#BlogTour The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl #BookReview @rararesources

A huge pleasure to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for THE FORGOTTEN SECRET by KATHLEEN MCGURL.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of it all!

A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the Author

KATHLEEN MCGURL lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –

 Website: https://kathleenmcgurl.com/

 Twitter: @KathMcGurl https://twitter.com/KathMcGurl

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenMcGurl/

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathleenmcgurl/


Set over two timelines, 2016 and 1919, this absorbing story takes a look back at troubled times in Ireland , alongside a woman taking control of her own life after many years of being controlled by her husband, and finding her own feet again at the age of 50.

In the present timeline, we follow Claire who has been left a Farm in Ireland by an Uncle, which is in dire need of renovation and the thought of that gives her goosebumps! Not so her husband, Paul, who is used to getting his own way and just wants her to sell it so he can invest the money in something else.  Over the years she’d given up going against his wishes for the sake of her two sons, but now they’re grown up and doing their own thing she gets the courage to do what SHE wants for a change and makes the big decision to leave her husband and set out on a new journey in Ireland.

And back in 1919, we follow the story of Ellen who is a young girl living with her Dad with not much money, but sets out on her life journey with a new job and a new romance that  is put to the test early on as Jimmy is determined to join the cause to fight for Irish independence.  Ellen’s new boss is also involved with setting up clandestine meetings and Ellen finds herself passing on messages and doing all she can to avoid being detected by those out to thwart all those plotting against the English.

The two timelines worked so well with each other – we had the historical look back at some very troubling times and got to see how it affected the people living and working in Ireland at the time, and that is set against the backdrop of Claire who is looking to make her own way in life and explore the things she finds on the farm that had been hidden away for many years and to look back at the family history she didn’t hear about.  Some of the revelations are pretty shocking but dealt with in sympathetic ways but left you as a reader feel quite emotional about what went on, and how things were so different back then.



Himself by Jess Kidd #bookreview


When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village’s lies.

His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.

Buy your copy;

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Book Depository

Author Website

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I have just given myself a stern telling off for taking so long to pick this book up off my shelves!! From the dark opening, to the captivating characters, to the magical setting and supernatural goings on and the mystery at the heart of the story, this has gone straight onto my list as one of my favourite reads of 2017!!

It is going to be difficult to sum this story up in a review as it has a little bit of everything in it! Elements of mystery, violence, supernatural, magical, historical and dark wit are throughout this story and I loved every minute of it! One of those books where you are conflicted as you want to race through it and find out what happens, but you are then loathe to get to the end as you just want to stay within the world created!

The simple way of describing this story is that Mahony returns to the village to find out what happened to his mother. Did she leave the town as the villagers thought or was she murdered? His mother wasn’t well liked and you feel like many villagers aren’t being honest with their take on what happened. But Mahony gets help from Mrs Cauley – I loved her!! – who has lived in the village for many years and understands his special gift along with wanting to stick her nose in and get to the bottom of the murkier side of the village. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly and isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. Would love to read a book just about her too!!

There is a great feeling of dark humour throughout which does lend itself perfectly to lightening the mood of what is often quite a serious storyline. The story flits between the timelines of 1976 when Mahony turns up, and back to the late 1940’s and the story of his mother and how life was for her and what she got up to that enraged some of the locals so much.

Full of such fascinating characters and a truly magical storyline, I highly recommend this to everyone looking for a story that is so different and covers all genres!!

Do you get the impression that I loved reading this?! Have you read it?!  Hope you thought the same as me if you did!!