#BlogTour #BookReview The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy

The Sweetheart LocketWelcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Orion Dash for my digital review copy via NetGalley. Do check out the posts by my four tour buddies for today, Kylie at Kitty-Kat Chronicles, Marg at The Intrepid Reader, Linn at Ellesea Loves Reading and Faye at imreadingmybook.

WinThere’s also a giveaway with a chance to win one of two Kindle copies of The Sweetheart Locket. Enter via Rafflecopter here.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Open to entrants aged 18 or over
  2. UK & Canada entries only
  3. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner.
  4. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.
  5. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

The Sweetheart LocketAbout the Book

What if the key to your present lies in the past?

London, 1939. On the eve of the Second World War, Canadian Maggie Wyndham defies her family and stays in England to do her bit for the war effort. Torn between two countries, two men and living a life of lies working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Maggie’s RAF sweetheart locket is part of who she is…and who she isn’t.

San Francisco, 2019. Over twenty years after Maggie’s death, her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow take a DNA test that’s supposed to be a bit of fun but instead yields unexpected results. Willow has always treasured her grandmother’s sweetheart locket, both family heirloom and a symbol of her grandparents’ love story. But now she doesn’t know what to believe. She embarks on a search for the truth, one she doesn’t know will reveal far more about herself…

Format: ebook (358 pages)             Publisher: Orion Dash
Publication date: 17th March 2022 Genre: Historical Fiction

Find The Sweetheart Locket on Goodreads

Purchase links
Hive | Amazon UK
Links provided for convenience only, not as part of an affiliate programme


My Review

The book alternates between Maggie’s story starting at the outbreak of the Second World War and Willow’s in the present day (2019) as she searches for information about her grandmother’s life. It’s a search that initially will raise just as many questions as answers but possibly serve to lessen the distance that has developed between Willow and her mother, Camilla.

I found Maggie’s story particularly compelling, especially as it shines a light on the vitally important contribution women made to the war effort both at home and abroad, a contribution that often placed them in great personal danger. Willow’s research into her grandmother’s life allows the author to provide the reader with information about a secret wartime role performed by women not fully known about until recently. Inevitably, because of the book’s structure, the tension surrounding Maggie’s wartime experiences is lessened because we know she will survive the war. However, that’s not the same for other characters, injecting a welcome sense of jeopardy.

I liked the way the author brought out connections between the two women, despite the many decades that divide them. Both Maggie and Willow change over time, becoming more independent and determined to forge their own direction in life, even if that involves making a life in a new country. They become more willing to take risks in other ways too. There is a romantic aspect to both storylines although I thought Maggie’s was more believable, reflecting the fact that in wartime people have to live in the moment and snatch any chance of happiness.

I thought it was clever of the author to reflect the differences between then and now. For us, London at night with a sky bright with stars might be magical but for Maggie and others who lived through the Second World War it meant ‘bombing weather’, something to be feared rather than enjoyed. And for Maggie, clear skies has an additional significance linked to her wartime work.

Those who enjoy a mixture of tears of sadness and of joy in their historical fiction will find themselves well rewarded. There are also poignant, bittersweet moments and a few surprises, some more foreseeable than others, but given the fog of war not completely implausible. And after all, this is fiction. A neat touch is the epilogue which acts as a ‘what happened next’ for many of the secondary characters featured in the book.

The Sweetheart Locket is an absorbing dual timeline novel combining wartime drama, the uncovering of family secrets and new beginnings.

In three words: Romantic, engaging, heartwarming

Try something similar: The Girl From Bletchley Park by Kathleen McGurl

Follow this blog via Bloglovin


Jen Gilroy Author Photo Spencer Studio Website Square 1080pxAbout the Author

Jen Gilroy writes sweet contemporary romance and dual timeline historical women’s fiction – warm, feel-good stories to bring readers’ hearts home. A Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist and shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon award, Amazon named her third book, Back Home at Firefly Lake, a ‘Best Book of the Month: Romance’ in December 2017.

A dual British-Canadian citizen, Jen lived in England for many years and earned a doctorate (with a focus on British cultural studies and social history) from University College London. Returning to where her Irish family roots run deep, she now lives with her husband, teenage daughter and floppy-eared rescue hound in small-town Eastern Ontario, Canada. When not writing, she enjoys reading, ice cream, ballet and paddling her purple kayak.

