25 September 2023
My thanks to the publisher for the copy of the book and the invitation to the blog tour
England, 1942. 'It has to stay secret,' he whispers, placing the locket around her neck. 'If they find it, they’ll send me away.' As she holds the locket, glinting in the moonlight, she can’t hold back the tears. 'I just wish we didn’t have to hide…'
When farmer’s daughter Irene meets Theodore at a village dance, sparks fly instantly. The war has brought him all the way from Louisiana to build a US airbase just across her father’s fields, but as they sway together, there is nothing else in the world. Only his gentle touch and his deep brown eyes.
But being together comes at a price. As Theodore is Black, the might of the US Air Force is against them, and all the members of the little village community disapprove of their relationship. And they will all go to terrible lengths to tear the two young lovers apart...
Decades later, heartbroken Ruby is back at her family’s crumbling farmhouse for the first time in years, after the loss of her beloved grandmother Irene. The roof has fallen in, family photographs are damaged – and her grandmother’s jewellery is nowhere to be found.
When Ruby uncovers her grandmother’s waterlogged diaries, she discovers that Irene treasured one piece of lost jewellery above all. A locket from a man called Theodore. And the missing locket holds the key to unravelling a heartbreaking secret that changed her grandmother’s life…
Is someone in the village hiding the locket to keep the truth about Irene and Theodore buried? And can Ruby find a way to honour her grandmother’s memory – or in digging up the pain of the war, will she tear her family apart?
📖 My Review..
From the very start of The Locket I was drawn into this dual time narrative and followed with real interest this rather evocative WW2 story about Irene Boulter, a young woman who just happened to fall in love with a man who her village community didn't approve of. Fast forward eighty years later and Irene's granddaughter, Ruby, is determined to solve a mystery which has been kept secret for far too long.
Spanning the war years, and its subsequent repercussions, we experience the joy, and heartbreak, of a relationship which caused real problems in a rural village which didn't like to stray too far from the straight and narrow. Recreating a time of bigotry and prejudice leaves a real mark on the story and the author explores this difficult time really well so that I had a real sense of the emotional connection between Irene and Theodore, and yet also suffered, alongside them, the pain of betrayal and ultimate heartbreak.
I enjoyed the modern day story very much, it sits comfortably alongside the wartime elements and I became totally immersed in Ruby's search for the truth as she discovered just what occurred in 1942 which caused Irene so much unhappiness. The way in which the fragmented pieces of lives torn apart during the war were revealed in emotional detail with neither the historic, nor the modern, overshadowing the other.
Moving seamlessly backwards and forwards in time The Locket is a beautifully written story about long hidden secrets and lives which had been changed by circumstances.
About the Author
Natalie Meg Evans has been an art student, actor, PR copywriter, book-keeper and bar tender but always wanted to write. A USA Today best-seller and RITA nominee, she is author of four published novels which follow the fortunes of strong-minded women during the 1930s and 40s. Fashion, manners and art are the glass through which her characters’ lives are viewed. Each novel is laced with passion, romance and desire. Mystery is never far away.
An avid absorber of history – for her sixth birthday she got a toy Arthurian castle with plastic knights – Natalie views historical fiction as theatre for the imagination. Her novels delve behind the scenes of a prestige industry: high fashion, millinery, theatre, wine making. Rich arenas for love and conflict. Most at home in the English countryside, Natalie lives in rural Suffolk. She has one son.
Twitter @natmegevans #TheLocket