Eleanor’s Secret by Caroline Beecham is part mystery, part love story, and proved just right for a couple nights’ winter reading.
Here’s the blurb:
When art school graduate, Eleanor Roy, is recruited by the War Artists Advisory Committee, she comes one step closer to realising her dream of becoming one of the few female war artists. But breaking into the art establishment proves difficult until Eleanor meets painter, Jack Valante, only to be separated by his sudden posting overseas.
Although reluctant to leave her family at home, Kathryn can’t refuse her grandmother Eleanor’s request to travel to London to help her return a precious painting to its artist. But when the search uncovers a long-held family secret, Kathryn has to make a choice to return home or risk her family’s future, as Eleanor shows her that safeguarding the future is sometimes worth more than protecting the past.
Beecham’s dual timeline story, set partly in wartime Britain and partly in 2010, was carefully knitted together, leading readers on a enjoyable and warm journey of discovery. I found the wartime artists’ aspect particularly fascinating, and indeed, this timeline grabbed me more overall both with its historical fact and the emotional investment.