Cover Image: The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

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Member Reviews

Set in the present time and 1890’s in Dorset and Norfolk.
This is a love story with humor and some fantasy. Featuring the history of two identical houses, Hawthorn Place and Acacia House designed by the architect Percy Gladwell.
In the present time Molly finds herself homeless, without a job and no money. She travels to Hawthorn Place on the coast of Dorset to spend time with her grandfather who needs some company to help him get over the grief of the death of his wife.
Hawthorn Place is very large and has many quirky features and a few spooky stories of unusual haunting's. 
Molly struggles to come to grips to life without money or phone and no internet.
She learns to cook and tries to find a job. There are a lot of humorous incidents. 
I loved the way the story switches back to the 1890’s and the life and loves of Percy Gladwell, the architect who designed Hawthorn Place and its quirky features, especially the Latin phrases scattered throughout the house declaring loss and love.
The pace was fast switching back and forwards between two time periods and different houses leaving you waiting for more information. Its about love, grief and families and the history of two houses.
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A charming story about the power of love.  The book is written in a dual timeline and that was an excellent way to tell this tale.  It was very interesting to see that life really does not change all that much from time to time.  People still have the same issues to deal with.  Whether it is being tied to the constraints of society, or growing to find your way in the world, people from historical times and current time are still struggling with this.
I enjoy this author’s writing style and I always adore that she includes a character from the older population.  I believe a well-formed story should include characters of different ages.
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The Secrets of Hawthorn Place is a dual timeline story, with the first timeline taking place in present day and telling the story of Molly, a 24-year-old college grad (who looks about 17) whose boyfriend recently kicked her out and she finds herself employed in a job she hates, homeless, and struggling. She quits her job and moves in with her grandfather, whose wife has recently died, and the two of them help each other to get past their grief and find themselves again. The second timeline takes place in the late 1800s and is that of Percy Gladwell, the architect of Hawthorn Place, the home of Molly's grandfather. Percy is an architect who specializes in the Arts and Crafts style of home - something I had never heard of - and Percy takes a job to design a home in the country for Violet Marston, an unhappily married woman, and the two fall in love. There's more to the story than this but no spoilers, just that it's an easy read and enjoyable story. I loved it!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to enjoy The Secrets Of Hawthorne Place. I must admit, I did not care for Molly at first but I truly enjoyed watching her grow up! This is a sweet story of the different types of love and the power of forgiveness. This is a book not to be missed
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I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
The story is in dual time, 1896 and present and includes magic and an enduring love story.
There are two houses, much like characters in the story. They are designed identically by Percy Gladwell in the art and and craft movement.  One house is in Dorrset and the other in Norfolk  far apart.

Molly Butterfield, 24, ends up living at her granddads home in Dorrset.  She is jobless, homeless, and has been dumped by her boyfriend and her parents are leaving for vacation.  Her granddad has been recently widowed and not coping well.  While Molly is rather spoiled, living without the internet and feeling sorry for herself realizes her situation needs improvement.  She has no skills for cleaning and cooking which she sees needs some attention.

She starts learning how to clean, cook, garden and coaxes her granddad to help.  She then by accident ends up in the other identical home. She must comes to terms with her life and discovery.  Molly delves into the houses history and learns about the. love that joins them. The intrigue of how the houses are connected is such a great part of the story..

I totally loved this book and how it develops in two time zones. I loved the characters as they are written so well it’s easy to imagine them. I loved the story and how love ties people and family.
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The Secrets Of Hawthorn Place is a wonderful, magical dual timeline book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Firstly I love dual timeline books so this book instantly appealed to me plus there were two amazing sounding houses to explore so I was a very happy reader. I loved learning more about the houses and trying to work out the connection between the two of them. They are the kind of houses I’d love to explore and could probably lose hours in. They reminded me a bit if some of the National Trust houses I’ve been in.

The characters were all wonderful creations that I enjoyed following throughout the book. I liked how the author had written them so that the reader couldn’t help but like them despite their flaws. I had a particular soft spot for Percy, especially his tempestuous relationship with violet. His part of the story helps provide the reader with some fascinating historical details about architecture design which I found very interesting.

Overall i really liked this book which I finished in a couple of days. The two timelines were equally fascinating as each other and I enjoyed the gradual revealing of secrets as the reader slowly learns about the link between the two houses. The twist towards the end was very clever and I’ll definitely look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book and to Headline Accent for my copy of this book via netgalley.
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Favorite Quotes:

I’d been warned that she was a religious woman who did not approve of anything approaching fun. No wonder her daughter looked so miserable.

I smiled, but the glare I received in return would dampen even Satan’s furnaces.

He was as bonkers as a box of frogs on speed, but it was certainly never dull with him.

I went and cocked it up so badly that even a powerful fairy godmother with the biggest magic wand on the planet couldn’t sort this mess.

