About The Cottingley Secret• Hardcover: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (August 1, 2017)
“The Cottingley Secret tells the tale of two girls who somehow convince the world that magic exists. An artful weaving of old legends with new realities, this tale invites the reader to wonder: could it be true?” — Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker
One of BookBub's Most-Anticipated Books of Summer 2017!
The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. Now, in her newest novel, international bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story. 1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told. One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?
I've wanted to read Hazel Gaynor's books for years but somehow the timing was just never right and I never got around to it. This had a few irresistible topics for me - an old bookshop in Ireland, an old manuscript, and a main character who is trying to learn to believe in herself - and of course the gorgeous cover didn't hurt! This was one of those special books that was exactly what I wanted when I wanted it. I loved Olivia and I loved watching her learn to give herself permission to be happy. I could relate to her struggle with trying to keep things together after two of the most important people in her life are gone in body or in spirit. I really loved watching her as she learned more and more of Frances' story and I couldn't wait to figure out the connection and how it all works out. I loved Frances' story when told through her own words as well. This is one of the few dual timeline books where I enjoy both timelines equally and love both main characters. This was my first introduction to Gaynor's work but it most definitely won't be my last! Rating: Loved it!