I really do love historical fiction books and I'm also becoming quite fond of book tours. When Bookouture specifically reached out and asked me if I'd like to review The Island of Lost Secrets by Rebecca Alexander, one look at the description told me that it was a definite yes.
About The Island of Lost Secrets:
As she carefully folded the faded letter back up along its original creases, she found tears running down her face. Looking at the carefully preserved letters, everything finally fell into place. So, this was the secret they had kept all these years…
November, 1940: As a storm rages, the wild sea battering the rocks outside, young Patience Ellis is woken in the middle of the night by the body of a foreign soldier being carried into her cottage, saved from a U-boat attack. Patience knows she must do everything she can to save this beautiful stranger, but her heart is racing with fear… Can she trust him? Or will saving him be the biggest mistake of her life?
Present day: When Ellie Roberts discovers she’s inherited a cottage on the Scilly Isles, on the condition that she lives in it for a year, she’s shocked. She’s never heard of Patience Ellis, so why would she leave Ellie her legacy?
Overwhelmed with unanswered questions, Ellie leaves her failing relationship behind in London and travels to the isolated island. Windswept from the boat, salt spray still on her skin, she finds Patience’s whitewashed cottage hidden behind overgrown ivy. But as she stands in the living room, looking out at the sparkling sea, Patience’s home suddenly feels strangely familiar…
Searching for answers, Ellie talks to the islanders, and she soon meets the handsome, enigmatic Branok Shore, whose green eyes instantly charm her. As they work together to piece together Patience’s past, Ellie prises open Patience’s locked dresser, filled with letters dating back to the Second World War. Reading the notes, she discovers the shocking secret Patience was forced to hide – and the truth that will change Ellie’s own life forever.
As these two extraordinary women’s stories intertwine, Ellie wonders if she can follow in Patience’s footsteps. And, if she does, could she find love on this remote island?
Besides historical fiction, I also really enjoy dual timeline books, especially trying to figure out the link between the past and the present, and Patience and Ellie's stories were no exception to this. Each chapter ties the two women together as the author reveals bits and pieces of the past and Patience's story to Ellie.
I really enjoyed the format of this book as well. Each chapter is on the shorter side and every one trades off between the two women's stories. It really makes for a page turner, as you find out just one more fact about Patience (or Ellie), then the story flips back to the other character. Because of this, I had trouble putting the book down, which made it all that much more enjoyable. It's so much easier to say "just one more chapter" as you're moving through the story.
The Island of Lost Secrets is definitely and enjoyable read. While the initial premise of Patience's story begins with World War 2, I wouldn't call it a WW2 novel. There is so much more to it than just the part that takes place during the war and it's definitely a story not to miss.