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A Mother's Secret has ratings and 92 reviews. Kristi said: There are so many words I could use to describe this book. Amazing, fantastic, terrific, m.
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- A Mother’s Secret | Dilly Court
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- A Mother's Secret: A beautiful, heartbreaking novel of love, loss and hidden tragedy
Whilst an older Kate has been able to spread her wings a little and travel, Georgie has been the one that has stayed — she has never travelled abroad, lives with her boyfriend and their young daughter but has never married, all it seems with the encouragement of her mother. However when Georgie decides to investigate a little further, what she discovers completely shatters her whole world. The story is told mainly from the perspective of three characters.
Jan meets biker Ray, and although theirs is not a perfect relationship, they love each other and muddle through well enough. I wanted to know what type of person she was and what made her tick. I was a teenager in the 70s so a lot of the references were familiar and it felt quite nostalgic being taken back in time. I did find myself shifting alliances between the characters.
At times my sympathies were with Georgie, and at other times with her mother. The young Jan seemed a very discontented and hard to please person and the older confused Jan was just nasty. As for Georgie, I felt that she could have handled some aspects in a much more sensitive way but then who knows exactly you would react in that situation.
The reader learns fairly on what the secret is but the story then focuses on the fallout from the discovery and how far the devastation caused by just one split second decision can reach. Feb 12, Julie rated it really liked it. An enjoyable read that whilst easy to read, explores more serious issues such as the loss of a child, bereavement, post-natal depression and child abduction. All these issues are sensitively dealt with and were far more interesting to me than the storyline itself.
The story is well-told but to be honest it isn't that different from many other stories out there. I did like the ending and felt a kind of satisfaction that it wasn't the ending that the reader had been led to expect - a kind of non-t An enjoyable read that whilst easy to read, explores more serious issues such as the loss of a child, bereavement, post-natal depression and child abduction. I did like the ending and felt a kind of satisfaction that it wasn't the ending that the reader had been led to expect - a kind of non-twist that felt less contrived.
I don't want to risk saying any more and risk spoiling it. Definitely worth a read. Sisters Kate and Georgie have always had a close bond. Kate has always had freedom to go where she wants to go and when. But Georgie has never gone anywhere and never had a passport because she hasn't been given her birth certificate. Georgia was so frustrated that she didn't have her birth certificate it made her determined to find it, so she decided to climb into the loft to look for it, but discovers some Five huge stars.
Georgia was so frustrated that she didn't have her birth certificate it made her determined to find it, so she decided to climb into the loft to look for it, but discovers something else. Here is a family that is about to discover that lies can cause pain, the truth could destroy them all. I highly recommend this extremely well written book. Mar 02, Anne rated it it was amazing. The Mother's Secret opens with a mysterious prologue that is both chilling and a little disturbing.
Georgie is dreaming of her childhood home, but it is empty of all possessions, it is dark and unwelcoming and there's something strange in the garden. This feeling of unease accompanies both the reader, and Georgie throughout the rest of the story. Present day; and adult Georgie has made a decision. She's never been adventurous, she's never flown, she didn't marry the father of her daughter.
She's The Mother's Secret opens with a mysterious prologue that is both chilling and a little disturbing. She's decided that it's time to change things. She's going to take the opportunities that her sister Kate always embraced. She will take her family on their first family holiday, abroad. Georgie and Kate have a close, loving sisterly relationship. Brought up by a single mother, they were protected as children, but Kate was always given a little more freedom than Georgie.
Their mother Jan has early onset dementia and Kate seems to be taking most of the responsibility for her care. Georgie always felt like the odd one out. Georgie has to search Jan's attic to try to find her birth certificate. She's never had a copy, she's never needed one. Her mother always told her that getting married would spoil her relationship, and why on earth would she need to holiday abroad. She doesn't find the birth certificate, but what she does find, and what is clearly missing will change Georgie's whole life.
It seems that Jan has long-held secrets, and these are devastating, both for Georgie and her family, and for another family who have suffered for many years. Clare Swatman has written a story that really pulls at the heart strings. Both the modern-day story and Jan's own tale, set back in the s are emotionally fraught, beautifully developed and conjure up questions for the reader. What would I do? What would I feel? The devastating loss of a child is told through different points of view, and in very different circumstances, but each mother in this story has suffered their own personal and horrifying loss.
