Publication day: 14th June 2018 by Quercus Books
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.
This is such a beautiful story. Very well-written, with an idyllic setting and likable characters, HER MOTHER’S SECRET is an enjoyable, fresh, and moving novel that I couldn’t put down.
One small island full of secrets. Belle-Île-en-Mer is a small island off the coast of Brittany with a beautiful sea and a characteristic landscape. Colette left the island when she was eighteen years old and she hasn’t been back since then. But when she receives a letter informing her that her mother Thea is dying, Colette forgets everything about her resentement towards her mother and her secrets and goes back to the French island. Étienne, a writer of thrillers, hadn’t been on the island in years, but after his mother’s death he is back to take care of his mother’s house. On the other hand, Élodie is the one who has never left Belle-Île-en-Mer as she is too busy with her sculptures and taking care of her mother, Mathilde. Everyone of these characters has a secret, a secret that ruined the relationships with their loved ones.
I found the characters realistic and likable and I loved seeing them develop and confront their past. The character that I liked most of all is Colette. I found her sensible and real and she didn’t think twice about giving up her life, her job, and her boyfriend to be at her mother’s side in the moment of need. The characters’ stories are very intriguing and absorbing and the tension was high as their secrets are slowly revealed.
What I loved most about this book is the setting. The descriptions of Belle-Île-en-Mer are very detailed and atmospheric and the island is the perfect idyllic place for this beautiful story. HER MOTHER’S SECRET is a gripping and heart-warming summer read and I’d like to thank Anne Cater and Quercus Book for providing me with a copy of the book and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
Rosanna Ley works as a creative tutor and has written many articles and stories for national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.