The Story Collector

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Pub Date 29 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 20 Mar 2024

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‘Utterly compelling’ Heidi Swain
‘Evocatively written, poignant and compulsive' Emma Curtis
‘Brilliant, twisty’ Sara Sheridan

Three women. A long-buried secret. One voice will free them all…

London, 1915: Amid the wartime chaos, Katerina is hailed as a beacon of hope for her bakery, which offers divination alongside sweet treats. But the dark truth she’s hiding could cost her everything.

Germany, 1918: Miriam secretly vows to help a mute British soldier in the prisoner-of-war camp she’s stationed at. Soon she must make an impossible choice: will she save the one she loves, or herself?

Cornwall, Present Day: Edie is astonished to discover a mysterious box hidden in the wall of her newly renovated cottage. As Edie starts to investigate, she uncovers a secret that has lain hidden for over a century...

Sweeping through the cobbled streets of war-time London, a German WWI camp, and the sea-swept cliffs of Cornwall, The Story Collector is a thrilling, richly woven story about three women, bound by a long-held secret.



'A rich and tender story' Ruth Hogan, The Keeper of Lost Things

'The perfect winter read' Amanda Prowse, To Love and Be Loved

'Spellbinding, addictive, and beautifully written' Sophie Irwin, A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting

'Richly atmospheric, evocative and moving' Abbie Greaves, The Ends of the Earth

‘Makes for a spellbinding read' Rhiannon Ward, The Shadowing

'Beautifully written with a story that draws you in' Jane Corry, I Died on a Tuesday

‘Utterly compelling’ Heidi Swain
‘Evocatively written, poignant and compulsive' Emma Curtis
‘Brilliant, twisty’ Sara Sheridan

Three women. A long-buried secret. One voice will free them all…

London, 1915...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780241999110
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 172 members

Featured Reviews

Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Iris Costello.

Without revealing too much, this is a gripping mystery involving the intertwined lived of three different women. Set against various backdrops that are well-depicted, each chapter added another layer to the story.

Would definitely recommend this books and the author in general.

Thanks: Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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I thoroughly enjoyed "The Story Collector" by Iris Costello and imagine many people curled up, reading this in the winter months. At first, it isn't obvious how the three stories and characters are connected but as the three stories progress there are clues and it is all wrapped up neatly at the end. A big warm hug for a cold winter night.

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This story is still on my mind days after finishing. A fascinating story, expertly intertwined storylines that keep you guessing just how they’ll come together, and a depth of character for each of those storylines. I would highly recommend this book!

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This was a beautiful book.

I was expecting straightforward historical fiction, but some of this was set in the present day, and initially it felt like dark fantasy or magical realism. There were several narratives, but I felt a connection with each character. It took me a few hours to finish this, but I felt very absorbed by it, it was a story that I felt able to escape into.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

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A beautiful tale set across 2 timelines, fabulously written with lots of interesting characters, the way the stories are interwoven is enchanting and heartwarming.
The charm of Edie, the spiritual Kitty and the great world war provides a unique back drop to this novel.

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What a great read.

What makes "The Story Collector" special is how it weaves individual stories together. The characters are relatable, and their experiences are easy to connect with. Costello's writing paints a vivid picture of the settings and emotions in the story, making it easy to get lost in the narrative.

In summary, "The Story Collector" is an enjoyable and thought-provoking novel. If you like stories that bring characters and their experiences to life, this book is worth a read. It reminds us of the significance of stories in our lives and the connections they can create.

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Another fantastic, multi-faceted novel by Iris Costello. A fantastic novel exploring the intertwining lives of the three main characters in differing timelines.

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This book is truly magical! It features an exceptional plot, unexpected twists, and poignant moments. I didn’t feel that link between Kitty, Miriam and Edie was apparent until the conclusion, which ensured I remained captivated throughout. A delightful and contemplative novel - highly recommended.

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Spellbinding, addictive, beautifully written.
Richly atmospheric, evocative and moving - a triumph of storytelling.

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Tarot cards and magic aren’t really my thing, but I gave this story a chance and was glad that I did. It’s beautifully written and the stories of three very different women weave themselves together like a complicated crochet pattern so that, by the end, you are left with a wonderful finished masterpiece. Excellent!

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Having enjoyed Rochester Place I was looking forward to this book. And it didn't disappoint. Three different lives, three different times (just), and a mystery that left a bit of angst at the end of quite a few chapters. I enjoyed it very much and thought that the ending was perfect. With thanks to all concerned for an e_ARC to read and review.

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Set across two different timelines this is a really beautiful story. I’ll read this again as I just know it’s a book I’ll go back to again and again.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC in return for my honest and unbiased opinion.

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I was so glad I was sent a copy of this. Iris Costello is truly magical. She writes about three stories, which don't seem to have any connection to each other (although you know they do) until right at the end, when everything is revealed.
After her previous work, I didn't think she could deliver another story like this, but she did. Absolutely stunning.
I got more attached to Kitty, Miriam and Otto rather than to Edie, but I will keep them and their stories in my heart for a very long time.