Despite the rights and wrongs of the actions of the characters, the reader cannot help but empathise with what happens, and why. I was especially impressed with the author's ability to seamlessly join together the two strands of her story. Jan's story, set in the s was a nostalgic trip back in time for me and evoked a strong sense of era. Clare Swatman is a talented author, who is going from strength to strength.
The Mother's Secret is a profoundly touching and very moving. With themes of love and loss, and hidden truths, I found it impossible to put down. Feb 10, Julie Smith rated it really liked it. What i he Mother's Secret is a powerful story about family, secrets and devastating lies Love keeps us together Sisters Kate and Georgie have always shared a close bond. I really enjoyed this book. Even though I guessed some of it, there were parts that were completely unexpected which was really nice.
Feb 09, Claire Reeder rated it liked it. Sisters Georgie and Kate have always had a close bond. Kate enjoyed freedom as a youth whilst Georgie preferred to stay at home but now at the age of 37, Georgie is planning on spreading her wings. As the story unfolds secrets become apparent and Georgie is on a path of exploration. Thank you to NetGalley, Pan Macmillan and the author for the chance to review.
Feb 14, Clare rated it really liked it Shelves: Georgie and big sister Kate have always been close. Their mother Jan was widowed just before Georgie was born and it left her very protective of her children. Jan's parents died when she was a child and had no surviving relatives, so their childhood was quite insular. As adults Katie travelled abroad but Georgie stayed at her because Jan needed her.
Jan said that Georgie did not need to marry her childhood sweetheart Matt even when she gave birth to her daughter Clementine. When Georgie was 37 Jan started to show signs of dementia. Jan started to become aggressive and thought her husband Ray was still alive. Kate was bearing the brunt of caring for Jan but needed Georgie's support. Georgie decided she was finally going to go on a foreign holiday with Matt and Clementine.
She went to her childhood home for her birth certificate but only found Kate's. Worried Georgie went to her local library to check her birth records but could not find anyone born named Georgina at her hospital. The only birth she could find on that day were twins Louisa and Samuel Foster. Georgie then discovered that Louisa was kidnapped from hospital on the day she was born. There was a photo of Louisa's mother 18 year old Kimberley Foster who looked exactly like Georgie.
After speaking to Jan, Georgie knows she must trace her birth family what ever the consequences. The Mother's Secret was a compelling read, I had to know what Georgie would do with her new found knowledge. Although I can understand why Georgie was interested in her 'real' family I think it was disloyal to Jan especially when she was unwell.
I enjoyed reading about the young Jan who fell in love with wannabe rock star Ray. The scenes when Jan had her miscarriage all alone in the house with just Kate was heart breaking. I was expecting this book to be a psychological thriller rather than a family drama. There was a twist in the tale I would of loved to have read but sadly it did not happen.
This book definitely gave me a lot to think about. I enjoyed this book and thoroughly recommend it. Feb 18, Kaisha The Writing Garnet rated it it was amazing. All reviews can be found on my blog at https: We also put our faith into them from the moment we entered this world, relying on them to guide us and help us blossom as we grow up. But what if you found out that your entire life had been a lie? What if you found out that your mother had been keeping a secret from you all of your life? Reader, she topped it in a completely different way. Whilst both books are exceptional stories, they are also written completely differently which means that comparing them would be highly unfair.
I have fallen in love with both books for various reasons, and by golly Clare Swatman certainly does NOT disappoint with her highly anticipated second novel. I am genuinely surprised that my heart is now in one piece, given the amount of times it broke in two whilst reading this book! It was as though the entire situation had a big question mark looming overhead — was it true? Or was one of the sisters making a mountain out of a molehill?
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I had no idea what to think or what to believe. If the situation ended up being true after all, why did it happen? What reason did they have to go to such lengths to cause long-lasting devastation? Each individual character had its place within the book, adding another dimension to an already colourful storyline with their vivacious personalities. For me, the change in the characters meant that I was able to see them as realistic, two-dimensional characters instead of one with a chip on their shoulder. I knew Clare Swatman could write her characters well, but goodness me — this author has really outdone herself.
