The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her grandfather’s bookshop she finds herself pulled into the mystery within its pages. Her grandmother has been placed in a home and her memory is disappearing rapidly, but once in a while she is just lucid enough to feed the fires of Olivia’s curiosity.

Decades earlier, two young girls create a sensation when they capture photos of fairies near a brook in the local woods. Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright were two young girls who became famous overnight. News of their fantastic photos, seen as evidence of the existence of fairies, reached all edges of the world and even attracted famous figures such as Arthur Conan Doyle.

Olivia Kavanagh holds the key to the answers, if she can only solve the riddle. How was her grandmother involved with the girls at Cottingley? Who put together the manuscript in her grandfather’s book shop?

Finding the answers suddenly becomes a quest for Olivia to find herself and her own place in the world, both fantastical and otherwise.

The Cottingley Secret, by Hazel Gaynor, is a novel for history fans and mystery lovers. If you liked Hazel Gaynor’s other works (I know I did), or if you like authors like Kate Morton or Kimberley Freeman, then definitely give The Cottingley Secret a try.

The Girl from the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

Two very different women, from very different worlds, cross paths following the devastation of the Great War and embracing the Jazz era. Dolly Lane is a chambermaid from humble beginnings who seeks stardom, glitz and glamour. Loretta May is a beautiful and glittering actress and celebrity who wants to do a bit of good before she is taken by her terminal illness.

In a world of lost love, tragedy, and inhumanity, lives intertwine and a little sunshine peeks out. A musician must come to terms with his war trauma, a wounded soldier must remember what he has lost so he can move on with his life, a girl with a tainted past must face her past decisions and let go of her guilt, and a woman envied by all must use her gifts selflessly to finally get closure and let go of life.

The Girl from the Savoy, by Hazel Gaynor, is a novel about facing demons and embracing the future, and letting go of whatever is standing in the way of life and love. If you liked Hazel Gaynor’s previous works, The Girl Who Came Home, and A Memory of Violets, you will love The Girl from the Savoy. If you’re looking for a quick, fun weekend read, this one probably won’t be your best choice. The Girl from the Savoy will pull at your heartstrings and give you a lesson in human failings and that little glimmer of hope that keeps us all moving. If you want a book with a touch of historical fiction and a literary feel, pick up The Girl from the Savoy, by Hazel Gaynor, today.

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor

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A Memory of Violets, by Hazel Gaynor, is definitely making it onto my top 10 books for 2015. Anyone who knows me is aware that I have a penchant for long, descriptive stories full of mystery and family secrets. Kate Morton and Katherine Webb are my favorite authors of all time. Who didn’t love The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough? I was surprised when Hazel Gaynor’s latest novel sucked me in, right away, and I had a feeling right from the beginning that I was in for a ride.

A Memory of Violets is about two girls born into poverty in the 1800s, into a life of selling flowers on street corners. Flora and Rosie barely have food to live on, but they have one another. One horrific day they are separated in a crowd and the never see one another again. Flora spends the rest of her days looking for her baby sister-and Rosie, too young to know how to get back home, must adapt to a new life.  Years later, Tilly Harper finds the journal of Flora when she starts a job at Mr. Shaw’s Training Homes for Watercress and Flower Girls-and she feels compelled to find out just what happened to Flora, and what happened to her lost baby sister Rosie.

If you read The Painted Girls, by Cathy Marie Buchanan, or , or you have a taste for novels that tear brutally at your heartstrings but come together in the end with perfect closure and new beginnings for much-loved characters, you won’t want to miss A Memory of Violets, by Hazel Gaynor. This reviewer couldn’t put it down.