“A truth buried for over forty years. A love that lasted a lifetime.
Rose Pepper has kept her wartime past a secret for decades. Forty years ago, she fled communist Prague and left behind the love of her life. Now in her sixties and with two daughters, Rose discovers a bundle of unopened letters sent to her by her lost love, hidden beneath her home. Confronted with the possibility of facing up to her past, she decides it’s finally time to go back to where her story began and uncover the truth buried for so long in Prague . . .”
The Secret Letters by Catherine Law is story about duty, truth and true love set in 1992 and the latter years of World War Two in Cornwall and Prague.
Rose is happily engaged to a very upright bank clerk, Will Bowman, whom her parents adore. She joins the War effort as a land girl and goes off to a isolated farm in Cornwall where she meets Ted and Betony the farmers and Megan an incredibly confident outspoken land-girl.
Will is a perfect cad, you know the type, looks and acts respectable but deep down he certainly isn’t. He really got to me, the sign of a great character. Enter handsome blonde Krystoff from Czechoslovakia, fighting alongside the Yanks and of course based in Cornwall. He’s debonair, polite and makes Rose’s heart skip a beat, unlike her fiancé back in Plymouth. What should Rose do fall for Krystoff or be the respectable young lady and stick with Will?
I won’t spoil it for you but I will tell you that my emotions where all over the place with this book. One minute I was enjoying the delightful countryside of Cornwall, with Rose enjoying her duties on the farm, and her fun with her new friends. The next minute she’s being manipulated by her controlling fiancé and well meaning parents back in Plymouth. I liked Rose, I loved her innocence and determination, but she frustrated me so much at times, maybe because I could see myself in her.
I haven’t read any books in this genre for a long time and none by this author. I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy a romantic war time read. I would also recommend this for book clubs as there are some great themes of loyalty, loss and love throughout.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for the advanced copy.