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20 August 2015

Barbara Hannay: The Secret Years

Another inter-generational story set in the Australian outback
Once again Barbara Hannay has taken the theme of inter-generational secrets of a family living in the Australian outback and woven a story of love and living over the years.

When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather Harry's World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as 'George' and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy's family history that has been kept a mystery . . . until now.

Lucy Hunter is exploring her grandfather's World War II memorabilia when she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as 'George' plus a series of heartfelt letters.  This is a secret from a period of family history unknown to her. Things become interesting when she goes to England and finds out that George was an English aristocrat who moved from London to an isolated outback property, a move that still has a big impact on Lucy's family.

The book started slowly for me and left me somewhat confused with frequent time and character changes. It wasn't until the end that the story started to come together for me. I became enthralled when Lucy returns to Australia from her travels of family and personal discovery in England and gets to know more about her mother and father who left her the farm.

The formula for this book is similar to the successful one in Hannay's previous book, Moonlight Plains, where the heroine tracks down the secret lives of family members by travelling around the world and finds herself and love in the process. While I enjoyed this book I didn't find it quite as appealing as her previous book.

My thanks to Penguin Australia for an advanced copy of this book.

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