The Forgotten Secret
A country at war
It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long, Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds h...more
Kathleen McGurl has skillfully threaded together an intriguing story that truly captivated me. This book introduced me to a lot of Irish history that I had not previously known. I love when a book educates me about something and how appropriate for me to learn more about Ireland in the month of March. Although I’ve been told st. Patrick’s Day is more of a holiday in the US then in Ireland? Or maybe that Cinco de Mayo? Yes I kno ...more
WOW! I can't begin to find the right words to describe just how much I adored this beautifully compelling and poignant read.
Two very different women connected by different eras.
So brave and strong.
Standing up for what they believe in.
I don't want to give anything away.
But what I will say is, I enjoyed Clare's story.
After 25years of being belittled by her husband, she decides to take a stand and run away to Ireland, to live in h ...more
Clare Farrell is a wife and mother of two grown sons. Her marriage has gone stale; her husband is selfish and takes her for granted. For years she's put up with everything being for his convenience. The unexpected inheritance of a house in Ireland gives Clare a chance to get away and reassess her life. Against her husband's objections, and with the support of her sons, she packs her bags and g ...more
Clare Farre ...more
Set in dual timelines, present day Clare stumbles upon a long hidden secret when she inherits her families old farm house.
A fairly quick read, I never deeply attached to either timeline and found current day Clare unrealistic and older timeline Ellen to be extremely naive and immature.
One of the people caught up in these turbulent times is Ellen O'Brien and it something she hid that is discovered a century late ...more
Clare Farrell has inherited an old farmhouse in County Meath, Ireland. The timing couldn't be more perfect because she had been looking for a way to end a very unhappy marriage. She takes control and leaves her husband for Ireland and is determined to make a go of it. As she starts to reupholster a chair, she finds something that looks like it might be the key to discovering her past.
The timeline shifts in this story to July 1919 with Ellen O'Brien, young, idealistic and in l ...more
Past and present combined nicely to offer a quick read, but I didn't ...more
The book is a dual timeline story and although I enjoyed both timelines (which are linked together) I did enjoy the modern one slightly more. I thought the characters well rounded, and I felt I got to know them very quickly.
I liked how the author has drawn in quite current news stories into the book, for example the recent stories surrounding t ...more
This book links two stories set in a farmhouse in County Meath, Ireland. In 2016, Clare considers leaving her critical, overbearing, unscrupulous husband of twenty-five years. In 1919, young Ellen and her Jimmy become involved in the old Irish Republican Army (IRA). Clare, having inherited the house once owned by Jimmy’s parents, finds personal records in an old chair she is reupholstering. Readers will be sympathetic to both women as th ...more
I must say I seem to be enjoying the historical fiction genre at the moment and this one is told in a dual timeline. I found it so easy to lose myself in 1919 and 2016, and when the main character in 2016 has a very similar surname as me, well that’s me done. I have to read it!!
In 1919 with Ellen, with the excitement of her new job as an upstairs maid in a small Irish town, in the height of the resistance against the British, it reminded me of Downton Abbey (which I love). In 2016, Clare Farrell ...more
This was an engaging read set during two different time periods and centred around a farmhouse in Ireland. In the past there is Ellen and her experiences of life and love during the Irish Uprising of 1919 and the war of independence. In modern day there is 50 year old Clare embarking on a fresh start after leaving her critical and overbearing husband. The link, apart from the farmhouse, is personal documents discovered in a old armchair ...more
THE FORGOTTEN SECRET by Kathleen McGurl is an absorbing, dual-timeline story that packs an emotional punch which I was not expecting.
In 1919, Ellen O'Brien has gotten a job up at the big house and the boy who claims her heart returns home from school where they can finally be together. Life is hard work but she is happy. But things are about to change drastically for Ellen and she will experience hardships and heartbreaks like no other. Will she ha ...more
"We rounded a corner, turned off the narrow country lane and onto a gravel track, drove past a little copse of birch trees and there it was.".
My Thoughts on The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl
I snapped this book up because of the 1919 setting duri ...more
Two women, two time periods, two stories.
Ellen, a young girl in 1919 working as a maid in a larger country house. Set in County Meath in the midst of a growing war between the Irish and the English, Ellen is almost coerced into choosing a side despite being unsure of her feelings. Swept up by love and loyalty, Ellen finds herself becoming involved and doing things she never dreamed of.
A hundred y ...more
It didn't take me long to be drawn into the stories of both Ellen back in 1919 and that of Clare in present day 2016, I was captivated right from the first few chapters. I loved how the story went back and forth from 1919 to 2016 which was done so seamlessly.
It was highly captivating, dramatic and emotional read in places, I literally could ...more
Clare is living in our modern age and is about to turn 50 and living London , she inherits her uncle Padraigs farmstead in Ireland. When she first visits a seed is sown and she imagines a new life in Ireland away from her increasingly controlling husband.
Ellen lives in Ireland around 1919..She is 18 and has just started her first job as an upstairs maid in a big house. Her childhood friend has returned from school and they di ...more
By Kathleen McGurl
Reviewed on behalf of 3 Degrees of Fiction Book Blog
The Forgotten Secret was really enjoyable read which had me intrigued the whole way through. I really like historical fiction and this book was a great example. It is also the first book that I have read by this author and I really enjoyed her detailed writing style. I loved the dual timeline to the story and at first I wondered if I would be lost and confused but I wasn’t at all, her writing was jus ...more
Set in the fight for Irish Independence the book also reflects a woman's personal fight for independence from a dominating husband both connected by a secret find. Well written and worth reading. ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a dual timeline set in Ireland in the early 20th century during the warring in Ireland and in the present day.
The author has researched the years of the wars, and written a lot about these hard times, so a great history lesson for the reader.
It was a real page turner for me, and I was disappointed when it ended.
This is a book I would highly recommend.
THE FORGOTTEN SECRET is the first book I've read by Kathleen McGurl and it won't be my last. It is difficult to place this in just one genre as it has so many facets to it. It's a touch of women's fiction, a touch of mystery and a wonderfully historical!
I must say I LOVE dual timeline stories as it brings to life two stories into one. And this one is no different. Centreing a ...more
I can’t believe I am only just reading Kathleen McGurl’s stories!! I am sure I say this every time I review a book by an author whose books I haven't read before, but I can’t!
The Forgotten Secret has everything I love in a story: contemporary and historical fiction, a mystery, characters I can easily connect with, well researched, beautifully told.
The story is told as a dual time frame, set between 1919-1920 and the present day. In the ...more
The Forgotten Secret is an intriguing tale predominantly set in County Meath during the summer of 1919, as well as present day, and is told from two perspectives, Clare, a middle-aged woman who stumbles across long-hidden family secrets after moving to Clonamurty Farm to rediscover herself and start afresh, and Ellen, a young girl in love who finds herself unexpectedly caught up in her country’s fight for self-identity and independence against Anglo rule.
I have to say I learned quite a bit about Irish history that I was not aware of. If you are interested in Irish history, you will like this book.
I did enjoy this story and will read more from this author.
Thank you to NetGallery, the publisher an ...more