The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl – Blog Tour

The Forgotten Secret

Thank you to Rachel at for organising this tour and to Kathleen McGurl, @Netgally and HQ Digital for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

cover from fb


A country at war
It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret
A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.
For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.


My Thoughts

This novel is delightful, fascinating and engrossing demanding complete attention from the reader.

Two women, two time periods, two stories.

Ellen, a young girl in 1919 working as a maid in a larger country house.  Set in County Meath in the midst of a growing war between the Irish and the English, Ellen is almost coerced into choosing a side despite being unsure of her feelings.  Swept up by love and loyalty, Ellen finds herself becoming involved and doing things she never dreamed of.

A hundred years later and Clare has inherited a run-down farmhouse in County Meath belonging to her uncle.  Leaving her husband in England to start a new life, Clare’s story is that of new beginnings but also of embracing your family history and discovering who your really are.

I found the historical aspect of this novel beautifully and sensitively written and fascinating from the perspective of someone who knows very little about this time.  As a child of the 80s I grew up hearing snippets about ‘the troubles’ in Ireland but at that age you never realise that it’s one biased perspective.  Ms McGurl writes about this in a way that sheds light on what things were like for the Irish people and their beliefs that led to those circumstances.  Such a touching and emotive subject in itself.

The character development in the novel is superb.  In 1919 Ellen is faced with difficult choices to make in order to prove love and loyalty but remains a strong character throughout.  In 2016 Clare finds her strength by leaving her husband and finding out about her family.  Both women’s stories leave you feeling so connected to them and are  inspiring to follow as the develop throughout the book.

HIghly recommended!

Purchase Links
UK –
US –

Follow the blog tour and check out all the reviews

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Author Bio – Kathleen McGurl

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Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –


Twitter: @KathMcGurl




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