I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for remarkable historical novel The Hidden Palace (Daughters of War Book 2) by Dinah Jefferies. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Harper Collins for giving me the opportunity to read and review this beautifully written and moving book.
About the book:
A rebellious daughter
1923. Among the ancient honey-coloured walls of the tiny island of Malta, strangers slip into the shadows and anyone can buy a new name. Rosalie Delacroix flees Paris for a dancer’s job in the bohemian clubs deep in its winding streets.
A sister with a secret
1944. Running from the brutality of war in France, Florence Baudin faces a new life. But her estranged mother makes a desperate request: to find her vanished sister, who went missing years before.
A rift over generations
Betrayals and secrets, lies and silence hang between the sisters. A faded last letter from Rosalie is Florence’s only clue, the war an immovable barrier – and time is running out…
About the author:
Dinah was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine.
As a teenager she missed the heat of Malaysia, which left her with a kind of restlessness that led to quite an unusual life. She studied Fashion Design and went to live in Tuscany where she worked as an au-pair for an Italian countess. There was even a time when Dinah lived with a rock band in a ‘hippie’ commune in Suffolk.
Although Dinah and her husband spent five wonderful years living in a small 16th Century village in Northern Andalusia, she’s happy to say they now live close to her family in Gloucestershire along with two crazy Maine Coon cats.
The Hidden Palace is the second book in the Daughters of War series by Dinah Jefferies. Although I haven’t yet read the first book in the series, I was drawn into the story from the very first page and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything at all. Beautifully written, it transports the reader back in time as we follow the lives of two women in two different timelines.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this epic historical saga, but wow, what a gorgeously written, moving and authentic story it turned out to be. With the first timeline set against the backdrop of World War 2, we join Florence as she finds herself fleeing occupied France, about to escape back to her mother’s home in England. But once there, her estranged mother asks her to find her missing sister (Florence’s aunt) who vanished years before, with a faded last letter from Rosalie to Claudette the only clue Florence has… and time is fast running out.
We then move back to 1923 as Rosalie Delacroix flees Paris for a dancer’s job in the Bohemian clubs of the tiny island of Malta, where she begins to uncover dark secrets of her own. As Florence searches for answers, she soon comes to realise that tracing Maltese records isn’t going to be quite as easy as she had hoped. Will she be able to uncover the truth of what happened to the missing Rosalie before it’s too late?
With strong female characters and a story steeped in history, The Hidden Palace is a beautiful and moving family saga that explores themes of love, loss, grief and long hidden secrets. Dinah Jefferies has written a richly detailed character driven story that I thoroughly enjoyed and I can’t wait to see where the third book in the trilogy is going to take these characters next!
The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies is available to purchase now:
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