This incredible debut historical novel—in the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson—tells the fascinating story of a young mother who flees her home on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the daughter who finds her way back, seeking answers.
Cornwall, 1940. Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn her adoptive parents Graham and Prue Handley have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she’s been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother’s childhood home—Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six-years-old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can’t unravel. Anna’s assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she’s never known—and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past.
Cornwall, 1913. In the luxury of pre-WWI England, Lady Katherine Trenowyth is expected to do nothing more than make a smart marriage and have a respectable life. When Simon Halliday, a bohemian painter, enters her world, Katherine begins to question the future that was so carefully laid out for her. Her choices begin to lead her away from the stability of her home and family toward a wild existence of life, art, and love. But as everything begins to fall apart, Katherine finds herself destitute and alone.
As Anna is drawn into her newfound family’s lives and their tangled loyalties, she discovers herself at the center of old heartbreaks and unbearable tragedies, leaving her to decide if the secrets of the past are too dangerous to unearth…and if the family she’s discovered is one she can keep.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Alix Rickloff is a critically acclaimed author of historical and paranormal romance. Her previous novels include the Bligh Family series, the Heirs of Kilronan trilogy, and, as Alexa Egan, the Imnada Brotherhood series.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Focusing on the life of Anna, she’s back in England after the horrors of the evacuation of Dunkirk. I loved Anna’s character – so determined and self-assured, with a need to ‘do her part’ in the war effort, she’s made great sacrifices to serve. Adopted as a child, she discovers that her adoptive parents have been killed in the blitz. If that weren’t enough change for Anna with all of her other worries and duties, she’s been assigned to work at a military hospital at the grounds of her birth family’s home in Cornwall, Nanreath Hall. Far from being a shrinking violet, Anna takes the chance to answer some of the long-standing questions she has and reconcile them with some nebulous memories. Meeting her birth family, gaining answers to questions about her own history, and finding a wealth of secrets, tragedies and loves unrequited. A wonderfully paced and drawn story brings the tale of Anna’s search and reconnection to her birth family with the then shame and sorrows of her young and daring birth mother. Born to a life of luxury while society is changing and rearranging as the murmurs of a war are on the horizon, Lady Katherine Trenowyth is meant to marry well and continue on in a respectable fashion. She, not unlike her daughter, takes steps into the future that are both daring and uncertain. An affair with a bohemian painter brought her away from her normal and into a life that was more freeform, centered around art, joy and the moment. What Anna discovers in her time at Nanreath is secrets upon secrets, many seem to shore the foundations and bedrock of her birth family. One never feels that Anna is determined to undermine or injure this family she is so intricately tied to, but their secrets often stalemate her own search for her identity and place in the world beyond that of nurse and woman. With lovely prose that never fails to evoke the emotional tumult and choices facing Anna, many harkening to those of her birth mother a generation earlier. Wonderfully complex yet undeniably easy to relate to, this story is ultimately a search for self-identity while honoring the influences from your own life and those that came before. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Although you can predict or follow her clues a little too easily, it is a wonderful unfolding narrative. I really enjoyed her charcters.
SECRETS OF NANREATH HALL I give this engaging novel 5 stars! The author tells the story changing to alternating voices of mother and daughter for each chapter. The mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, rebels against her parents and leaves Trenowyth Hall, on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall, for London in 1923. Her parents disown her. Lady Katherine’s lover, bohemian artist Simon Halliday, is her daughter Anna’s biological father. Lady Katherine dies when Anna is six and her father dies in WWI. Anna’s adoptive parents die in a bombing raid in 1940, during WWII, before telling Anna about her Mom. After being injured at Dunkirk, and losing her beloved, adoptive parents Nurse Anna is reassigned to Nanreath Hall. Nanreath Hall has been made into a makeshift military hospital. Even among the sadness and tragedy of war, Anna finds there is friendship and love. This was the ancestral home her mother had left twenty years ago. Anna meets a cousin, Lord of the manor, Hugh, injured in the war. Hugh's mother, Lady Boxely, rejects Anna when she first arrives for reasons unknown to Anna. Hugh helps Anna discover secrets of the past, and she must make a decision if those secrets are too dangerous to unearth. Anna will have to decide if this new family, the only relatives she has, is one she ought to keep. Anna struggles with her own internal demons, and I found myself rooting for her that she would get her own happily ever after The characters are expertly drawn in the time frame in which they lived. Anna’s two roomies at Nanreath hall are also Red Cross Nurses. Their sub plots are woven through out. This story is fast paced and a real page turner. I highly recommend this SECRETS OF NANREATH HALL. The author’s vivid descriptions puts the reader right in the story. I reviewed this book for Romance Junkies Review site
It is 1940 and Anna Trenowyth's latest assignment as a WWII Red Cross nurse is to travel to Cornwall and care for wounded soldiers at Nanreath Hall. However, this is no ordinary assignment for Anna. She is a Trenowyth and so are the owners of Nanreath Hall. However, they are not known to each other and are not aware that they are family...at least, not yet. How is Anna related to the aristocratic family of Nanreath Hall and why does no one know of this long lost Trenowyth? Secrets of Nanreath Hall is a wonderful novel filled with intrigue, mystery, family secrets, and trauma's suffered, all while the Trenowyth's are trying to keep England, their estate, and their family afloat during both WWI and WWII. I thoroughly enjoyed Alix Rickloff's novel and do hope that he is writing a sequel or at least another wonderful novel!