Stasia finds a haven in France when she visits her grandparents every summer outside the small town of Rouen. She meets a young man, Nicolas, and as they get older they look forward to spending their summers together. When the war breaks out she is back home in Holland, her father is killed and she barely survives the bombing of her hometown. Stranded, she joins a resistance to help steal paperwork for Jewish families who need to leave the area. She soon becomes one of the most hunted resistance fighters in Holland.
In current time, sisters Isabelle and Emilie purchase the Chateau de Montissaire near their home town of Rouen. They find demolished WWII communications devices and some paperwork of names of German military men along with the name “Briar Rose”. While hunting down this heroine’s story they come upon a drawing that looks remarkably similar to one that was drawn by their own grandmother. Could they be the same person?
This historical drama is two stories, one told through flashbacks, and the other in current time. The story of Stasia and Nicolas during WWII was the more striking and dramatic. From the moment they met to their separation by the war, to their reunion after both of their lives had changed so dramatically it was more historical than romance, but I was still drawn to the outcome of their story and invested in seeing it through to the end. I liked how Kelly Bowen wove Isabelle and Emilie’s journey into Stasia’s. There weren’t any surprises from the reveals but I did think it was deftly told and I liked the characters emotional travails. This was a well written story that entertained on every page.
I like the new direction Kelly Bowen has taken with her novels. The Paris Apartment, her last novel, was similar in style and content and The Garden of Lost Secrets delivered in creating an entertaining story for the readers. If you like historical novels you may want to pick this one up! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review and it was honest!
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