Cindy Burnett's Reviews > The Cottingley Secret

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor
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it was amazing

The Cottingley Secret cements Hazel Gaynor’s position as one of my favorite authors. I loved The Girl Who Came Home and A Memory of Violets, and The Cottingley Secret is equally outstanding. For years I have been fascinated with the English girls, Elise Wright and Frances Griffiths, who in 1917 claimed they photographed fairies in their backyard and the resulting notoriety they achieved. While I was familiar with the basic facts of the event, Gaynor recreates their story and fills in the details including that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed the photographs were authentic and helped spread their tale to the rest of England.

Gaynor tells the tale in a dual timeline format which works very well for The Cottingley Secret. Olivia lives in the present day and, after the recent loss of her grandfather, returns to Ireland to manage the book shop she inherited, called Something Old, and attempt to straighten out her own life. She finds a manuscript written by Frances Griffiths and slowly becomes fascinated with the girls’ fairy tale (see my pun there?). The second story begins in 1917 when Frances and her mother come to stay with Elsie and her family during the Great War. The girls form a close bond and enjoy spending time down at the beck where Frances believes she sees fairies. She eventually confides in Elsie who concocts the idea that the girls should photograph the fairies, and the tale takes off from there – I cannot say anymore because I do not want to spoil this beautiful story. The two storylines eventually intertwine in a highly satisfying manner. I was amazed at the depth of the tale and fascinated that Gaynor was able to meet and speak at length with Frances’ daughter. I loved immersing myself in this enchanting and intriguing tale and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a feel good and magical book. I received an advance review copy of this book from the Great Thoughts’ Ninja Review Team. All opinions are my own.
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Reading Progress

April 20, 2017 – Shelved
April 20, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
August 1, 2017 – Started Reading
August 2, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Robin (new) - added it

Robin Thanks for a great review. I'm anxious to read this as when I was very young, an older neighbor girl swore that fairies appeared on the top of their fence at night. So one night I was over at her house and she told me it was happening, and when she drew back the curtains, there *were* dancing lights on top of the fence! I totally believed this for years and to this day have no idea what kind of trick she played to have those lights appear.


message 2: by JacQuelyne (new) - added it

JacQuelyne I love this writer's books and have several on my list. Since I will be going into hospital and rehab during Oct./Nov. and possibly Dec. after some major surgery on my right foot, I am beginning to gather my various books, coloring books and games to see me through the boredom. I am so thankful for my Kindle Fire. I will definitely have this author on my list to take with me to help alleviate boredom and to aid me in keeping the dull roar of the pain.


Cheri Terrific review, Cindy!


message 4: by Fiona (new)

Fiona MacDonald I am currently reading this - it's just superb and beautifully written. Thank you so much for the wonderful review which has motivated me to finish it as quickly as possible!!


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