I absolutely loved this book, even with its shocking, devastating and emotional scenes, it still managed to warm my heart in a way I had never thought possible. Devastatingly beautiful — I urge each and every one of you to read this book. Feb 17, Linda Hill rated it really liked it. Georgie and Kate are worried about their mother, but little do they know quite what is in her past. Alongside the mysterious element of the plot and the love story presented between Jan and Ray, Clare Swatman also explores the nature of relationships in families, mental illness and the devastating effects of grief with a deftness of touch.
Certainly there is deep emotion, particularly in one section, but there is also elevating liveliness through the music, clothing and social picture of the s and s, alongside some humour which all serve to engage the reader in a lovely story. The four sections that gradually uncover the truth of the past feel very satisfying and I thought the variety of sentence structure gave impetus and depth. I think, however, that it was Ray who actually appealed to me most.
He forms a backdrop to much of the action so that I felt sorry for him despite his flaws. Feb 09, Fiona Mccormick rated it really liked it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this as an arc. I really enjoyed this book, it was more of a family drama, full of secrets and lies, than a thriller though. I loved the relationship between the sisters Kate and Georgie, it was very natural and realistic. I also really enjoyed hearing their mother Jan's story of her youth in the s, it was very evocative of the time.
I thought the characterisation was superb, making the reader really invested in the people in Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this as an arc. I thought the characterisation was superb, making the reader really invested in the people involved. Very well written and really quite sad at times, this was a great read and I would certainly recommend. Feb 17, Sandie Bishop rated it really liked it Shelves: I really enjoyed this. It is about the decisions we take in life and their consequences on ourselves and on those around us.
Every time I read a book by Renita D'Silva, I feel as though I'm transported through time, to faraway locations, dreaming with my eyes open.
A Mother’s Secret | Dilly Court
I also always learn new things about Indian culture and traditions. In this book, we encounter some very strong, determined female chara A fountain of emotions In this book, we encounter some very strong, determined female characters - much stronger than their male counterparts actually. At times, these women made me love and admire them, at others I felt I almost hated them, but then I would imagine myself in their shoes, and end up wanting to hug them tightly to me again.
Following a tragic accident, young Durga is sent to live with her 'ajji' or grandmother in a huge, ruined mansion. There lives Kali too, the old madwoman everyone fears. This woman was once a happy girl, a ruthless mistress of the house, so what made her lose her mind?
Jaya had never known her father and has always resented her mother's silence on his identity and on her past. Why did Sudha never divulge his identity? Why aren't there any photos in their house of Jaya's father or of Jaya's first years? Who was really Sudha? Why did she shut the door on her past and never opened it again? But now Jaya has found her mother's diaries and hopes that through her mother's writing, she could solve the riddle that was her enigmatic mother.
What will she discover? What surprises will there be waiting for her? Will her questions be finally answered? Renita D'Silva's rich and poetic prose makes reading an incredibly joyful experience. She has the ability to vividly paint scenes and describe feelings through an explosion of colours, smells and tastes that make you long to be there in the story. In Ms D'Silva's books, feelings have smells and voices have colours. It kept me engrossed till the end and I even missed my daily walk in order to finish it as I was desperate to find out what was this Mother's Secret.
View all 7 comments. Mar 20, Janice rated it it was amazing. Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for my advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. It is due for publication on 7 April This is a beautifully written book that takes you on a journey into India both past and present, and into the intricacies and complexities of traditions and long-held customs. Alternating between the voices of Durga, sent to live with her ajji grandmother while her parents recuperate after an accident; Jaya, mourning the loss of her baby boy Arun to Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for my advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Durga arrives in the village of Gaddehalli, scared and apprehensive after learning that she is actually going to stay in an old ruined mansion, rumoured to be haunted, and frequented by a mad-woman! Meanwhile, in London, Jaya is trying to deal with the loss of her baby son to an inexplicable cot death. The loss has created a distance between her and Ben, her husband, and has led to many questions surrounding her relationship with her own mother who she feels died at too young an age. Why did she feel that her mother never quite connected with her? How is Jaya connected to the old ruin in Gaddehalli?
