The Hatmaker's Secret

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Pub Date 21 Mar 2018 | Archive Date 14 Jun 2018

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Two babies are born a century apart and three generations of women are blighted by a family secret.

Thea’s sense of self depends upon keeping her secret. Her daughter, Vanessa, is confused about her own identity. And there’s Kate, Vanessa’s own daughter, whose marriage is threatened because of her grandmother’s deception. Issues of racial prejudice, betrayal, forgiveness and trust echo through the years as Vanessa – caught between generations – tries to make sense of the past. The more truths she uncovers, the more enigmatic her mother appears.

Who was Thea? How did the beautiful young hatmaker turn into the controlling parent Vanessa remembers? Can Vanessa reconcile the two and find peace? And what will the future bring for her own daughter and grandchildren?

Two babies are born a century apart and three generations of women are blighted by a family secret.

Thea’s sense of self depends upon keeping her secret. Her daughter, Vanessa, is confused about her...

Advance Praise

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ISBN 9781494784096
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Average rating from 21 members

Featured Reviews

Excellent story live good development of the main characters like the way the book progresses from the past to the present love to read more books from this author,like to see this novel made into a film.
Highly recommended never a dull moment reading this book,a page turner could not put this book down finished it in two days.

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The sadness secrets can cause in a family. This family is torn by a secret lasting through three generations.

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This family story started with just the present generations around. Grandparents, parents, the grown up children and their toddlers. It ended up going back several generations across countries and oceans to solve a puzzle which seemed insurmountable.

Kate and David are expecting their second child. The marriage is already tenuous and Kate hopes that with the birth of this baby things will settle down and they can make a go of their marriage. She did not account for her daughter Flora being born biracial to parents who were white. Davids skepticism as to Flora's origins and the general questions being asked around did not help either. It also did not help when Kate appealed to her mother Vanessa for help, her mother more or less ignored her cry for help in any way. Vanessa was nervous around her mother Thea, now in a stage of dementia and did not want to rock the boat in anyway. That she preferred to be deaf and dumb and not be supportive of Kate was a terrible flaw in her personality.

Thea's past was a secret. Kate knew that Thea was the key to unlocking Flora's antecedents. When Thea met her great grand daughter for the first time she threw the baby away almost causing a major accident. She turned vituperative and vicious but still Vanessa and Ted (Thea's husband) were not willing to find out anything further. It is with Thea's death that Kate persuades Vanessa whilst clearing the debris of Thea's house to seek clues as to what actually was their family history.

The story mainly of Thea's past, difficult and complicated and her present life far removed from what it was unravels the difficulties of being different in a country only used to one kind of people. Not that things have changed very much even today where racism thrives in every country in one form or another.

This was an intriguing story, with especially good characterization of women in very difficult situations in life.

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I loved every minute of involvement in the unravelling of The Hatmaker’s Secret, examining the contemporary social attitudes of a bygone era. Deliberately hidden for four generations, the matriarch’s story is exposed and celebrated in reuniting forgotten family members. A powerful retelling of lies and cover ups threading through the generations of one family.

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received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

This was a bit of fresh air, really enjoyed the story and the protagonist.Loved it would like to read more from the author

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An interesting family history novel dealing with genes that show themselves generations later. The author looks at the ramifications even today when a darker skinned child is born into a white skinned family. The distrust that is immediate and the racism toward that child. The family search for an elusive answer (ancestor) was interesting, if a little convoluted. You will need to keep up with the family tree. For readers of Wiseman and Montefiore.

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Interesting and most enjoyable read. A women's novel about 3 generations, family secrets, mending differences and the strong bond of love. Meet the beautiful, Vanessa. A book that you will not want to put down and at the end will miss these characters who have become like family.

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An interesting book about the issues family secrets can cause. This brought up an issue that I had thought very little about. I found the flipping between past and present to get a bit confusing. Thea was a sad, unlikable character. She was so consumed by jealousy and hatred. Very sad.

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When Kate and Daniel's longed for second child arrives there is a big shock, Kate and Daniel are both fair but the child is obviously of mixed race! Kate knows the child is Daniel's but he doesn't believe it and the rift in an already shaky marriage deepens! Kate is determined to go back through her ancestry and find where this colouring comes from and she is convinced that the answer lies with her grandmother Thea. Thea's story is very interesting and dates back to her being a hatmaker in the early 1900s and as we follow her life we find all of the answers.

A good historical family saga with interesting characters and storyline especially for someone of mixed race in those days

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This story is about having ´coloured’ skin in the family tree and how the issue surfaced in several generations of the Silking family. At the same time, it’s a story of not quite belonging, not really fitting in. It is written in the perspective of 2 female narrators at different times which makes it very interesting. I found the book thought-provoking as many relationship issues surface in this complex family history. However, at times I found it a bit difficult to keep track of all the new names appearing. Overall, a fascinating read, which I would recommend.

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Love a family mystery! I received a copy from NetGalley and this is my honest review. I found this book to be extremely interesting. This is a great story about family secrets and what happens when the secrets start to see the light of day but no one is around to answer the questions one has. I would definitely recommend this book.

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I really liked this story although it took me a long time to read and to get the characters straight in my head. The issues of racial prejudice and its effect on relationships of all kinds was very deftly handled and also presented with thought. Two distinct time periods were depicted well and the characters were generally believable and fully developed. I would read more by this author and thank #netgalley for the opportunity to read #thehatmakerssecret

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This was a very interesting read. Usually i am not fond of stories which is written at different times by two females, but in this story, it worked well. A well written book and one that i do recommend. I hope to read more books in the near future by Jill Treseder.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review, freely given.

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A beautiful and at the same time heart breaking story of family and love. Make sure you have tissues ready!

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