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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this beautiful novel early ⭐️
Pulled on the heart strings and kept me reading long into the early hours. I adore tales that span different eras & timelines and this one didn’t disappoint

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Loved this so much. The multiple POVs of Miriam and Kitty during the war and present day Edie worked really well, and I found myself invested in each of the characters. It's such a poignant story but also a very heartwarming read. Huge thank you to NetGalley and Penguin for my eARC of this one - I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on a physical copy in February!

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Oh what a lovely book! 3 different storylines in 3 different timelines which dovetail together at the end to answer a mystery that builds through the book. It’s a story that takes you on a journey through time, through wartime hardships and modern day loss, it really pulls at the heart however has a sweet ending.

Many thanks to the publishers, author and Netgalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review

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This story spanning over 10 decades is really well done and the descriptive writing brings every scene to life.
Very enjoyable read.

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A lovely book well presented, ideal for a Winter read.

A tale of three different people throughout the ages, but all interconnected. At first it does not seem to be any connection but as the book develops the link is there for you to discover.

Tissues at the ready as it bring home the cruel times that war brings to people.

A truly charming book with lasting memories.

Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this book.

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A really absorbing story with a interesting cast of characters. The characters really grow on you as the details, similarities and story complexities develop.

The time range of the story, from pre first World War Germany to present day UK, allows the write to create a story with depth and imaginative interest.

The conclusion is very satisfying, pulling the strands together beautifully.

Well worth reading.

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A very good read. Loved the way the storylines wove around and eventually came together to craft a masterpiece. Keot me guessing with an unexpected twist at the end. A cracking good read.

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London, 1915: Amid the chaos of war, Katerina, a Tarot reader, strives to keep her life intact. Determined to bring hope to her community, she opens a bakery, selling delicious treats and divination. Her bakery becomes a symbol of optimism in a time of darkness. However, behind her cheerful facade, Katerina harbours a dark secret that could jeopardize everything she holds dear.

Germany, 1918: A British soldier, rendered mute by the horrors of war, finds himself in a prisoner-of-war camp. There, he crosses paths with Miriam, a compassionate researcher. Drawn to his gentle nature, Miriam silently promises to assist him. Yet, as circumstances unfold, she faces an impossible decision: should she save the man she loves or save herself?

Cornwall, Present Day: Edie, recently widowed, stumbles upon a hidden box within the walls of her newly renovated cottage. Intrigued, she embarks on a journey to uncover the secrets that have remained concealed for over a century.

These three women's stories are intricately connected by a long-held secret, spanning from the bustling streets of wartime London to a secluded German camp during World War I and finally to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall. This beautifully crafted story is an unforgettable exploration of love, sacrifice, and the enduring power of secrets.

Each chapter is told from the point of view of each of the three women in their own timeline. I loved following along as the tales unfold and unwind. A beautifully written story that is also a page-turner that kept me entertained until the last page.

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Wow what a beautiful heart rending and heart filling book!! What an interesting and unusual story.
Edie has been through a tragic traumatic experience and is trying to pick up the pieces of her life, as an artist she gets a new commission and goes down to Cornwall to the old family cottage to recover.
In 1914 Katerina is forging her very different life in the east end of London, but when the first world wars break everything changes.
Miriam is a German scholar at university when the war breaks and joins an esteemed academic to study linguistics at the German prisoner of war camps.
Absolutely fascinating at times, showing such interesting different angles of the First World War from the German perspective and from being a woman in the nineteen teens. With a great background of suffrage, hidden secrets, special gifts, Cornwall and London!
Really loved this wonderful book. There is so much food for the soul. Well written well thought out, and highly recommended.
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin for the opportunity to read early.

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This is my first novel by author Iris Costello, and I really enjoyed it.

In The Story Collector, we meet lots of different and wonderful characters and I enjoyed reading about them.

The story is told from 1915, 1918 and the present day. We meet Katerina, a soldier and Edie. They were great and really well-rounded characters and I think author Iris Costello really paints a picture of how these people were in their current situations and it was brilliant.

Normally I am a reader of thriller/crime but this really intrigued me and I am glad I got a chance to read this novel.

I loved the stories of these individuals and how their lives and experiences all seem to weave together and there was some magic around this novel.

Thanks to netgalley, the author and publisher for allowing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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What a wonderful, fantastic book. I had to read it in one sitting because I couldn't bear to put it down! The story jumps between three women in three time zones. Kitty, Miriam and Edie. Their stories are very different and stand well on their own. Gradually small links begin to appear between the women but the full story isn't revealed until right at the very end. Hence the reason I couldn't put the book down. I had to know the ending. Definitely worth 5* and I look forward to reading and further books by this author.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

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