In so doing, she manages to seamlessly incorporate love, betrayal, disappointment, heartbreak, deceit and victory. This is a wonderful, evocative story that readers will easily embrace and enjoy. Oct 13, Sue Watson rated it it was amazing.
The writing is so evocative, so beautiful, you not only feel everything the characters are feeling, you are there with them, tasting, touching and understanding. Apr 28, John C Wells rated it it was amazing. Beautiful imagery brought India to life for me. I read this book because it was offered on Kindle. I have never read this author, but will definitely read more of her in the future. I will recommend her to my other book reading friends. India is depicted as very beautiful, with the different colors and smells described so I felt as though I was really experiencing it first hand.
But, yet, it seems a sad place to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this read, however, it is hard to imagine all the heartache. It is uplifting in the end to imagine the younger generation rebuilding what could have been lost forever.
Mar 02, Nicky Mottram rated it it was amazing Shelves: Wonderful book, highly recommend X. Mar 27, Emma Crowley rated it really liked it. A Mother's Secret may have been the first book I have read by Renita D'Silva but it certainly won't be the last, I really can't believe that I have only just discovered Renita's wonderful writing. The author writes with such passion for her chosen subject and the deep love she has for India just radiates from the pages.
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This novel is a story of love, loss, heartbreak, tragedy and secrets but also one of expectation and the pressure to conform which can lead to the most catastrophic and agonising A Mother's Secret may have been the first book I have read by Renita D'Silva but it certainly won't be the last, I really can't believe that I have only just discovered Renita's wonderful writing.
This novel is a story of love, loss, heartbreak, tragedy and secrets but also one of expectation and the pressure to conform which can lead to the most catastrophic and agonising of circumstances. The cover for this book is beautiful and haunting and in the vein of Dinah Jefferies whose books I adore and yet again it was the cover that first drew me to this book without even bothering to read the blurb. I just knew I wanted to be transported to where that lady on the front cover was sitting, to experience the sights, sounds and smells of India whilst reading an absorbing story.
Initially it did take me a while to get into this book as there were numerous characters introduced and I felt the book jumped around a bit. Just as you were getting into one characters mindset the chapter ended and we were with someone else. Also there were connections I was trying to make but really it was too early in the book for that and the reward for my patience was a story that unfolded layer by layer into what proved to be a beautifully crafted piece of writing where the author laid bare her heart and soul on every page.
We also read bits from Jaya's mother Sudha but this is through her diary entries as she has passed away from a heart attack. All the women are at different stages in their lives and have different opinions and viewpoints to bring to the story. They all appear to be connected in some way but the reader is left grasping at threads right until the very end until the connections are confirmed.
Durga is a young girl sent to live with the grandmother she has never met and probably would not have only for the accident her parents were in. Durga is a wild child, lively, energetic and uncontrollable. She seems to be the bane of the villagers who care for her as her parents lie in a coma in hospital. Durga is fearful as to what will happen to her if her parents do not recover.
She is nervous about being sent to a place to a woman she has no connection with except through blood. If Sumathiamma can cast out her own child how will she feel about having to look after her grandchild Durga? Right from the moment Durga arrives in the isolated village there is a sense of mystery in the air, of a place where time has stood still forever caught in the memories of an event long passed but which still echoes around the crumbling mansion in which it took place.
The villagers fear the mansion on the hill believing ghosts roam the property and anyone that steps inside will be cursed for ever more. Of course Durga is wary but what choice does she have? There is no other alternative only to stay with her grandmother. Behind the walls of the mansion Sumathiamma and some nuns care for an old woman Kali - a woman who has witnessed such terror and devastation that it has driven her mad. The confines of the mansion are all she now knows as she wanders between brief periods of sanity and times of uncontrollable panic that bring her back to the past.
To a time she wishes she had dealt with differently, where her obsession to avenge a wrong and achieve a position in society was ultimately her downfall. I did think Durga was going to feature heavily in the book but this really is not her story, yes she has a crucial role to play and without her the book would have turned out quite differently but I was more interested in the story of Kali and how it could possible interweave with Jaya. As each chapter alternates between Jaya and Kali's story the author steadily builds a picture of a family history torn apart by greed, intention and the power of love.
