Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights. (

What we thought: My first read from this author and I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret Wife, with the use of past and present threads to carry the reader effortlessly though the tale of romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar. And also threaded through the historical tale was a modern story of one woman’s journey while deciding whether to forgive her husband after an infidelity.

There was much to like in the storyline. I really enjoy tales that intertwine real-life history into fictional stories, it’s something I’ve done in my own writing, and I think the balance here is spot on. The attention to detail in the 1914-1923 chapters was excellent, the subject had clearly been well researched, and as the tension built in the story I was totally swept along by the pace and emotion in the writing.

Characters were well-developed and ready to step from the page, dialogue and style was superbly written, and the pacing held its own throughout. As I said, I am new to the author, but I have no hesitation in recommending this book and look forward to more from the author in the future.

You’ll enjoy this if you like : Amanda Hodgkinson, Elizabeth Chadwick, Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Avoid if you don’t like : Family secrets.

Ideal accompaniments: Vodka.

Genre : Contemporary.

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