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The Guernsey Novels - Book 1
By Anne Allen
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Mystery
A contemporary romantic mystery, Dangerous Waters is the first of The Guernsey Novels
Tragedy seems to follow Jeanne Le Page around . . .
Can she really go through it again and survive?
Jeanne is lucky to be alive … at sixteen she was almost killed in a boating accident which brought heart-breaking family tragedy. Now, fifteen years later, Jeanne returns reluctantly to the island of Guernsey following the death of her beloved grandmother. Struggling for breath as the ferry nears the island, she is overwhelmed by a dark foreboding as hazy memories of that terrible day resurface…
Only returning to sell her inheritance - her grandmother’s old cottage - she has no intention of picking up her old life. But the cottage holds a secret, dating back to World War II, and Jeanne becomes drawn into discovering more. Then, soon after her arrival, a chance meeting with an old teenage crush leads her to thoughts of love.
Jeanne is forced to face her demons, reliving the tragedy as her lost memory returns.
When the truth is finally revealed, her life is endangered for the second time…
The island of Guernsey is so vividly evoked, one feels as if one is walking its byways. An atmospheric and tantalising read. --Elizabeth Bailey, author of The Gilded Shroud
I've never been to Guernsey but I'm determined to go now that I've read this book. It's a book you can settle into and really enjoy, but it's a lot more than chick-lit. There's an intriguing mystery, a finish which had me reading into the early hours of the morning and an insight into what I think of as the back-end of the publishing industry the bit that the reader never sees or even knows exists. It's delivered with a light touch but gives the book real depth. I was impressed. **** --Bookbag.co.uk
Finding Mother: A Family Drama
The Guernsey Novels - Book 2
Three women. Three generations. Sacrifices for love…
Who is she really? Nicole is about to find out as she searches for her real mother; the woman who gave her away at birth. With her marriage in tatters, she sets out from England: travelling to Spain, Jersey and Guernsey before the extraordinary story of her real family is finally revealed.
Nicole becomes an unwitting catalyst for change in the family. Two women are forced to reveal long-buried secrets. One going back as far as the Second World War. Lives are transformed as choices have to be made and the past laid to rest…
This contemporary romantic drama is the second of The Guernsey Novels, a series of stand-alone books by the award-winning author Anne Allen. It is likely to appeal to lovers of the works of Joanna Trollope and Maeve Binchy.
** Voted Runner-Up in Family Drama 2013 in the SpaSpa Awards **
"A sensitive, heart-felt novel about family relationships, identity, adoption, second chances at love… With romance, weddings, boat trips, lovely gardens and more, Finding Mother is a dazzle of a book, a perfect holiday read." Lindsay Townsend, author of The Snow Bride
"I first encountered Anne Allen when I read Dangerous Waters: Mystery, Loss and Love on the Island of Guernsey and if you've read that book you'll notice a glancing reference to Jeanne, the heroine, in Finding Mother. I felt nicely grounded! In much the same way that Allen wormed Jeanne into my heart I really found that I cared for Nicole and willing her on to make the right decisions and a success of her life. Allen has a real talent for her female characters. The men don't come off the page quite as well, but that's a minor quibble.
Tracing a birth parent when you've been adopted is a sensitive subject and Allen handles it well, recognising the insecurities of the adopting parents who wonder if they're going to be supplanted and the worries of the mother who gave up the child soon after her birth. Will she be judged for her relationship with the child's father and for the fact that she made no attempt to bring the child up herself? There's an added complication here in that Nicole will also find out about her birth father - giving her more parents than any girl should decently want! It's neatly, elegantly done and the story is a real page turner." The Bookbag ****
The Guernsey Novels - Book 3
Two violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection…
A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.
Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger - for them both. Her search takes her from England to Guernsey. Malcolm's journey is more tortuous: conceived in Guernsey, he travels to Canada as a baby with his bereaved mother. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie. This was his father's home, where Malcolm was conceived, but never lived and where his father was killed at the start of the Second World War.
At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.
Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing…
I regard Anne Allen's Guernsey novels as an indulgent treat: they're seriously easy to read, with some great characters and a brilliant island location which is used to full advantage: you really feel as though you're there. Allen has a subtle insight into the dynamics of dysfunctional families - the ones with quirks in their history - and the independent people they give birth to. She doesn't fall into the obvious trap of creating unhappiness within the families: both Malcolm and Louisa loved their mothers dearly and grew to be strong people themselves. The hint that their upbringing has left its mark is shown by the fact that Malcolm has never married - and Louisa finds it difficult to believe that the man who has stolen her heart - the manager of Malcolm's health spa - could reciprocate her feelings. There's a neat mirroring of circumstances with both Malcolm and Louisa having a parent killed in the search for the jewels.
There's considerable insight too in the relationship between Malcolm and Louisa. Louisa has always known that she had a father, but Malcolm knew nothing of the existence of Louisa until he was confronted by her. There's a wariness on both sides at first, followed by a steady growth of affection rather than insta-love and it's a relationship you can believe in.
Whenever I read one of Anne Allen's books I'm always disappointed when I turn the final page: the books lift me out of reality and whisk me away to somewhere warm and comfortable. BOOKBAG ****
The Family Divided
The Guernsey Novels- Book 4
Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?
With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.
Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey's natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.
Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…
"Love overcomes and a painful past is revealed in this poignant romance set on Guernsey" Gilli Allen, Author of Fly or Fall
Echoes of Time
The Guernsey Novels - Book 5
1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.
All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake.
Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-
but there’s a price to pay. . .
2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…
Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.
Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?
‘A powerful family drama packed full of mystery and intrigue. A stunningly good read.’ A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
For the last three days I have been thoroughly immersed in Echoes of Time, a family saga set in Guernsey. Let me begin by saying how gripping this story is. Not only is the plot packed full of twists and turns, but the setting – and the characters – are lovingly described. There is, I think, nothing better than a novel written by an author who knows how to balance setting, speech and plot.
So, what did I like? Well, the opening chapter, albeit very short, is a real ‘grabber’. I’m very fond of books which open with a ‘BANG!' and not with endless paragraphs of flowery prose. Well, trust me, this opens BIG, hooking the reader in…
I also very much enjoyed the pacing of this novel. The chapters were surprisingly short for this genre and there’s often a cliffhanger at the end of the chapters. So, although it is a family saga of sorts it is also very much a thriller and a mystery, and the style of writing reflects that.
So, would I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely. And who to? Well, pretty much anybody and everybody. If you enjoy a good thriller, this is for you. If you enjoy a complex family saga, this is for you. Or, if you simply love Guernsey, this is for you.
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review www.thewsa.co.uk