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Secrets of the Chest Paperback – May 31, 2016
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About the Author
When Hitler's bombing raids returned to London in June 1944, Evelyne's mother was evacuated to Southport and it was there where she died that September whilst giving birth to Evelyne. Evelyne's father was born in Istanbul, Turkey of Mediterranean parentage. He started one of the first English language schools in Sussex and Evelyne's childhood life was influenced by being surrounded by people and languages from all around the world. The inspiration for this book came from a combination of her background and imagining the possible history of an antique oak chest owned by one of her friends. What tales might that be able to tell?
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Top customer reviews
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Suzanne has just turned 16 and inherited an oak chest from her grandmother. As she reads her final letter bequeathing the chest to her, an amazing family history is revealed. The chest has been handed down to the daughters and granddaughters in the family since 1603 and with it keepsakes, diaries and journals of the lives, loves, ordeals, and challenges of the female line in the family tree.
Such a beautiful and emotional tale, I was immensely moved by Mary de Courtney's heartbreaking account of her life. Given the chest as a birthday gift at the age of four, Mary keeps her most treasured possessions in it and vows to maintain its secrecy throughout her troubled marriage and subsequent darkest hours. The majority of the book is written in a diary format, which really worked for me and really gave the first hand account in true clarity as you read it.
The letter itself to Suzanne at the start of the story was very poignant and it was at this point that I knew I was going to enjoy this book and that it would also be very emotional.
As I got to the end of the book it was good to look back at the family tree included in Suzanne's letter to see how all the characters were related to each other and it was all very interesting to see the differences in times and attitudes throughout the periods mentioned, in particular during the 17th century when women were treat so bad by their husbands and allowed to marry so young.
A fantastic and powerful read - that is disturbing at times - but a huge must for historical family saga fans. The author Evelyne Morris has written a superbly crafted and engaging tale for which I highly recommend and would happily read again.