My Review:

I was quite taken with the clever craft of this book, it was a bewitchingly addictive tale that kept me intrigued and smirking in equal measure due to this wily author's amusing wit and perceptively descriptive observations.  Told across two timelines with a dual POV, I enjoyed the canny layering and shrewd pacing of the separate tales as they wove a heart-squeezing, and compelling tale from the past alongside a more vibrant and somewhat vexing tale in the present day and expertly and slyly stitched the pieces together with an unpredictable leap forward.  I was enmeshed, enchanted, and totally delighted.  Jenni Keer has mad skills and is a gifted and evocative storyteller.
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'The Secrets Of Hawthorne Place' by Jenni Keer is a dual - timeline historical fiction novel with a mystical twist also. I love historical fiction and dual timelines are also a favourite too, so I was really looking forward to settling down with this book.
 The first timeline is set at the end of the 1th century and the beginning of the 20th. We are told the story of Percy, the architect of the Arts and Craft movement. The later timeline is set in the present day and we meet Molly, who plans to return to her parents after a relationship break-up. It turns out that she has to stay with her grandad who is recently widowed, in a quirky Victorian house in a small Dorset village. The only problem is that Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Arts and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.
Finding out  that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.
This is a book that drew me in immediately. The scenic settings are both written so exquisitely so I could picture them both. Jenni Keer's characters feel authentic, interesting and also complex. I really got invested in them as no-one is perfect and Molly certainly has her flaws. The historical side of the story gave me a glimpse of the Arts and Craft Movement. As I tend to say a lot with historical fiction, I was educated as well as entertained which, for me, is a bonus. I found myself captivated by 'The Secrets Of Hawthorne Place' and lived every minute of discovering the secrets with Molly. 
Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources and Jenni Keer for the copy of this enthralling and enchanting book.
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I absolutely enjoyed every bit of this beautiful and imaginatively written time-slip that connects two magical period houses in a tale capturing the essence of true love.  

With dual timeline stories I usually find myself more engaged in one storyline over the other but the author so successfully weaves these stories together that I enjoyed both.  The writing was magical, endearing, heartbreaking and even funny, I found my self giggling on one page and wiping a tear away on the next.  The characters were all fantastically developed, even the houses became characters in their own right.  There was just a lot of love put into this story that left me with all the feels and a smile on my face.
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What a pleasure to read a story with a touch of fantasy. it is surprising, you cannot anticipate the end, and it is very relaxing. The descriptions are absolutely enchanting and the dialogues are captivating. 
A received a copy from NetGalley, all opnions are mine.
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I dual-time love story with a bit of magic thrown in for good measure! The story mesmerises and engulfs the senses from start to finish. Molly, the main protagonist isn't the nicest of people, self-centred and selfish, I really didn't like her as a person until the last few chapters, but this in no way spoiled the story for me. If anything, it made it all the more entertaining and engrossing.
I can well recommend this read and my thanks to Headline Accent and Netgalley for the reading ARC.
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With thanks to #NetGalley and #Headline for an ARC of #TheSecretsOfHawthornPlace by #JenniKeer. 

The cover of this book was immediately attractive and I was intrigued to see where the story would take me. 

Two identical houses exist, hundreds of miles apart, but what is the connection between them?
I am going to say no more than that about the plot for fear of adding any unintentional spoilers. 
I will say this is a magical dual timeline story. Which kept me gripped right the way through. 
This is a story of love, mystery, family and finding who you are and where you truly belong. 
A fabulous story that flows well and at a good pace. 
Intriguing, magical, romantic and heartwarming.  
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I love a dual-time story, and it all started so well – the beautiful medieval love poem, Percy Gladwell’s letter of farewell to “darling Violet” before stepping off the cliff at West Bay on the Jurassic coast. And then the story returns to the present day – that’s what happens in a dual-time story – and we meet Molly, down on her luck, expecting her mother and stepfather to bail her out in the way they always have. She might be 24, but she really has the life skills of a 12-year-old – she’s selfish and entitled, could be a poster girl for everything us oldies see as “the problem with the younger generation”, and I disliked her intensely. And worse still, I then realised that the present day story was going to be told in the first person, so there would be no escape from her whiney voice. For a (very) short while, I thought I might not be able to carry on reading – but then I remembered that this was a novel by one of my favourite authors, so I really just needed to knuckle down and get on with it.

And this time, the parents don’t come to her rescue – she treats her rather lovely stepfather like he’s something on her shoe, and you fear she’s going to win her mother over once again as she greets her with a pink gin and a sympathetic ear, but it’s just not going to happen this time. Instead, she’s saved by an invitation to spend the summer with her widowed grandfather, in his Victorian Arts and Crafts house on the Dorset cliffs – and when she arrives she finds that he’s really struggling after the loss of his beloved Briggy, surviving on toast and spending his days in front of the telly rather than tending the garden he’s always loved, and the house is wreathed with dust. Housework and cooking aren’t skills that Molly has ever acquired, but it soon becomes clear that she needs to step up a little: and her inept attempts become increasingly funny, I began to enjoy the relationship between them both, and found I was reading with a wide smile on my face.

And then Molly discovers – and it’s more than my life’s worth to tell you how, but there’s a touch of real magic – that there’s an identical quirky house in Norfolk, far more at home in its surroundings. The story then alternates between both houses – they’re almost characters in the story, quite wonderfully described and brought to life – with dips back into the past and the enthralling love affair between Percy, the house’s architect, and out-of-reach Violet. Molly becomes fascinated by the houses’ history – while learning some of those life skills she was so severely lacking, discovering what’s important and turning her life around, and having a few romantic encounters of her own.

