Blog Tour – An Island of Secrets by Eva Glyn

I first discovered this author on a blog tour for one of her books written as Jane Cable. I was immediately enchanted by her atmospheric and haunting writing style.  That book, Endless Skies, has stayed with me.  I also read and enjoyed The Missing Pieces of Us and The Forgotten Maid.  I can highly recommend them all and you can follow the links to read my reviews.  Naturally, I was delighted to accept the invitation to join this, Blog Tour.

I am grateful to Rachel’s Random Resources and Eva Glyn for the digital ARC, which was gifted to me, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.  You can read my thoughts below.

Synopsis

For fans of Dinah Jefferies, Victoria Hislop, Lucinda Riley and Rosanna Ley, this is a stunning and sweeping WW2 novel that shows a side to the war not often seen before.

That was then…

Seventy-five years ago, British SOE spy Guy Barclay was forced to leave behind the woman he loved in war-ravaged Yugoslavia.

…This is now

As ninety-three-year-old Guy’s days draw to a close, he asks his granddaughter, Leo Holmes, to go looking for answers. Given that her marriage has imploded and her City job is on the verge of killing her, Leo agrees and rents a house on the island of Vis, where her grandfather was stationed in the Second World War.

But as Leo’s search takes her down unexpected roads – and into the path of a gorgeous local, Andrej Pintaric – she begins to wonder if this journey down memory lane might yield unexpected results for more than just her beloved grandfather…

Purchase Link

Review

I often find myself referring to this author’s work as atmospheric.  I can honestly say that each of her previous books, that I have read, have transported me into the heart of the story and I have been moved by them all.  An Island of Secrets is another dual timeline which switches between WW2 Croatia on the Island of Vis and a more modern-day experience in the UK and Croatia.

I must confess to being somewhat ignorant to the struggles of wartime Yugoslavia and was only aware of the more recent troubles in Serbia.  However, I must have had some awareness as I certainly remember hearing of President Tito and his somewhat cruel regime.

In 1944 we meet Guy Barclay, an SOE officer embedded within an allied force supporting the Partisan efforts against the Nazi occupation.  The depth of research never fails to impress me, and I learned of the struggles that the resistance faced both in the face of the Nazi regime and at the hands of their own leaders.  It was difficult to discover the fate of any female Partisan, or Partizankas, should they be found to have been fraternising with their male counterparts.

Along with Guy, we are introduced to 3 incredibly brave women; Kata, Ivka and Anka.  Their stories and how their lives impacted Guy create the muse for the modern-day element of the book.

Guy’s granddaughter, Leo, is asked to travel to Vis and see if she can find out more about the fates of the women, as a last request from her dying grandfather. There she meets Andrej who acts as her guide and helps to piece together the tragic story of her grandfather’s time in Croatia.  What Leo doesn’t realise, when she first sets off, is how much she needs the break from the stresses of her own life.  Finding closure for Guy may just be exactly what she needs to put her own life back in order.

I know, without a doubt, that this book will stay with me for some time.  The seamless way the timelines blended was a testament to the author’s exquisite talent.  I genuinely felt the pain and desperation described in this beautiful but difficult story, but I also felt the love and optimism that the characters were driven by.

I cannot recommend this book enough and am now, once again, moved to visit the beautiful country of Croatia.

Author Bio

Eva Glyn writes escapist relationship-driven fiction with a kernel of truth at its heart. She loves to travel and finds inspiration in beautiful places and the stories they hide.

Her last holiday before lockdown was a trip to Croatia, and the country’s haunting histories and gorgeous scenery have proved fertile ground, driven by her friendship with a tour guide she met there. His wartime story provided the inspiration for The Olive Grove and his help in creating a realistic portrayal of Croatian life had proved invaluable. Her second novel set in the country, a dual timeline looking back to World War 2, will be published in the spring of 2022, also by One More Chapter.

Eva lives in Cornwall, although she considers herself Welsh, and has been lucky enough to have been married to the love of her life for twenty-five years. She also writes as Jane Cable.

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Check out the rest of the stops on this fabulous tour

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