Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Secrets We Share by Emma Hannigan

Clara Conway is a woman with secrets. But consequently, Clara's family is falling apart. Her son Max emigrated to the US years ago and she has yet to meet her teenage granddaughter, Nathalie...because Max and his mother no longer speak. Meanwhile Clara's daughter Ava is fighting for a piece of happiness. When Clara unexpectedly reaches out to Nathalie and her niece comes to visit, Ava's thoughts turn to Max, the brother she loved and lost. The brother whose abrupt disappearance left the Conway family heartbroken. When Nathalie finds a pile of torn, faded letters, she unlocks the door to Clara's past. Can Nathalie's time with her grandmother start to right some very old wrongs? And can Clara find a way to reach out to Max and thereby begin to heal the whole family once more? After all, some secrets are meant to be shared...

Emma Hannigan is a very talented author and I look forward to her new releases, so as soon as The Secrets We Share arrived on my doormat I had to start this one straight away the synopsis sounded promising.

The storyline is told in the present time and also jumps back in time too and this part is delivered in the form of letters which worked beautifully. Clara has secrets and she feels it is time to reunite her family and share the secrets, as she begins to make the connection with her son Max she learns that she has a granddaughter Nathalie who she has never met.

Nathalie has had some tragic news and she is not coping at all and is going off the rails until she returns home one day drunk and her mum can’t take it anymore and decides to send her to Ireland to stay with family she has never met.

As secrets are uncovered will this tear the family further apart or will it help to make amends?
This book has such a wonderful group of characters, they are all flawed but they feel so normal and down to earth so it was hard not to get drawn into their problems. Through all of their faults I still loved each and every one of the characters and I was longing for them to come together as a family and put the past behind them and enjoy the future together. Clara was such a joy to meet she was everything you expect from a grandma, wise, loving, fun and informative and just takes things as they come. Nathalie was also a loveable character although she was understandably hurting it was great to see her grow as a character in her time in Ireland she was very inquisitive and a soft natured character and she really was the string that brought everyone together.

The revelation that we uncover surrounding Ava really hit me and broke my heart, we pick up that there is something from her past that is preventing her from settling down and enjoying life but U would never have guessed what really happened. This part of the book particularly was handled very delicately and it really does pull at the heart strings.

I always find split time scale books a bit hit and miss but I felt the author got the balance perfect in this book, I was equally as interested in both the past and the present storylines and I think this is helped by the way in which the past was written in the form of letters which kept things to the point and just made things a little different.

Yet again this author doesn’t disappoint she held my attention the whole way through this book and I didn’t want to leave these characters at the end. This was an endearing and yet somewhat uplifting read which seems strange to say after reading about such heart-breaking events but I think it is the love and bond of a family that gives you hope that things will be ok.

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