|One More Chapter|
20 April 2022
My thanks to the publisher and to Rachel's Random Resources
for my copy of the book and the invitation to the blog tour
Seventy-five years ago, British SOE spy Guy Barclay was forced to leave behind the woman he loved in war-ravaged Yugoslavia.
…This is now
As ninety-three-year-old Guy’s days draw to a close, he asks his granddaughter, Leo Holmes, to go looking for answers. Given that her marriage has imploded and her City job is on the verge of killing her, Leo agrees and rents a house on the island of Vis, where her grandfather was stationed in the Second World War.
But as Leo’s search takes her down unexpected roads – and into the path of a gorgeous local, Andrej Pintaric – she begins to wonder if this journey down memory lane might yield unexpected results for more than just her beloved grandfather...
📖 My Review...
Leo Holmes is facing a crossroads in both her personal and professional life, her marriage is over and her high flying job in the city is draining her of energy. Guy Barclay, Leo's elderly grandfather, is becoming increasingly frailer by the day and Leo, with time on her hands, agrees to go to Vis, an island in Croatia, where seventy-five years ago, her grandfather spent time during the latter years of WW2. Her grandfather's quest to right the wrongs of the past is the focus of the story, and flipping expertly between two time frames, both Guy's story in the past and Leo's story in 2014 come forcefully to life.
An Island of Secrets brings this beautiful part of the world to life in a really meaningful way, and in following in her grandfather's footsteps Leo discovers that there is much to learn about the past, especially Guy's role as a SOE during this crucial, and particularly, challenging time in the war. The story is so beautifully descriptive that the place, and the people, in both the past and present time frames come alive as the tiny island streets around Komiža harbour once again feel the patter of feet and the strident clammer of voices.
The shadow of the past is never forgotten and this is made all the more poignant by following what happened, not just on the island in 1943 but also to the woman who captured Guy's heart so many years ago. Although the book is very much about the past, there is also meaningful time spent in the present and Leo's burgeoning relationship with a local man, Andrej Pintaric, who not only helps her to discover the events of the past, but his warmth and encouragement also gives the story a wonderful, romantic edge.
Beautifully written, emotional and with a real sense of history coming alive, An Island of Secrets is one of those rather special stories which stays in your heart long after the last page is turned.
🍴 Best read with...sardines and bread, washed down with a glass of Rakija
About the Author
Eva Glyn writes escapist relationship-driven fiction with a kernel of truth at its heart. She loves to travel and finds inspiration in beautiful places and the stories they hide.
Her last holiday before lockdown was a trip to Croatia, and the country’s haunting histories and gorgeous scenery have proved fertile ground, driven by her friendship with a tour guide she met there. His wartime story provided the inspiration for The Olive Grove and his help in creating a realistic portrayal of Croatian life had proved invaluable.
Eva lives in Cornwall, although she considers herself Welsh, and has been lucky enough to have been married to the love of her life for twenty-five years. She also writes as Jane Cable.