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Thanks to NetGalley,Publishing UK and Fiona Valpy for my copy of The Skylark’s Secret.Loch Ewe Scotland 1940, Flora Gordon and her father Ian live in Keeper’s Cottage in the remote NorthWest highland village of Aultbea and her father is the local gamekeeper The residents of the little fishing community have a peaceful life nestled on the banks of Loch Ewe until during WW II it finds itself the main base for the Royal Navy’s Arctic convoys, suddenly the harbor is busy with naval ships and it soon becomes a German target Flora's dad’s boss The Laird is a horrible man, a bully and his son Alec is not at all like his father Growing up Alec, Flora and her brother Ruaridh are best friends and they had a great time playing together Alec is now an officer in the Royal Navy, he’s stationed at Loch Ewe and when he and Flora develop feelings for each other the laird isn’t happy He makes it very clear to Flora that she’s nothing but the help and would never be good enough to marry his son Loch Ewe Scotland 1978, single mother Lexie Gordon, returns to the village of Aultbea with her daughter Daisy and live in the tiny cottage where she grew up Once she was a professional singer performing in the London West End, until she strained her voice and damaged her vocal chords By returning home to Aultbea, single Lexie assumes the locals will think she’s failed, she’s embarrassed and it’s not the case at all Lexie has always known her father died during WW II, the details about her dad are rather sketchy and now that her mum Flora has passed away has she left it too late to find outabout her parents relationship and his family? Lexie begins to ask her mum’s best friend Bridie questions about her mother’s past; she discovers her mother was an incredibly strong and courageous woman who made big sacrifices for the people she loved and especially to protect her daughter Lexie While delving into the past, Lexie also starts to heal herself; she remembers her mum singing the local Scottish folk songs and she begins to rediscover her love of singing by sharing them with Daisy, her little friends at playgroup and with the handsome Davy at the local pub I loved The Skylark’s Secret; it’s about love, sacrifice, secrets, WW II, self discovery and the story is set in beautiful Scotland I particularly enjoyed reading about Loch Ewe, the Scottish countryside, the local food, yummy mince and tatties and I had no idea during WW II Scottish children from the cities were evacuated to the countryside I have read all of Fiona Valpy’s books and The Skylark’s Secret is my favorite and five big stars from me. The Skylark’s Secret tells the asynchronous stories of a mother and daughter, Fiona and Lexie, and their lives at Loch Ewe in the Scottish Highlands Fiona is an ambulance driver for the Wrens during WWII and Lexie is a washed up musical theater star with a young child As Lexie returns to her home from London, she starts to explore her mother’s history and the past of the father who died before she was born This story talks about life in the highlands during World War II and Fiona’s love affair with the laird’s son, Alex, despite the disapproval of his father Lexie starts to unravel her mother’s secrets as we follow Fiona’s story as the war worsens The good:This book was incredibly well researched and immersive I felt very much a part of the story and the unique life in the highlands on the loch I enjoyed Fiona’s story and definitely learned some things about history that I didn't know I found Fiona’s story compelling and really loved Davie’s character The bad:I’m not a fan of stories that tell split stories in two different times because I never feel like I get to know the characters as deeply I felt like the storylines weren’t as well developed because only a portion of the book was dedicated to each one I also had to look up quite a few words that were specific to the highlands and had very little context to help me unravel them, which I found a little annoying.Overall, I enjoyed this book—I just wanted to hearabout Fiona! I love books that offerthan one thing This book offered a great story (actually two when I think of it), historical information and descriptions of Scottland I loved Let's start with the story I really liked the both main characters, Lexie and her Mum Flora They have no easy lives, but their beliefs and strengths are obvious I love their connection to music that is well shown through out the book and that connects not only them, but also each of them and their homeland What I liked most about the story was that it was not an obvious and normal love story even though love plays a big role here I'll continue with the historical background This book brought so much new information about the WWII, I didn't expect to recieve and it inspired me to some internet research which broadened my view of this period And that is a great achievement for a novel, I think In addition to that I don't feel that this information was artificially included in the book Just the opposite, you get so much information by just reading a great story and you don't even notice that it is included Thanks to the author for that! And the last point: This book allowed me to travel to places I would like to visit and I am very happy that it was possible.I recommend this book strongly. NetGalleyMember ReviewCover Image: The Skylark's SecretThe Skylark's Secretby Fiona ValpyPub Date: 29 Sep 2020Review byjeanie m, ReviewerLast updated on 15 Jun 2020My RecommendationWith grateful thanks to netgalley and fiona valpy for an early copy in return for an honest review I have read all the other books by this Author so I knew it was going to be a good one.i didn't realise how good,this