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 her...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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
If you have never read either of those books and you enjoy t ...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
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
This quote from The Forgotten Secret is why I enjoy reading historical fiction. Fictional stories let us part the curtain to the past, to a past that is more than dates and monuments, to show us a time filled with real people trying to live their real lives. Author Kathleen McGurl succeeds in giving us two different women, living at two different touchpoint times in their li ...more
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are comple ...more
Iam totally lost for words, this book blew me away spanning 100 years this book Covered the troubles of 1916 the Magdalene laundry and many issues as I live in Ireland it was all very relevant the book slipped seamlessly between the two periods in time I can't praise this book enough and will be telling family and friends to read This ROLLER COASTER EXTRAVAGANZA OF A BOOK
One of my pet peeves when reading is when the prose *tells* rather than *shows* and I'm sorry to say that was a frequent distraction in my mind while reading this book. It had a compelling enough story, but the characters felt flat until about halfway thr ...more
The story was written as a narrative with dual first person point of views. The conflict was characters, self, and society. The characters are described in a direct characterization method. The theme includes popular ones such as war and peace, survivale, courage and heroism, love, death, coming of age, and power and corruption, but all in a way of mystery for two different women in two different time frames.
There are two main protagonist in this story one in 1919 and one in 2019. T ...more
When re-visiting the farm her Uncle Pádraig left her in his will, Clare's filled with nostalgia, whilst looking at the potential the run-down building has. A view not shared by her husband. Back home, with the support of her grown-up sons, she decides to seize an opportunity to build a new life for hers ...more
The book begins with a historical note and I was really pleased that it was there and not at the end as it gives a brief overview of Irish political history, the rebellions and the wars, right up to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. I found this invaluable as I was largely ignorant of the detail ...more
Told in two separate time frames from 1919 the story of Ellen and her love for Jimmy set against the Irish war for independence and then fast forwarding to an Irish woman of 2016 and her quest to build a life away from a manipulative and emotionally abusive husband.
Ellen was a simple girl who found employment as a maid. Her empl ...more
The reader meets Clare when she inherits a dilapidated property in Ireland and uses this inheritance to free herself from under the oppressive thumb of her husband. After many decades of marriage and two grown children, she finally plucks up the courage to free herself from his constant verbal abuse and abusive control.
I th ...more