- Paperback: 350 pages
- Publisher: HQ (July 27, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008193851
- ISBN-13: 978-0008193850
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,114,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secret of Summerhayes Paperback – July 27, 2017
This month's Book With Buzz: "Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena
In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A thriller packed full of secrets and a twisty story that never stops - from the bestselling author of "The Couple Next Door." See more
About the Author
Merryn Allingham was born into an army family and spent her childhood moving around the UK and abroad. Unsurprisingly it gave her itchy feet and in her twenties she escaped from an unloved secretarial career to work as cabin crew and see the world. Merryn loves history and in 2014 published her first historical suspense trilogy, Daisy's War, set in India and wartime England in the 1930s/1940s. All three novels are now available - The Girl from Cobb Street, The Nurse's War and Daisy's Long Road Home.
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Top customer reviews
Now onto the novel itself.
It is the summer of 1944 and the army has arrived in force at Summerhayes estate, which is nothing new as the crumbling manor has been the home to soldiers for a while now. In a small section of the house lives Alice Summer, the owner of the estate, and her last remaining helpers, Mr. Ripley, and Bethany Merston. Bethany, who acts as a companion to Alice, is trained as a school teacher but when her school was destroyed by the war, she was lucky to find the job in Summerhayes, even if Alice can be a handful at times. When strange letters begin to arrive that haunt Alice, it soon becomes apparent that somebody wants to scare her or worse.
Can Bethany with the help of a certain soldier, uncover the truth? And as they delve into the past history of Summerhayes will the truth destroy Alice?
THE SECRET OF SUMMERHAYES by Merryn Allingham is a richly layered historical story that paints a picture for you as you get lost in the drama. There are so many in-depth and likeable characters in this story and you immediately become connected to what is happening and need to know how it ends. That's not to say that all of the characters have that effect - I won't name the one that made my skin crawl from the very beginning, I'll let you find that out for yourselves.
The harsh reality of the war is depicted expertly throughout, and Summerhayes comes alive as we begin to imagine what it used to look like in its former glory and then in its shambling ruins. There is a dark and mysterious undercurrent that runs throughout this story and as Bethany makes it her mission to protect Alice from the past, she soon realises that to keep Alice safe she has to dig up old memories and many secrets and betrayals will come to light.
THE SECRET OF SUMMERHAYES by Merryn Allingham is everything I hoped it would be and so much more, and I am now going on a shopping spree to treat myself to some of the author's other titles - The Buttonmaker's Daughter, The Girl from Cobb Street, The Nurse's War, and Daisy's Long Road Home.
THE SECRET OF SUMMERHAYES by Merryn Allingham is an excellent book with an excellent plot and excellent characters. A complete all-rounder.
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from the Publisher
So Bethany starts employment to Alice an elderly lady who owns Summerhayes Estate, as a companion to the old lady.
Summerhayes was a beautiful estate many moons ago but now Alice only lives in 2 rooms with many others falling into disrepair.
The military have commandeered the property and grounds for their men, the beautiful gardens are over grown and unused.
Alice starts receiving letters from her long lost daughter are they real or are they fake?? Bethany is trying very hard to look after Alice but each day this becomes more difficult?? Alice is plagued with the past and is the past haunting her??
This is a great story with the entwined stories of Jos and Eddie the Canadian soldiers that are based at Summerhayes.
Well written with a great mix of characters, a very compelling storyline that keeps drawing you in.