I honestly think that might be one of the worst synopses I’ve ever written – I really haven’t sold you the book yet, have I? I just so desperately don’t want to spoil the book for anyone – and there are a few real surprises along the way – but I must say that I absolutely loved every moment. I might not have taken to Molly when I first met her, but by the end she’d entirely won my heart – her journey’s a difficult one, but I adored her as she made one big mistake after another, every twist and turn of her story exceptionally funny but also, at times, emotional and extremely touching. And if you enjoy things emotional, you’re going to just love Percy and Violet’s turn-of-the-century love affair, revisited regularly as the book progresses – there were times when it really broke my heart.

This is quite wonderful writing – the author has an exceptional imagination that took my breath away, and the whole premise of the book is highly original and so well-handled. The characterisation is simply wonderful – I grew to love Molly, I adored her grandfather, but the whole supporting cast is quite tremendous, as are the very real relationships between them all. There’s a lot of love in this book, quite beautifully done, and the humour’s spot-on too – every shade from subtle to slapstick – and there were plenty of moments that made me laugh out loud, only to be wiping away a little tear a few pages later.

It’s well-researched and totally captivating, the author’s writing has never been better, and I adored every moment – it perhaps wasn’t entirely the book I was expecting it to be, but that only made me love it more. What a story – thoroughly recommended to all.
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4.5 stars
I always enjoy a dual timeline story and this had the added extra of a magical twist. I enjoyed the way that Molly’s character developed during the story. She started off as being very disorganised and self centred to becoming a more mature person, thinking of how her actions affected others. The other story started in 1894 and involved Percy and Violet. Their’s was such a lovely romance that although forbidden, found a way to express themselves. There is also the link between the two houses, I did wonder how it would all link together but it did and in a lovely surprising way. I enjoyed this story very much and loved how everything tied together at the end. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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With her life in disarray, Mollie Butterfield has to make some important life choices and spending time with her elderly grandfather at his home, Hawthorn Place, is part of the plan to get her disordered life back on track. Hawthorn Place is unusual and in many ways its quirks and foibles are very much part of this heartwarming story which looks at how the magic, and mystery, of the house pull together to make Molly's life all the more meaningful.

This fascinating dual time story has an interesting twist so that it becomes a story not just about what is happening to Molly as she discovers the secret nature of Hawthorn Place but also where she learns far more about herself in the process. The slipping back through time is done really cleverly and the first time it happened it took me completely by surprise so much so I had to back track a little to get the sequence settled but once I understood the quirky nature of the time travel element I began to enjoy both aspects of the story. Running alongside Molly's unique story in the present is the story of architect, Percy Gladwell, and his client, Violet Marston, whose lives in the late eighteenth century also form an integral part to this lovely story.

Imaginatively written, with clever characterisation, The Secrets of Hawthorn Place is a lovely story about the undeniable power of love, both past and present.
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I have never read a book by this author before but was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis. I love dual time period novels.

The story starts with Molly, a young somewhat spoiled woman who has been dumped by her boyfriend and seems to feel that everyone else is responsible for her needs and happiness. So far not a great start for a character, but I am happy to say she grew on me throughout the book. Molly runs home to her mom and step-dad, but they are unable to take her in as they have booked a house swap vacation, so off she goes to her grandfather’s house, Hawthorn Place in Dorset. While in Dorset she discovers through an intriguing twist an identical house to Hawthorn house, only this house is in Norfolk. Through researching the mystery of the two houses. Molly gets the chance to broaden her horizons and most importantly grow up.

I really enjoyed the magical element and the two time periods of this novel, plus the arts and crafts era was such an interesting time in history and architecture. I recommend this book for someone looking for a fun, historical, magical read for a lovely fall day.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher Headline Accent and the author for a chance to read and review this book.
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The secrets of hawthorn place by Jenni Keer. 
When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.
But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Arts and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.
Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.
A good read with good characters. I did find the historical bit slow. 4*.
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What a gorgeous story, I loved reading this from when we first met temperamental Molly to the very last page. A story full of love, hope and forgiveness spanning from late 1800's to present day.

When Molly arrives at her Grandad's as broken and temperamental as him she has no idea of the magic that is at her finger tips and how the history of Hawthorn Place combined with her discovery will totally change her outlook on life.

Once again Jenni Keer has written a wonderful story, that just sweeps you along and leaves you longing to read late into the night. I loved the historical elements and the way the romance is wound within the two significant houses in this story. 

A superb read from start to finish and one that will leave you wanting to know more as I was nowhere near ready for this to end.
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In this book there were different time lines and different characters, so thought I was going to get lost but it was surprisingly easy to keep up, all the characters were very well written and I did enjoy this book and got hooked quite easily
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I loved this magical dual timeline story with its two houses and four fabulous characters. I wasn’t sure about Molly to begin with and enjoyed Percy’s story much more - as she grew in character though, I found myself routing for her and loved how she became invested in the history of the house.
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