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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • lindseystreet1975

The Secret of Stone Cottage (Author: Maighread Mackay)

The Secret of Stone Cottage (Book Cover)

Enchanting, Captivating, Thought Provoking

Contemporary Fiction/Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Romance

The Secret Of Stone Cottage By Maighread Mackay. Rebecca had, as she saw it, the perfect life, employment as a senior partner in her Father's firm, a loving and caring husband, they were parents to 10 year old twin girls and they had a lavish lifestyle thanks to the success of the company that Becca's father had built up from nothing, plus David's landscaping business. Her best friend whom she had known from college days was her 'sister' in all but name, and her Brother, also a senior partner in the family business had become someone with whom she had grown closer with over recent years. Her relationship with her Mother had never been in doubt, they had always been close. However, her connection with her Father could at times, be challenging. Whilst he was, and would always be the most important man in her life on a paternal level, she struggled with him as her employer & her perception of her capabilities in the workplace. Not being able to see her as anything other than "his little girl'.

Becca had always prided herself on her orderly organised way of living and her strength of character to maintain the status quo, but when an unexpected sudden occurrence shakes her world to its core, shifting both her ability to cope & her bond with those closest to her, she looks to seek refuge elsewhere, a place that becomes much more to her than just somewhere to hide.....

Maighread asked me to read and review this, or at least one of her books a while ago, and I'll be honest, having spoken to her about what she writes & reading a little bit about her novels, I wasn't entirely sold on whether they would be something that I would enjoy. However, I should have downloaded this book & got reading much sooner. What a beautiful story. The crossover of the two genres intertwined seamlessly. The writing was captivating & the characters, enchanting. I really felt as though I was in the the story with them and got so immersed that I found myself shedding a tear for young Annie when it becomes apparent that she isn't aware of her true circumstances, or that of her daughter and husband. The connection and relationship between the characters in one genre & those in the other were geniously imagined. The accuracy in the detail written to describe what occurs when Becca visits Jen is so comprehensive with such specific detail, and that level of detail flows through the narrative towards the conclusion where where Becca meets Henrietta & they join forces to assist Annie in escaping her torment. The depiction of the life cut short was handled with such care for both the reader and the characters. It isn't immediately clear what the outcome will be and the reader is left wondering what will become of the injured party, instilling some hope after such a shocking scene, & is understatedly & calmly revealed a short while later.

Their wedding nights, for Henrietta and Annie, albeit very different in the way that they were conducted by Jonathan & Will, giving their wives very different feelings towards 'the unspoken marital act', were quite an eye opener. It must, as Becca felt, been a very frightening time for Henrietta & together with the other sources of turmoil in her life, it was no surprise that it emotionally stunted her interaction with others. The naivety & expectations of women then are shocking.

I mused at how close Becca & Cissy were & the wonderful relationship that Becca has with David & her Father. When you realise what connects them all, it is clear why they have such a strong bond. The narrative in both genres has a completely different feel to it and when characters from both inhabited the same space, it felt like a reunion of people who truly embodied each other.

The ending is extremely thought provoking & a heart warming way to imagine and hold onto what happens to our loved ones after this life. It is a philosophy that I shall be remembering as I found it very comforting. This is a special tale that no one should miss out on. I have certainly found that whatever your pre-concieved ideas about a written work and how an Author may write, the inside of a book often holds something very different.

The only two things that I was left to ponder were: 1. What actually happened to Will? 2. How Becca managed to use the toilet during her two weeks of bedridden despair?

Thank you Author - Maighread MacKay for a wonderfully magical read.

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