is one of the most OUTSTANDING authors it felt so real as if I was actually there even down to the colour of the sky and the sound of the skylarks singing, this dual time line worked absolutely perfect between flora in ww2 and her daughter lexie in the late 70's it flowed seamlessly it really is quite a tragic tale of love and lossI really can't praise this book enough and can highly recommend this OUTSTANDING book. Set in Scotland, with a dual timeline, the story follows the lives of Flora during World War II and her daughter, Lexie, in the late 70s Lexie, disillusioned with life in London and no longer able to sing, returns to her late mother's cottage in the Scottish village where she grew up But she finds it hard to adjust to her new life.I loved reading both the characters' stories, and the background setting of the loch and the simple way of life added a touch of magic to the narrative The two stories seamlessly interweave, and come together at the end with a lifelong secret being revealed.I've already read a couple of books by this author and loved them, so I knew this would be a wonderful read Her writing transports you to another time and place, with characters who will remain in your heart for a long time after you've finished reading. A beautifully written story I highly recommend. I really enjoyed this book It is set in Scotland at Loch Ewe It tells the story of Flora, who served in the WRENS during the war and of her daughter Lexie in the 1970s There is a lot of historical fact woven into the story I previously knew very little about the Arctic Convoys, so I learnt about that era, almost without realising I was learning We also learn about life during the War at Loch Ewe; about the children sent there for safety, leaving behind all they knew, about fishing, hunting, Gaelic music, friendships and the emotional toll on everyone, especially those on board the Arctic Convoys. however the story is by no means gloomy There is love and romance, as well as descriptions of beautiful scenery There was also a surprising twist near the end, which I didn’t see coming I had never read any of Fiona Valpy’s books, I would strongly recommend this book I will now look forward to reading her other books Many thanks to Netgalley, Fiona Valpy andPublishing UK for an ARC of this enjoyable book. |Download Book ♱ The Skylark's Secret ♿ Loch Ewe,When gamekeeper’s daughter Flora’s remote highland village finds itself the base for the Royal Navy’s Arctic convoys, life in her closeknit community changes forever In defiance of his disapproving father, the laird’s son falls in love with Flora, and as tensions build in their disrupted home, any chance of their happiness seems doomedDecades later, Flora’s daughter, singer Lexie Gordon, is forced to return to the village and to the tiny cottage where she grew up Having long ago escaped to the bright lights of the West End, London still never truly felt like home Now back, with a daughter of her own, Lexie learns that her mother—and the hostileseeming village itself—have long been hiding secrets that make her question everything she thought she knewAs she pieces together the fragments of her parents’ story, Lexie discovers the courageous, devastating sacrifices made in her name It’s too late to rekindle her relationship with her mother, but can Lexie find it in her heart to forgive the past, to grieve for all that’s lost, and finally find her place in the world? The Skylark's Secret, set in Scotland, is book with a duel timeline The first follows Flora's life during WW2 and the second is her daughter Lexie in the 70's Lexie returns from London after she is unable to sing on the west end after falling pregnant and straining her voice Lexie moves into her late mothers Cottage and finds it hard to adjust to the village life.I really loved the way this book was written, I loved reading about both characters lives and how different they were I'm not usually a huge fan of split stories but i felt this one was written so well, the two stories intertwined seamlessly and came together at the end to reveal a lifelong secret This book is quite a tragic tale of love and loss, yet it is also such a beautiful story about family, friends and community I would definitely recommend this book Thank you to #NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Fiona Valpy’s, The Skylark’s Secret was a beautiful book about the depth of mother’s love as well as friendship and love during wartime I loved reading this book and especially loved the dualstoryline describing 1940s Flora and Alec and their very different familial bonds and mother and daughter, Lexie and Daisy in the present day.The book is set in Loch Eowe, described as a quaint and closeknit crofting village in the Highlands I found this setting to totally draw me into the story In each timeline, friendship, love, overcoming personal hardships and family are strong themes and are very compelling.I am rating this book 5 stars, I enjoyed it very much!Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. Fiona Valpy’s, The Skylark’s Secret was a beautiful book about the depth of mother’s love as well as friendship and love during wartime I loved reading this book and especially loved the dualstoryline describing 1940s Flora and Alec and their very different familial bonds and mother and daughter, Lexie and Daisy in the present day.The book is set in Loch Eowe, described as a quaint and closeknit crofting village in the Highlands I found this setting to totally draw me into the story In each timeline, friendship, love, overcoming personal hardships and family are strong themes and are very compelling.I am rating this book 5 stars, I enjoyed it very much!Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.