‘The Secrets Of Hawthorne Place’ by Jenni Keer is a dual-timeline historical fiction novel with a mystical twist also. I love historical fiction and dual timelines are also a favourite too, so I was really looking forward to settling down with this book.
The first timeline is set at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. We are told the story of Percy, the architect of the Arts and Craft movement. The later timeline is set in the present day and we meet Molly, who plans to return to her parents after a relationship break-up. It turns out that she has to stay with her grandad who is recently widowed, in a quirky Victorian house in a small Dorset village. The only problem is that Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Arts and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.
Finding out that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love that linked them, so powerful it defied reason.
This is a book that drew me in immediately. The scenic settings are both written so exquisitely so I could picture them both. Jenni Keer’s characters feel authentic, interesting and also complex. I got really invested in them as no one is perfect and Molly certainly has her flaws.
The historical side of the story gave me a glimpse of the Arts and Craft Movement. As I tend to say a lot with historical fiction, I was educated as well as entertained which, for me, is a bonus. I found myself captivated by ‘The Secrets Of Hawthorne Place’ and lived every minute of discovering the secrets with Molly.
Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and Jenni Keer for the copy of this enthralling and enchanting book.