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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read
I really enjoyed the authors first book, The Things We Never Said, and was eagerly looking forward to reading this one, and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint me one bit. If anything, this is even better than her last book. I absolutely loved this read and it is one that makes me wish that I was better at gushing over books, because it really is one that I...
Published 7 months ago by ElaineG

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as her last book.
I didn't think this was as good as her first book, "The things we never said", but it was well written and moved along, although somewhat predictable. I don't know if it was just me, but I didn't warm to any of the characters at all, they irritated me......Sorry.
Published 5 months ago by jean jones


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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read, 8 May 2014
By 
ElaineG (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
I really enjoyed the authors first book, The Things We Never Said, and was eagerly looking forward to reading this one, and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint me one bit. If anything, this is even better than her last book. I absolutely loved this read and it is one that makes me wish that I was better at gushing over books, because it really is one that I have the urge to gush over.

It is a very poignant story about a woman who is happily married with a daughter and new grandson to dote over. Right from the start we know she is hiding a secret from her family, one that is so shocking that she dare not ever reveal it for fear of the consequences, although we don’t know what that secret is. She has spent years burying her past, but now someone wants her to reveal her secret, no matter the cost to herself.

The story is told on two timelines. In Sheffield in 2010 we follow our heroine as she works through the dilemma she finds herself in and tries to decide whether or not to tell all. If she does it will destroy her life – her marriage, everything she cherishes in life is at stake. Not to mention what it would do to her daughter who is showing the signs of post natal depression.

The secret itself is revealed slowly throughout the book as we turn to Hastings in 1976. I loved this part of the book. It was so evocative that I could almost feel the heat and smell the sea. I loved the detail of life in 1976, especially the way the author snuck in the cost of things like a bag of chips or a pint of beer. It is the story of the relationship between three people during that summer, a relationship that will have a knock on effect for our main character throughout the rest of her life, in more ways than one.

It is actually quite easy for the reader to work out what the secret is, as the author has dropped hints in the story almost right from the start but I still found it absolutely compelling reading. I just had to know if I was right and, if so, how it all came about.

