the War Artist Advisory Committee during WWII .
In 2010 Eleanor is requesting her grand-daughter Kathryn’s help to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a war artist Jack Valante who Eleanor had a special relationship with.
Susan Fox
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor’s Secret is a thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable story. Its dual timelines are equally compelling. I was fully drawn into the mystery and didn’t work out the secret until I was close to finishing the book.
I found the history which inspires the book to be really fascinating and Caroline has done a great job with her thorough research turning up many interesting facts about Second World War Artists and life in that time.
A beautifully told love story and an intriguing mystery.
Caroline’s p
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 3 14 Apr 29, 2019 08:06PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Paris Secret
  • The Diamond Hunter
  • Just an Ordinary Family
  • The Mystery Woman
  • The Survivors
  • The Peacock Summer
  • Lost Without You
  • The Good Turn (Cormac Reilly, #3)
  • The Woman From Saint Germain
  • A Lifetime of Impossible Days
  • The Silk House
  • The Lost Jewels
  • Suitcase of Dreams (The Girl from Munich #2)
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words
  • The Lace Weaver
  • The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls
  • Silver
  • The Invitation
See similar books…
Caroline is a British-born Australian-based author, with 20 years experience as a writer and producer in film and television. She has worked on a documentary about Princess Diana lookalikes, a series about journeys to the ends of the earth, as well as a feature film about finding the end of the rainbow. While she has done none of these things herself, she has discovered that she loves to write and ...more

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
53 likes · 30 comments