BY LINDA HUGHESPublication Date: May 15, 2018
Paperback and eBook; 268 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Do you think you know your heritage? Think again. Dark secrets lurk below the surface of every family tree, as the Sullivan clan discovers in this story about living in the aftermath of generations of deceit.
When Red Cross nurse Harriet escapes the trauma of World War II and sequesters herself in her grandfather’s cottage on Mackinac Island, she has no inkling about her heritage. But as one shocking clue after another surface – disclosing lies, corruption, madness, and murder – she realizes her family isn’t what, or who, it seems. She’s not the first to hold unspeakable secrets in her soul.
Can she conquer her trials and tribulations, like some of them did? Or will she be defeated by life, like others?
Secrets of the Island, the second book in the Secrets trilogy, is a tale of romantic suspense that begs the question: what secrets are buried within your family tree?
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Twins Harriet and Harry Sullivan both served during WWII. Harriet as a Red Cross nurse, Harry as a soldier. Fate brought the siblings to the same place at the right time. Harry had been missing in action and Harriet received information about where he was. Harriet rescues Harry in a dangerous mission that took a mental toll on both siblings. When the twins return home to their parents and eight siblings, nothing feels the same. The twins are shell-shocked. They decide to instead head to their grandfather Herbert's summer home on Mackinac Island. While staying in the old estate on the quiet island, Herbert shows them an old letter addressed to their great-grandfather from a woman, Fiona. With the letter in hand, the twins go on an 'ancestry quest' that uncovers secret after secret for three generations.
Secrets of the Island began very slowly for me and took a while to get into as multiple characters were introduced and set up in order to understand three generations of family members. I was pulled into the story as Harriet goes on her mission to rescue Harry and they returned home. The signs of shell shock were all very true to life and this is when I could finally hone in on characters and get to know the twins. Once they traveled to Mackinac Island, I was not only enchanted by the people, the lifestyle and the beauty of the island, but taken in by the many mysteries that one family managed to keep under wraps. The many mysteries could have easily become tedious to manage, however they were carefully written and layered so everything seemed possible. In addition to the mysteries, the transformation and healing process that the search allowed for Harry and Harriet was heartwarming. Overall, a wonderful historical mystery that will make you wonder what could be hiding in your family tree.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
As a native Michigander, award-winning author Linda Hughes has been visiting Mackinac Island since she was a kid. She’s spent countless hours riding a bike around the shoreline, and perusing the library and church records to learn about island history. She’s built many a cairn, witnessed the Northern Lights on several occasions, and eaten more than her fair share of chocolate fudge. She’s a world traveler, having worked in thirteen countries and visited a couple dozen more, but Mackinac Island remains one of her favorite places.
Her writing honors come from the National Writers Association, Writer’s Digest, the American Screenwriters Association, Ippy (Independent Publishers), and Indie Book of the Day.
For more information, please visit Linda Hughes’ website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.