Author: Caroline Beecham
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
Eleanor’s Secret is the sophomore novel of bestselling author Caroline Beecham, also set in war-torn London in 1942. I had big plans to have this one read and reviewed ready for the post to go live today but my strong start to the month fizzled quick. I have started reading it, and hope to have a complete review this week.
Caroline Beecham returns to London in 1942 where Eleanor Roy, art school graduate, is working for the War Artist Advisory Committee. Her dream is to become one of the few female war artists but breaking into the art establishment is still easier dreamed than done.
Eleanor is working with the Ministry of Food to organise artworks to decorate the British Restaurants that are keeping the citizens fed and aiming to help with morale. One of the artists she is sent to sign is Jack Valante, who won’t sign the contract and when Eleanor returns to try again he seems to have disappeared.
This novel is a dual timeline narrative with a compelling love story and a surprising mystery. The dual timeline is a great storytelling tool when you have a mystery to unfold.
Fast forward to Melbourne in 2010 and Kathryn has been asked by her grandmother, Eleanor, to help her return a painting to its artist in London. The search unearths a long held family secret and Kathryn is left trying to decide whether she races straight home to address the issues in her own immediate family or stay and help protect the past.
Caroline Beecham writes well researched and authentic historical tales that draw you right into the London she describes. I quite enjoyed Maggie’s Kitchen and I can’t wait to really sink myself into Eleanor’s Secret.