I have only just recently discovered Emma Hannigan and this is the second novel that I have read. It is full of the warmth and humour you would expect from a female Irish author but it also deals with some touching issues and shows how secrets have to be shared and that there are ways of dealing with everything that life seems to throw at as.
Max lives in America. He is a successful surgeon with a wife, Amber who supports all the charity fundraising for his hospital. Their only daughter Nathalie is about to embrace adulthood and go through one of the most important events of her life, the school prom.
Disaster strikes and suddenly Nathalie’s world is turned upside down and nothing seems to make any sense any more.
When a letter arrives from Ireland it is then Max and Amber’s turn for their world to be turned upside down.
The letter comes from Clara, Max’s mother. The mother that Max told Amber was dead.
The letter is addressed to Nathalie, the granddaughter she only found out she had by some detective work.
It is decided that Nathalie should go to Ireland and as secrets start to come out, a whole pas that not even Max knew about comes out.
Throughout this time, Nathalie is given strength to deal with everything that has happened to her by reading letters that her grandmother has kept relating to the Second World War and another place away from both America and Ireland. Through this the family story is told and eventually all those scattered around the world are reunited in some way as well as those who live close by.
Everyone has secrets and there are many ways in which to deal with it, here Emma Hannigan has put emphasis on not just cooking to teach about the past and bring families together but the idea of a quilt which seems to stitch everything back together. This was something that I could so relate to.
Plenty about this novel appeals and you may think that perhaps it is going to be a bit too light and fluffy, but I can assure you it is not. It deals with some real issues with such skill and care that you will not want to put the book down. I didn’t.
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Secrets We Share is out now in all formats.