An Abandoned Woman…
1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison – but can captivity lead to freedom?
A Forbidden Love…
2018. When marine scientist Rachel Parker is forced to take shelter on an isolated island off the Cornish Coast during a research posting, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel is determined to find the intended recipient.
A Dangerous Secret…
Meanwhile in London, Eve is helping her grandmother write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years.
An eloquently written novel told in three distinct settings.
Rachel, a cool character, self assured and independent her work as a marine scientist takes her all over the world, never staying in one place, never putting down roots and never losing her heart. The majority of her time in this book is on the Scilly Isles commissioned to undertake work researching clams, but an unexpected storm sees her washed up on a different island where she meets reclusive Leah and makes some surprising discoveries.
Eve is in London assisting her Grandmother who is recovering from a fall, a successful female climber she has a story to tell, but while assisting her to write her memoir, Eve suspects her Grandmother is keeping secrets.
And Esther, incarcerated into an asylum by her husband, under the care of Dr Richard Cresswell who is running a therapeutic community for ‘troubled’ soldiers following the war. A beautiful setting where the ‘treatment’ was a form of ‘time out’ in a remote setting where the distribution of labour was shared.
The stories are told in alternating chapters and the tale unfolds, linking these three strong women. With love at its heart this is a story primarily of lost love or forbidden love, but each woman is in a different stage in her life and the circumstances give all cause for reflection.
This was a pleasing story with three strong women at its heart. Its strength for me was in its vivid descriptions of the stunning landscape of the Scilly Islands, a character in itself and leaving me with a desire to visit these remote isles. I particularly liked Rachel’s story, but Esther’s time in the asylum was a compelling read, highlighting her limited power as a woman and a wife but also drawing attention to other restrictions of the time.
An interesting piece of historic fiction with a beautiful love story spanning a life time. For fans of descriptive reads with a secret romance, Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton comes to mind or The Silk Makers Daughter by Dinah Jeffries.
About the Author
Kayte Nunn is a former magazine and book editor, and the bestselling author of four novels. Originally from Britain, she lived in the USA and now resides in Australia with her family.