There was great depth and emotion to this story that unfolded at a slow pace which kept the reader wanting more and eagerly turning the pages. Jaya is a woman slowly climbing her way back to her normal self after experiencing great sorrow following the loss of her son Arun to cot death. Not only that her mother had died of a heart attack leaving more questions than answers. Jaya's husband Ben is often away travelling for work so she is left to deal with her emotions and recovery single handedly. Counselling does help and it is through this she has the courage to explore her mother's things which leads to the discovery of photos and diaries.
This surprises Jaya as she had long been told her father had died when she was young and her mother and no connections left with India instead living her adopted home of England. Jaya is at a turning point in her life and she longs to be able to reach her mother to discover just why was she so closed off. Why did a cruel twist of fate leave Jaya lonely just when she needed her mother most?
Jaya's feelings and emotions can never be contained or explained unless she reads the diary in the hope of uncovering just what her mother had kept secret for so many years. Will Sudha's story be a revelation? Will it help Jaya find some peace and the solace and comfort she so desperately needs? Jaya seemed ever so lonely, confused and afraid like a soul who has lost their path in life and needs a strong firm, helping hand to once again steer them in the right direction.
I felt her agony and pain as she realises she has a tangible connection to her mother and India one that she never expected to see come to fruition. Although Jaya and Durga' stories were interesting to read it was really the tale of Kali that had me hooked throughout. I loved how we got inside her head both as a young woman and now as a elderly woman driven mad by events of the past. Each of her chapters began with her in the present wondering why she is not young anymore?
Where have the people she has known disappeared to? Why is the mansion becoming ever more abandoned and worn down? These scenes were powerful as we experience Kali's upset, confusion and distress before she sinks back into the past where we uncover a story perhaps one of greed but more so one of ambition and a ruthless determination to fulfil an ambition at whatever cost.
No matter who suffers in the path of this goal or what sacrifices are made to achieve the most desirable outcome? Kali really was the most messed up character and I don't mean the fact she has descended into madness but rather from when we first meet her. An incident of rejection sets her on a path which will fuel her for the rest of her life.
She doesn't want to feel that way again to be looked upon as worthless as the dredges of society who can never rise up against all the obstacles placed in their way. Kali sets in motion a plan that will see her go against the norms for a woman of her caste, she will cause upset, horror and untold hardship for those she encounters. Even at the end of this book I couldn't quite fathom Kali and her ultimate motives. I didn't like her at all for what she did and the lies she told which in turn made other people suffer.
I'm not even sure her family members liked her either. They almost seemed in fear of her and her close relatives one in particular felt the weight of her expectation so much and of a burden that they were forced to make the ultimate sacrifice which in turn only damaged future generations. Only towards the end did I feel some sense of remorse for her as the secrets are finally exposed but ultimately Kali proved her self to be ruthless and strong willed but when push came to shove even though in some eyes her action may have been wrong she did what she did for love.
A Mother's Secret is a remarkable book filled with amazing writing and important life lessons to be learned. It is a feast for the senses and your imagination.
A Mother's Secret: A beautiful, heartbreaking novel of love, loss and hidden tragedy
I really was transported to the hot, dusty, barren countryside of India surrounding the mansion. I could visualise Durga climbing the hill to a house that wanted to shed its burden and let go of the past to embrace the present and become filled with new life once again. A house where it could no longer hold back the story it so desperately wanted to tell. The book is honest and intense and filled with such elegant writing that transports you to the heart of the story and to the themes the author is trying to convey.
I don't often say this but this book is worthy of a re-read as there is so much to soak up on every page that in your eagerness to uncover the truth behind the tragedy that you may well miss out on the finer details and descriptions.
So it may have begun at slow pace and I may have taken time to get into the story but once it caught me in its hold it didn't let go until that jaw dropping moment near the very end that had me gasping out loud. I was beginning to wonder how al the dots a such could by joined together but the author did it with a mixture of sensitivity and flair that leaves the reader satsified and very impressed. Renita D'Silva writes with compassion and love for her subject matter and I'm just left questioning myself as to why I never thought to read any of her books before.
