My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Many thanks to Net Galley, Avon Books UK and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
To begin with, that gorgeous cover that had me requesting the book without even checking the blurb. And then my favorite genre of dual time story that had me in heaven.
The Secrets of Saffron Hall is the story of 2 women spanning centuries who fights against unbearable grief and then learn to live with that pain making them that much stronger and tougher to face life.
Eleanor at 17 in 1538 is married by her guardian to Greville Richard Lutton, a wealthy merchant looking to move into the exalted circle of the King’s men. Her only dowry is the bulbs of crocus that is given to her by the priests of the Priory to which Eleanor is infinitely attached. Eleanor and her faithful friend and companion Joan begin a new life in Milfleet, growing into the responsibilities of being a mother to Greville’s 3 yr old child, and as the new mistress of the hall. Each and every change in her life with the birth of Henry, adopting the young mute boy Thomas, bringing her husband riches and value in the form of the saffron she cultivates in the fields, Eleanor has her hands full. It is also the time in history when the King ordered the closure of abbeys and monasteries thus leading to daring acts of courage and bravery.
Amber in 2019, recovering from a traumatic event has taken refuge at her family estate called Saffron Hall cataloguing her grandfather’s immense collection of books. When a Book of hours is discovered in a tower room abandoned by the family for centuries, Amber becomes intrigued and begins the search for answers about her family history and the significance of the name Saffron.
There’s a gentle flow to the story that lures the reader in, a tug at your heart as the story of both women unfolds thru each and every page. The secret that is revealed is not much of a mystery as it is easy to guess the direction it is leading to. But the sense of the era thru Eleanor’s story was brilliant and fans of historical fiction are really going to be overjoyed reading this tale.
The slow and painful process of struggling with grief and finding a semblance of peace to never let go of hope has been described beautifully. I loved the gentle pacing of love between Amber and Jonathan and the space and distance that they both struggle to overcome.
A beautifully written tale of 2nd chances and not forgetting to live!
DUM SPIRO SPERO, while I breathe, I hope
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Two women. Five centuries apart.
One life-changing secret about to be unearthed…
New bride Eleanor impresses her husband by growing saffron, a spice more valuable than gold. His reputation in Henry VIII’s court soars – but fame and fortune come at a price, for the king’s favour will not last forever…
When Amber discovers an ancient book in her grandfather’s home at Saffron Hall, the contents reveal a dark secret from the past. As she investigates, so unravels a forgotten tragic story and a truth that lies much closer to home than she could have imagined…
An enchanting historical novel about love and hope in dangerous times, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Kathryn Hughes.