Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies. Thanks so much to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invite, and to HarperCollins for my copy via NetGalley. Before I share my review here’s what the book is all about:

59336680“A rebellious daughter
1923. Among the ancient honey-coloured walls of the tiny island of Malta, strangers slip into the shadows and anyone can buy a new name. Rosalie Delacroix flees Paris for a dancer’s job in the bohemian clubs deep in its winding streets.
A sister with a secret
1944. Running from the brutality of war in France, Florence Baudin faces a new life. But her estranged mother makes a desperate request: to find her vanished sister, who went missing years before.
A rift over generations
Betrayals and secrets, lies and silence hang between the sisters. A faded last letter from Rosalie is Florence’s only clue, the war an immovable barrier – and time is running out…

Available now from: Bookshop.org  – Hive.co.ukWaterstonesAmazonGoogle Books


My Review

I loved Daughters of War, the first book in this trilogy, so there was no way I could resist reading this second book. I wanted to find out what had happened to the three sisters.

This second book is a dual timeline featuring Florence the youngest sister, and Rosalie, their aunt who left Paris in 1923 for Malta.

I absolutely loved the Maltese storyline, maybe because I spent a week there on holiday back in the 90s, so some of the place names brought back happy memories. Malta came across as far more exotic compared to wartime England, where Florence was living in a cottage in the countryside.

Whilst Florence was in England she visited her mother Claudette, who was so unwelcoming to her. I felt so sorry for Florence as she really needed her mother to be sympathetic to what happened to her in the first book, but no, all she wanted was for Florence to go and find her estranged sister Rosalie in Malta. I was so angry at the way Claudette treated her daughter, but in a way it was good because it made Florence see what her mother was really like. Claudette obviously had some demons to lay to rest and wanted Florence to do it for her. 

Unfortunately the war was still going on, so Florence would have to wait until the following year to be able to search Malta for her aunt Rosalie. Some of Florence’s storyline in England was in the winter months, so the descriptions of the countryside worked well with Florence’s mood, as she tried to work out her future with or without Jack, the SOE operative who got her out of France. I wasn’t too sure about Jack at all, but eventually warmed to him as the story unfolded and his past was revealed.

The mystery of Rosalie was fascinating. I enjoyed her story so much, from her stifling life in Paris to the excitement and danger of her life in Malta. I loved how her story and Florence’s came together as Florence finally made it to the island to look for her.

There is so much more to the story that I want to write about, but I’ve got to leave it there as I’m afraid I’m going to reveal too much and spoil it all for you.

Definitely recommended if you enjoyed the first book, or if you like historical fiction with a dual timeline.

 The Hidden Palace BT Poster