Haunted by the death of Aled at Worm’s Head, his sister Catrin returns to prepare the family home for sale, accompanied by her adopted Deaf daughter, Bethan. A web of lies and secrets spun by Catrin’s father slowly starts to unravel. Catrin, facing a crisis in her marriage, discovers that she must face this past if she is to heal and take control of her future.
Sadly I just couldn’t get on with this book and I really struggled with it. The story line is full of family secrets and drama which usually is a subject I relish in my reading, but it wasn’t the case with ‘Hidden Chapters’. In fact I’m tempted to say there are almost too many secrets to keep up with.
I found the dialogue between the characters quite stilted and forced, it never felt natural and that’s the main thing I struggled with. However I have to say their are some stunningly beautiful descriptions of Gower. I could picture it perfectly in my mind and I could almost breath in the sea air.
I couldn’t warm to the main character, Catrin. On paper she is a strong woman who will do anything for her children, but that didn’t necessarily translate and I found her quite frustrating at times. My favourite character was Catrin’s adopted daughter, Bethan. A young girl who hasn’t let the fact she’s deaf stop her at doing anything and her passion and talent for music is inspiring. I particularly enjoyed her audition – she proved she is a force to be reckoned with! Catrin’s father, Lloyd has to be one of the most despicable characters I have ever come across. He is an awful man and an awful father and his behaviour made me see red!
Overall this wasn’t a book for me but that doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy it. I loved the descriptions of Wales but I need more than that to thoroughly enjoy a book.
BOOKISH CORNER RATING 3/5 STARS
Mary Grand grew up in Wales. Later she taught in London and then worked with Deaf Children in Hastings. She now lives on the beautiful Isle of Wight with family and her cocker spaniel Pepper.
If you like ‘Hidden Chapters’ then you’ll enjoy:
‘Black Rabbit Hall’ Eve Chase
‘A Memory of Violets’ Hazel Gaynor
‘The Butterfly Summer’ Harriet Evans
‘Hidden Chapters’ is out now in paperback. With thanks to the author, Mary Grand, for my copy