Connect with Jen
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

The Sweetheart Locket Full Tour Banner

#WWWWednesday – 29th June 2022

WWWWednesdays

Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, this meme is all about the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Why not join in too?  Leave a comment with your link at Taking on a World of Words and then go blog hopping!


Currently reading

Think of MeThink of Me by Frances Liardet (4th Estate)

1942, Alexandria, Egypt. Covered in dust, Yvette and James hold hands for the first time as bombs explode above them. As the war rages on, they will find their way back to each other time and again, their love a beacon for their survival. After the war, their happiness takes root in England and blossoms, until a tragic event drives a wedge between them. The way back to one another is uncharted territory that both must be brave enough to face.

1974. Ten years after his wife’s death and with his son now at university, James craves change. He moves to the beautiful English village of Upton not thirty minutes from the city where he brought his bride Yvette, nearly twenty-five years ago. There he discovers a scarf that lights the dark edges of his memory. Could it be Yvette’s? As James makes a new home for himself and gently presses into the feelings the scarf evokes, he begins to unlock new revelations about his past that change everything he believes. Revelations that just might give James a new reason to live and the possibility of new love at last, after ten years alone.

StorylandStoryland: A New Mythology of Britain by Amy Jeffs (riverrun)

Soaked in mist and old magic, Storyland is a new illustrated mythology of Britain, set in its wildest landscapes.

It begins between the Creation and Noah’s Flood, follows the footsteps of the earliest generation of giants from an age when the children of Cain and the progeny of fallen angels walked the earth, to the founding of Britain, England, Wales and Scotland, the birth of Christ, the wars between Britons, Saxons and Vikings, and closes with the arrival of the Normans.

These are retellings of medieval tales of legend, landscape and the yearning to belong, inhabited with characters now half-remembered. Told with narrative flair, embellished in stunning artworks and glossed with a rich and erudite commentary.

We visit beautiful, sacred places that include prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge, mountains such as Snowdon and rivers including the story-silted Thames in a vivid collection of tales of a land steeped in myth.


Recently finished

Nothing Else by Louise Beech (Orenda Books)

Tomboy by Shelley Blanton-Stroud (She Writes Press)

The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy (Orion Dash)

What if the key to your present lies in the past?

London, 1939. On the eve of the Second World War, Canadian Maggie Wyndham defies her family and stays in England to do her bit for the war effort. Torn between two countries, two men and living a life of lies working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Maggie’s RAF sweetheart locket is part of who she is…and who she isn’t.

San Francisco, 2019. Over twenty years after Maggie’s death, her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow take a DNA test that’s supposed to be a bit of fun but instead yields unexpected results. Willow has always treasured her grandmother’s sweetheart locket, both family heirloom and a symbol of her grandparents’ love story. But now she doesn’t know what to believe. She embarks on a search for the truth, one she doesn’t know will reveal far more about herself… (Review to follow for blog tour)

 


What Cathy (will) Read Next

KatastropheKatastrophe by Graham Hurley (ARC, Head of Zeus)

Berlin, January 1945. Wherever you look on the map, the Thousand Year Reich is shrinking. Even Goebbels has run out of lies to sweeten the reckoning to come. An Allied victory is inevitable, but who will reap the spoils of war?

Two years ago, Werner Nehmann’s war came to an abrupt end in Stalingrad. With the city in ruins, the remains of General Paulus’ Sixth Army surrendered to the Soviets, and Nehmann was taken captive. But now he’s riding on the back of one of Marshal Zhukov’s T-34 tanks, heading home with a message for the man who consigned him to the Stalingrad Cauldron.

Although the Red Army are about to fall on Berlin, Stalin fears his sometime allies are conspiring to deny him his prize. He needs to speak to Goebbels – and who better to broker the contact than Nehmann, Goebbels’ one-time confidant?

Having swapped the ruins of Stalingrad for the wreckage of Berlin, the influence of Goebbels for the machinations of Stalin, and Gulag rags for a Red Army uniform, Nehmann’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Germans have a word for it: Katastrophe.