In 2016, a secret apartment is discovered in Paris - one that has not been opened since 1942. The rich and influential Vermeil family is totally unaware of its existence. Fine art agent Flora Sykes is called in to deal with its contents. Immersed in her own family troubles, and plunged into a new mystery concerning her new employers, she tries to do her job in a professional manner, but emotions run high. Opening the door of the apartment before its scheduled time has been like opening Pandora's box. As Flora follows a trail of clues to discover the origins of its contents, a monstrous secret threatens to destroy the family that owns it, while Flora's heart is laid open to love for the first time in her life. I adored this novel - unexpected twists and turns, excellent writing.
Rita Bradshaw - A Winter Love Song
A good, substantial book giving hours of entertainment, A Winter Love Song is a must for anyone who enjoys sagas. It begins in 1928 when Bonnie is ten years old, living with her adored widowed father in a fair travelling round north east England. When she is left alone, she must endure years of misery in the care of her loveless grandmother, until she manages to escape and runs away to London. Here she strives to forge a career as a singer, but she never forgets her father and the people who were her friends. With the advent of war, her life changes, bringing friendship and loss but also giving her the opportunity to love. It is a long, hard path for Bonnie as she struggles to put the past behind her and find the happiness she desires.
Cathy Kelly - Once in a Lifetime
Strong women going through challenging times are always found in Cathy Kelly's novels, and this has plenty of varied characters to envelop the reader. At the centre of the story are women of different generations - Ingrid, television political interviewer at the height of her career, mother of two young adults and wife to David, who owns the iconic Kenny's department store. We are also drawn into the story of Natalie, flatmate of Ingrid's daughter Molly. Ingrid has a loving father and stepmother, but her own mother died before she could know her. What's more, no-one will talk about her mother, so there's a great gap in her life. Then there's Star Bluestone, the last generation of a family of women with intuitive powers, who live apart from the general community. Star was involved with Ingrid's husband David when they were young. Into this mix is thrown a shocking unexpected event which affects all of the women in different ways and unlocks secrets that threaten the stability of their lives forever. A deep, involved book with plenty of reading.