I have five other books to choose from now as I eagerly await her next release. May 28, Joann rated it really liked it Shelves: What a tangled web some families weave. Gaddehalli is a tiny village in India but through the author's writing I could smell the spices, hear the wind in the trees, and see the buffalos in the fields as if I was there. The first few chapters were a bit confusing with the girls but as the book continues it doesn't become an issue.
All the characters of the novel were well defined a What a tangled web some families weave. All the characters of the novel were well defined and I felt like an intruder looking into their lives. You wonder how in the world can the author pull all of these characters in the book together, but she does it seamlessly. A very good book about families and how the important, simple things in life can sometimes be forgotten because of pride, selfishness or shame. Aug 22, Leona rated it really liked it.
This was a book that tells the story of love , lies, loss in a family and the secrets that were carried over the years. It is told from the point of view of four main characters. I really enjoyed this book and the way it described life during those times in India. I loved the way it was written at times in diary form and how the characters were described. The book was very vivid in the description of India and the life there. At times I actually felt like I was there. My only small gripe was This was a book that tells the story of love , lies, loss in a family and the secrets that were carried over the years.
My only small gripe was I would have loved to have known what years all this took place in. Dec 18, Rebecca Stonehill rated it it was amazing. Renita D'Silva is a masterful storyteller. I have read a few of her books but I think this is my favourite to date. It actually reminded me of an Indian version of Great Expectations - the crumbling 'haunted' mansion, the embittered old woman, the secrets from the past echoing through the house We are taken on a journey in which the author seamlessly interweaves between past and present and, little by little, feeding the reader just enough information, we understand how all the characters are Renita D'Silva is a masterful storyteller.
We are taken on a journey in which the author seamlessly interweaves between past and present and, little by little, feeding the reader just enough information, we understand how all the characters are linked up. Like all her books, A Mother's Secret is filled with the sounds, smells and riotous sights of India whilst also offering a non-judgmental but insightful social commentary on this fascinating, complicated country. Mar 08, Jen rated it it was amazing. Jaya is a young woman who has suffered great loss in a short space of time.
In India, a young girl named Durga is sent to live with her grandmother following a tragic accident which leaves both of her parents in a coma. You don't know Jack. Two unsuspecting girls purchase a storage locker from a dangerous man who begins hunting them down in an attempt to rescue the locker, which holds incriminating evidence inside.
When seeking a liver donor for her daughter, Meghan O'Mailley learns her husband is not the girl's biological father. Meghan must risk her marriage, and then her life, to track down the man It has been five years after Diana send a man to jail for the murder of her father and fiancee.
Then he escapes from prison. He keeps her captive in her own home. Did Diana put an innocent man away? A district attorney asks a forensic accountant Nicole de Boer to investigate the murder of a key witness. A young man takes a bus full of kids hostage in a desperate attempt to receive ransom money from an insurance company save that denied his very sick mother's claim. After a woman kills a home invasion robber in self-defense, his vengeful girlfriend befriends her at a crime victim support group and sets about trying to destroy her life.
When Amy has nowhere to go for winter break, her friend Christine insists she come stay with her family. What begins as a dream situation turns into a nightmare when Amy starts to obsess Young high school teacher Lori Colson is pregnant, knowing she is adopted, she and her husband decide to go back to her roots. In trying to discover more of her biological family history she uncovers her father in prison for killing her grandfather. He claims he is innocent and persistent she decides to do some investigating to discover the truth. Her biological mother Evelyn Wells is weak and frightened, but refuses to tell what she knows.
So who really killed Lori's grandfather and why is Evelyn so terrified she is willing to kill herself or let Lori die rather than reveal the truth about what really happened back all those years ago? Its clear as murder happens again and road blocks halt Lori from finding the truth that this is going to get ugly. Well this was pretty bad; cheesy, stilled dialogue, overdone background music, bad decisions and just all-round kinda dull.
Truthfully I only turned this on because I saw Yannick Bisson's name attached and well He plays a secondary character here, the nice guy as per DA husband of the main character. In the opening scenes we learn his wife is pregnant and then discovers she was adopted.