Secrets of The River is the debut novel of blogger Jess McGlynn. Jess very kindly sent me an ebook version of her book in order for me to undertake a review.
Here’s the Blurb:
Some secrets simply can’t remain hidden…
When Isabelle moves to a sleepy riverside village in France she thinks she is being given a second chance.
Keen to leave behind the secrets of her past, she throws herself into village life where she meets cute American journalist Ed, rugged vineyard worker Matteo, and the dark and mysterious Hugo.
Life should be good, but Isabelle’s arrival acts as a catalyst in the village and she soon discovers she isn’t the only one trying to escape her past and that sometimes there are things which simply can’t remain hidden.
Isabelle must face her mistakes and rediscover herself in this wonderful romance set against an idyllic backdrop.
I really enjoyed this book. Set in France, it has a very relaxed, holiday feel to it and if you have ever been to France before then you will be able to picture the kind of village that Secrets of The River is set in. It’s the sort of place I’d just love to pack up my things and go and live, far away from the city. We meet Isabelle, just arriving in France after leaving the UK in tragic circumstances. Isabelle is hiding a secret surrounding these events and is trying to move on with her life. She goes to stay with her Sister and her family, but soon realises that things are not all as they seem within the village.
Many people in the village have secrets or have run from their own past. She meets various characters of the village, such as Matteo, who works for Eric her brother in law, Rose, a young student and American Ed who is in France to write a historical article (or is he?) and Hugo, a tall, brooding man who is friends with Eric, her brother in law and whom Isabelle instantly has a connection with. One could say that the characters can at times feel a little stereotypical but I find you can relate to these characters given the situations they are in and also you warm to them pretty quickly. Characters like Hugo made me want to find out more about him and also what he was hiding. The way the characters and their stories interlink and run parallel make this story very readable and also interesting, you are keen to find out more and try and piece the mysteries together. Coupled with this is the romantic themes that run through the novel, a will they/won’t they which you hope will be positive! The story is told from various points of view, mainly from Isabelle but the dialogue can switch to another’s point of view half way through the page. This can get slightly confusing at times but generally I didn’t find this an issue.
The story moves along at a relaxed pace but things do quicken up towards the end. Secrets are revealed and mysteries are solved. The nice thing about this book is that it had some twists that were not easily identifiable and keep you guessing right till the end. The ending was lovely, just what I hoped it would be and put a smile on my face – what more could you want! I hope this isn’t the last we have seen of these characters, and I look forward to reading more from Jess in the future.
I rated Secrets of the River 4 out of 5 stars.
Secrets of the River by Jess McGlynn is published by Jess McGlynn and is out now.