I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but when I do I always pick the good ones. This story had historical fiction, sisterly bond, friendship, mystery, AND romance. I was completely immersed from beginning to end. I absolutely adored Hazel and her character growth. The writing was smooth and loved the different timelines.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for my eARC
The Secret Book of Flora Lea is a beautifully written story about two sisters and their life during WW II. I enjoyed the two time frames of wartime and the 1960’s. The author brought this book to life through her descriptive and creative writing style.
A special thanks to @atriabooks and @netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = 4/5
The Secret Book of Flora Lea is just lovely. I usually alternate between reading and listening to the audio version and I found it so engaging. I loved the setting and the back and forth between Hazel's life in the early 40's and 1960. I also loved the mystery surrounding Flora's disappearance and the book that turns up that tells the stories that Hazel made up for Flora when they were children. I found myself rooting for Hazel and Henry. Once you start, you will not want to stop! This was my first book by Patti Callahan Henry but it will not be my last!
The narrator, Cynthia Erivo, was amazing! I will happily listen to more books by her in the future.
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Publication date: 2 May 2023
I have read one other book by this author, and i enjoyed that book quite a bit. I struggled with this one. I felt a bit like she was trying to create the same magic from CS Lewis, and I just couldn't put myself into the atmosphere that she was trying to create.
I'm tired of the dual timelines as well. They are more often than not easy to anticipate what happens next, and at times difficult to follow. It forces the reader to try to two story lines.
I think this author is very talented. But this book wasn't my thing. Surviving Savannah was very good, and I'm sure I will check out what ever book this author decides to grace us with next.
I really enjoyed this novel. It felt like an adventure from start to finish, with well executed flashbacks. This story is part historical fiction, part childhood fantasy tale, with a little mystery to keep you intrigued throughout. I really enjoyed how Henry wove the tales together to create a whole experience and really promoted getting to know each of the characters. I am also thankful that there were answers and a feeling of finality at the end!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
A wonderful historical fiction read that captivates from page one. I will be reading more from this author!
A wonderful story of sisters and a story of a childhood story that helps them through hard times and leads them to a new future 20 years later. A little slow moving at times, but definitely worth a read until the end.
loved this book by Patti. Her storytelling is always so wonderful. So happy to have read it - thank you!
I really wanted to love this book. I loved the description and the premise. It just was not the book for me at the time. I lacked the connection to the characters that I really want to develop.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by NetGalley.
This novel begins in 1960 London, where Hazel, who works in a rare books store, unpacks a shipment of a book with original illustrations and discovers it appears to be extremely similar to the made up stories she used to tell her young sister Flora, right down to the name, Whisperwood. But the kicker - Flora disappeared 20 years ago and was presumed dead, and she was the only one who knew Hazel’s stories. The book alternates between 1960, as Hazel tries to investigate, and 1939-40, when 14 year old Hazel and 5 year old Flora were evacuated from London to the countryside outside of Oxford.
This is totally my kind of book - history, mystery, little romance, family drama, and more! Gave me some Kate Morton-light vibes. Parts of the book were a little slow, but overall I loved it and the end gave me some good goosebumps and teary moments.
Was slow and kind of boring, took forever to get anywhere and it was hard to be invested in any of the characters with how slow the story progressed.
This was such a dazzling, transportive read! If you're a fan of books about books, historical fiction, and stories about sisters -- you won't be able to put this one down.
This was a great World War II book about the children that were evacuated from London to the English countryside and then something horrible happens. This is the story of how one sister lives with the trauma of that event for many, many years.
Another hit from Patti Callahan Henry
When Hazel is 14 and her sister Flora Lea is 5, they are sent away from war torn London and their mother.
They are fortunate to find a good host family who takes them in. Birdie and her son Harry are kind and loving.
Hazel entertains Flora by making up magical stories for only them.
One day the girls are separated from each other. Hazel carries on with life devastated with wondering n about her sister.
Years later Hazel comes across a one of a kind book that comes to the store where she works. Of course she looks at it and is stunned because its HER stories in the book. With beautiful pictures. Could her sister still be alive? Hazel never told anyone but her sister about the stories and their magical adventures.
So she starts a search for flora Lea.
I was emotionally invested in this book. I was by Hazel s side looking for her sister.
Many tears fell while reading this amazing book. I just couldn't put it down.
4 1\2 stars
Thank you Netgalley and the author and publisher
When I first heard what this book was about, my breath caught in my throat I was so moved. Now having had the pleasure to read it, this novel truly does not disappoint. I can't remember a time when a book tugged at my heartstrings with this strength. What a sweet story about family and never losing hope. Thank you to Patti for this look into a piece of WWII not always talked about!
I thoroughly enjoyed this charming, imaginative story about two sisters evacuated to the London suburbs during WWII. Although the book is set during the war, the author focuses on the characters themselves through a parallel storyline. The result is an engaging read with a satisfying, uplifting ending.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.
A beautiful book of family, the effects of war and the power of a book to connect people. Patti's historical novels are getting better everytime.
What a beautiful book that made me feel all of the feels. Simply enchanting. I love Patti’s books so very much.
This book is all about Hazel’s search for her lost sister Flora after she discovers a book written about the made-up place only they know about. The book alternates between the present and past, telling the beginning and the end of the story simultaneously which works well for this story. The book is loaded with symbolism and truth-finding. It deals with grief, overcoming trauma, mental illness due to trauma, living a life of lies, finding your true self, and forgiveness of yourself and others. I would recommend this book to all readers!
Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!