It is a very poignant tale, very moving at times and I really felt a connection with all the female characters in the book. A thoroughly enjoyable, compelling read dealing with motherhood, friendship and most of all – guilt, that moves gently and at the same time is absolutely spellbinding. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC in return for an unbiased review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accomplished author., 31 Oct 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed Susan Elliot Wright's debut novel, "The things we never said" and couldn't wait to read this, her follow up.......I was not disappointed and read it in 3 sittings.
Some of the themes are the same, the change between 2 different time zones, the post natal depression, the seaside setting but they are in many ways very different.
We don't know the name of the central character in the 2010 story but she is a mother who has just become a grandmother and is trying to support her daughter through post natal depression, her husband is not her daughters biological father but has brought her up from a young age and to all intents and purposes is her dad. The mother receives a phone call from her daughters biological father who threatens to expose secrets of the past.
In 1976 Jo is 16 and loses her mother and is left alone, she is befriended by Eve, a hippy and a bit of a free spirit who lives in a seaside squat with her partner.
The portions of the story set in 1976 are so evocative of that period (I was 19 at the time) the fashions, the hippy lifestyle and the heat of that scorching summer are described so well.
The stories of the 2 time periods are woven together until gradually the secret is revealed, I did guess the secret quite early on but this in no way took away the enjoyment of the book.
It was slightly far fetched in places but actually, on consideration, very plausible.
Susan Elliot Wright is an accomplished author whose stories unfold in a way that have you gripped from the early pages and I cannot wait for her next offering.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT NOVEL FOR THE THINKING WOMAN, 2 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Secrets We Left Behind (Paperback)
Set in 1976 and the present day.
Author creates a spell binding account of a 50 year old womans' perfect life being disturbed by a man from her past.
Very easy and quick to read.Evokes the 1970s very well.I wish more books were like this.Old fashioned thoughtful story telling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it in 24 hours. Atmospheric and beautiful., 2 Sep 2014
By 
Mrs. J. M. Derrick "Ex-QWF editor" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Secrets We Left Behind (Paperback)
I couldn't wait to read this latest offering from the wonderful Susan Elliot Wright, having read her first novel in the space of twenty four hours. I wasn't disappointed. I'm so glad I saved it for my holiday. I guessed Jo's secret very early on, but this didn't spoil my enjoyment. Part of the novel is set in 2010 when a man from the past comes back into the narrator's life and she has the dilemma of whether to divulge her shameful secret to her husband and daughter. Her daughter is suffering from post-natal depression, so there is even more at stake. The scenes set in 1976 were my favourite. I remember that hot summer so well. I was a similar age to her character, Jo and I have the same name!! Fortunately, unlike Jo, both of my parents were alive and well. As a teenager Jo moves from her small Cornish town to London, where she hopes to find a job and start a new life. However, things aren't as simple as that and she soon runs out of money. Eve rescues her and takes Jo back the squat she shares with her boyfriend, Scott in Hastings. We get a real sense of a seaside town in summer as well as the bohemian lifestyle the three characters share. I remember my parents also watering plants with washing up water due to the water shortage. There were so many 70s references like the price of groceries, Double Diamond, cheesecloth shirts and Cheeselets! A real nostalgia fest for those of us who remember that era. The scene at the end of the 70s section of the book is heartbreakingly sad. I could say so much more about this novel, but I don't want to spoil it for new readers. It's a novel I will re-read and savour. Susan Elliot Wright's storytelling and empathy for her characters is second to none. Her prose style is almost perfect. She has become one of my all-time favourite authors and I can't wait for her next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great plot and characters that I cared about, 31 July 2014
By 
Couldn't put it down. Great plot and characters that I cared about, only lost a star because right at the beginning I got simile fatigue but the writing became confident very quickly and the plot was thick.....like clotted cream.....see 2 can play simile bingo. Write another book please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as her last book., 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Secrets We Left Behind (Paperback)
I didn't think this was as good as her first book, "The things we never said", but it was well written and moved along, although somewhat predictable. I don't know if it was just me, but I didn't warm to any of the characters at all, they irritated me......Sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 5 Aug 2014
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Really very slow and not as good as 'The Things We Never Said'
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5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets, 10 Dec 2014
By 
Mrs. A. Hunt (Bolton, England) - See all my reviews
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I was a bit wary when I started it, but it soon grabbed me and I couldn't put it down.
We all have secrets that we would rather not think about and so does the woman in this story. She has everything, a husband who adores her a daughter, home everything.
Until she gets a phone call that blows her world apart. Someone from her past has called her to let her know he knows her secret, who she really is. He's dying, and gives her the ultimatum,,,either she tells or he will.
The book then takes us back to 1976, to the summer and the secret.
In the end I loved this book, and have recommended it to friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Uncanny Twist, 3 Aug 2014
Susan Elliott Wright has the uncanny knack of taking you on a journey where you think you know where you are going and what is about to happen but then everything is turned on its head and you are left gasping for air: very clever. With both of her books I have been tripped up by something that I just hadn't seen coming. It makes for a very satisfying read. I'm looking forward to the next one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Lie Leads to Another…, 1 Nov 2014
By 
Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Many may recognise the infatuation felt during a first love affair gone wrong and will probably have some kind of baggage from it. Hopefully not so heavy as that which this middle aged Mum carries in her heart. She has a secret that could implode at anytime.

Back from 2010 to 1976 we go to guess along as to what this private, long locked up story might be. It is very easy to identify with our heroine as she grows up fast and tackles some hefty challenges.

Everyday life is crystallised within the pages, the relationship between her and her mother in law, her husband, daughter and son in law in the present is reminiscent of Joanna Trollope’s writing. I also saw a resemblance to Barbara Vine and a favourite book of hers A Fatal Inversion.

The dreadful start Jo had in life as a lonely homeless teenager, seeking work and somewhere to stay in London. At her lowest ebb she is approached by an angel – well – fey Eve, who scoops her up and takes her home to a squat in Hastings.

From then on we are hauled back into that long hot summer I certainly remember, the water supply crisis, the way we all became inhabitants of another country, long hot days making us drunk on endless sunshine.

On to the nearly present day the dilemma she has been dreading hits her full on. A key player from the 70’s is back from the other side of the world and wants their secret out, and fast as he is dying.

How this will all resolve keeps you turning the pages, gripped with the knowledge that there’s something nasty coming up. However a couple of times I wanted to throw the book at the wall because the young people were doing something very wrong for themselves, but that is what happens when you are starting out, so often it’s almost normal.

I liked working everything out and will choose another book by Susan Elliot Wright shortly for another few hours diversion. This once achieves the dual purpose of taking you out of yourself while assuring you that you were/are never alone in your mixed up ideas, worries and responsibilities.
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The Secrets We Left Behind
The Secrets We Left Behind by Susan Elliot-Wright (Paperback - 8 May 2014)
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