I love reading the works of an experienced writer as you get a real sense of what they are trying to achieve through their imagination, and with Rosanna Ley there is no exception. What you see is what you get – a well thought out storyline with hidden depths, complex characters and beautiful settings. What more could you want?
‘For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland – the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany – afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea’s failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?
Despite Colette’s wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother’s flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette’s mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?
The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret – one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.
With so many gripping psychological stories in the midst at the minute, Her Mother’s Secret is a breath of fresh air. Although there is the question of ‘what happened?’ hanging over the story, it is actually an incredibly calming read. One to relax and savour, instead of staying up all night chewing on your fingernails with.
Rosanna Ley hits the spot with her main character, Colette. She is likeable, albeit a touch sensitive, but she knows her own mind and needs her own space – which sometimes her boyfriend, Mark, can’t quite get. Something happened all those years ago which made her flee, but Colette does the right thing by returning to her homeland to help her sick mother. Colette knows her morals which means she was brought up well, something I admire in a character.
As for the setting of Belle-Île-en-Mer, get me there now! What an idyllic, beautiful sounding place to live. I loved reading about it (and day-dreaming about it when daily life starts grinding you down!). The use of flowers within the storyline is atmospheric and enlightening. I devoured the paragraphs where Colette slowly set her mind with what she was going to do with a particular arrangement. Rosanna surely must have a knack for this talent as well, considering how exquisite the sentences are.
This is a story about family, about life, about love, and the importance of it all. As for the secret, it really is just that, as I couldn’t fathom it out until the reveal. A very sensitive subject that is beautifully told, with the deepness and sentiment that it deserves.
Her Mother’s Secret is a wonderful tale that draws you into the centre of its heart. Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the Blog Tour, and Quercus for my copy. I truly hope my review reflects what a mesmerising story this is.