Cover Image: The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

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Member Reviews

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place


Molly arrives at her mother & stepfather home after a breakup with her boyfriend now rendering her homeless . When she arrives she is told she is unable to stay due to them going away on holiday via a houseswap..
She then goes to stay with her step grandfather who is grieving the loss of his wife.
We are transported back and forth to the love story  of the architect of the grandfathers home - Percy Gladwell and Violet Marston.
I did find Molly a little childish and petulant , but that of course is part of the story.
All in all , a good book that takes you from present day  to love from yesteryear.
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A book all about love whether it is tough motherly love or secret love. Two stories entwined by a house Percy and Violet in the past and Molly in the present. Really well written book that keeps you interested right to the end with a twist of magical love will conquer all. Totally recommend
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I was really happy to receive a copy of the book from netgalley as I had heard wonderful early  feedback  on Twitter from  authors whom I love reading. This book sounded just my sort of read, I was anything but disappointed. Wow! This book is utterly brilliant. The storyline is riveting , you never quite know what could be about to happen as it's constantly twisting and turning. 
     This is a dual time novel set between modern day Dorset and victorian  London/ Norfolk . This is a time slip but unlike anything else I've ever read. The storyline is  surprising and not at all what I was expecting. I won't go into any details on that score as it would spoil the reading experience. 
       Molly has just broken up with her boyfriend, she's homeless and has no life skills whatsoever. She goes to stay with her elderly Grandfather in Dorset as he is not coping well after the loss of his wife. She's always been fascinated by the  unusual victorian house where he lives. Her Grandmother always said the house was haunted and there are definitely strange things going on there. 
        As Molly looks into the houses past , she discovers it was designed by a famous victorian architect in the arts and crafts style . Why did the architect go against all of his previous work ethic  and not use locally sourced resources and materials. Molly is determined to uncover the mystery . 
        This was such an enjoyable read, This book had everything,  mystery,family drama, romance  a beautiful love story set in the past and a few twists and turns along the way. Molly wasn't a likeable character to begin with, she was spoilt , selfish and ungrateful but by the end of the book she had fully redeemed herself. Her working relationship with her employer Rory had  humorous moments aplenty, you just couldn't believe someone could be so inept. The attraction between them is very slow build and smoulders . 
      This was such a beautiful book , I thoroughly enjoyed reading it , I love the pre Raphaelites artists and so for this book to be based around the arts and crafts movement was so interesting. The historical detail was rich and obviously well researched. I thoroughly recommend it
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With grateful thanks to netgalley and Jenni keer for  an early copy in return for an honest opinion. 
Having read a few of this authors  books was delighted  to read this one  the book was a sheer delight  to read and can highly recommend.❤
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There was a lot to like about this book. I loved the historical parts and I really loved uncovering the mystery about what had happened and the connection between the houses. 

However I really struggled with the main character who was an overgrown spoilt brat who acted like a teenager rather than a 20 something. Pretty much everything she did and every whinge made me cross
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Molly Butterfield has journeyed to Hawthorn Place, her grandfather’s Victorian home, to help care for him after the death of his wife. It’s not an easy job for Molly, who’s more used to being taken care of than taking care of someone else, and she finds herself out of sorts. Then she discovers that Hawthorn Place has an identical twin on the Norfolk coast, called Acacia House. A search reveals that both houses were designed by Percy Gladwell and the amazing love story that inspired him.
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What a wonderfully, well-written treat The Secrets of Hawthorn Place is! The premise of this novel drew me in, simply because I couldn’t figure how Ms. Keer would be able to write a book about 1896 and the present day without it either being boring or confusing. Let me tell you, it was neither. The past flowed like tiny ripples in a creek, always carrying along the present-day part of the story.

When the book opens, Molly, a rather poorly put-together young woman, arrives home to her parents’ house for some coddling after a relationship gone bad. It’s immediate to the reader that Molly has some issues, the least of which is the breakup with her boyfriend and where she will live because of it. Molly is struggling having graduated college, but not finding a place in the world where she fits. She needs to do some soul-searching and thankfully, her mother sees it more than Molly does. Needing to place to stay for a month, but also needing closure and forgiveness from her now-deceased grandmother, Molly takes the journey to stay with her grandfather on the coast. It is there that she will come to visit the past in a way that hasn’t happened since the 1900s.

While we are reading Molly’s story and her adventures along the way to find herself, find true love, mature, and find a place in the world, we’re reading the story of Percy Gladwell and Violet Marston and all that transpired in their lives one hundred years earlier. It was their love that created the vexing situations Molly’s family has lived with over the years.

It is difficult to review this book without giving spoilers from either the past or the present part of this novel. I can say every word was worth reading and the beautiful descriptions of the Dorset coast made me feel like I was there rather than in the middle of Wisconsin. The ending was so much fun and left you smiling as you closed the book with a happy heart. I was swept away by the love that was hidden and found in The Secrets of Hawthorn Place. A sweeping five stars from me for this novel that defies time but trusts in love.
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