28 October 2021
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
When six-year-old Alice Hilton goes missing in the snow on New Year's Eve 1969 from Yew Tree Manor, suspicion immediately falls on local man Bobby James. James had a grievance against Alice's father, wealthy Richard Hilton, and he is arrested, tried and found guilty for Alice's death. Tragically the child is never found.
Decades later, Willow James, an architect working on a development at Yew Tree Manor, discovers that the land surrounding the house is holding a secret. And when another little girl goes missing from Yew Tree, Willow realizes the key to her disappearance lies in the history of the house, and the two families attached to it. A terrible wrong needs to be made right...and to uncover it, Willow must unravel events from long ago, when in 1919 a court sentenced a midwife to death, for a shocking crime that happened at Yew Tree Manor.
📖 My thoughts..
This multi-generational story sweeps us through decades of secrets and even when the story comes right up to date, the complicated mystery of Yew Tree Manor still reaches out to future generations.
Alice Hilton is just six years old when she goes missing on the night of her parents New Year's Eve party and despite a frantic search, little Alice is never found. This disturbing thread which runs like a river throughout the story will have tragic repercussions for all those who remember that snowy night in 1969. Whilst the story is very much caught up in past events, especially that of midwife, Tessa James, who was involved in her own tragic events linking her to Yew Tree Manor in 1945, there is also a modern day element to the story as architect Willow James attempts to clear the way for a redevelopment of Yew Tree Manor.
The author writes well and very cleverly weaves all the twists and turns of this complex story into a compelling read. I particularly enjoyed the midwifery elements and was eager to discover just what secret the eponymous midwife was hiding. Overall, I thought the story flowed with just enough tension, and even though I had pretty much thought out the final twist, the denouement when it arrived was handled well with a fine sense of drama. I liked how everything was finished to a satisfactory conclusion.
The Midwife's Secret is a multi-generational drama filled with secrets, sorrow and the need for restitution.
About the Author
Emily Gunnis previously worked in TV drama and lives in Brighton with her young family. She is one of the four daughters of Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi.
Twitter @emilygunnis #TheMidwifesSecret