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Finding Family at Seabreeze Farm by Jo Bartlett #Review

  I am delighted to be featuring the the latest festive novel Jo Bartlett, Finding Family at Seabreeze Farm   which was published by Boldwood Books on 2nd December. This is the second in her Seabreeze Farm series, set at Kelsea Bay. Freya Halliwell is looking forward to marrying the man of her dreams and starting their new life together. After the death of both of her parents, Ollie, along with Freya’s aunt, are the only family she has, but all the family she needs. Until Freya discovers a shocking secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her once happy family and especially the man she used to call dad. Devastated and feeling more alone than ever before, Freya needs time and space to come to terms with the news. But until then the wedding is off! Seabreeze Farm is the perfect place for Freya to recover. But could this beautiful farm perched high on the cliffs, also hold the answer to Freya’s past and reunite her with the family she never even knew s

The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl #Review #Publication Day


Welcome to the blog tour to celebrate the release of Kathleen McGurl's historical novel, The Secret of the Chateau, today on May 15th by HQ Digital. 
 
Everything is about to change…


1789. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the palace of Versailles for their château, deep in the French Alps. But as revolution spreads through the country, even hidden away the Auberts will not be safe forever. Soon they must make a terrible decision in order to protect themselves, and their children, from harm.


Present day. When Lu’s mother dies leaving her heartbroken, the chance to move to a château in the south of France with her husband and best friends seems an opportunity for a new beginning. But Lu can’t resist digging into their new home’s history, and when she stumbles across the unexplained disappearance of Catherine Aubert, the château begins to reveal its secrets – and a mystery unsolved for centuries is uncovered…


 My Thoughts
With alternating chapters, you follow the narratives of two stories, one set at the time of the French Revolution and the other in present day France. As you pick up the threads of each timeline, there is no confusion, so deftly is this novel plotted. There is plenty of historical detail about the life at Versailles during the reign of Louis XVI and the tensions between the ordinary French people and the aristocrats where certain levels of society felt that they had a divine right to the lion's share of the riches of the country. When you travel forward in time to the group of friends who decide to emigrate to France and to settle in the Chateau, you can see that the prosperous retirees have no difficulty in finding their own niche in the French society.

    You can see attitudes to bringing up children in both storylines. Catherine Aubert copies the approach of the aristocrats she meets in the French court and largely hands her son over to the servants. You see how her thoughts about this develop. The children of the ex-pats have grown up but you discover the importance they have to their parents even in adulthood. There are some interesting plotlines and situations throughout. I did guess the secret of the chateau but that did not detract from my enjoyment of this historical novel. 

In short: A dual timeline contrasts life in a French chateau over the centuries.  
About the Author


Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband. She has two sons who have both now left home. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has published several novels with HQ and self-published another. She has also sold dozens of short stories to women's magazines, and written three How To books for writers. After a long career in the IT industry she became a full time writer in 2019. When she's not writing, she's often out running, slowly.

You can read my rebiew of these books by Kathleen here: 
 
You can follow Kathleen here: Website  |  Twitter    |  Facebook 

                                                |  Instagram



Book links: Amazon UK    |  Amazon US  



Thanks to Kathleen McGurl, HQ Digital and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.



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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this review and for being a publication day blogger!

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