This is a dual timeline novel, beginning in 1939 and 2019. We first meet Maggie in London, in August 1939. She is Margaret Wyndham, 18 and Canadian, who has been living with her Aunt Elsie. She is supposed to be going back to Canada, but has decided to stay in England to help with the war effort.
We first meet Willow in San Francisco, in June 2019. Willow Munro is 42 and a single mum to her grown up daughter Emily. She is a ghost writer and working on a client’s memoir which involves travelling to England.
Willow wears a locket that came from her English grandma. Her grandad had given the locket to her gran before he went to WWII – a sweetheart locket. After a DNA test bringing about a surprising result, Willow decides that while she is in England for a few weeks, she will try to discover more about her family, especially her grandma who she only knew through letters they wrote to each other.
I really enjoyed the dual timelines, being able to see Maggie’s story developing in the words in front of me, while also being able to jump forward to 2019 and see how Maggie’s life has affected Willow. I also found Maggie’s tale fascinating. Not giving anything away, but it informed me about a side of women’s involvement in WWII that I hadn’t really thought about before, so that was enlightening and really interesting.
It was good to see how both Maggie and Willow changed over time too, becoming stronger and more independent women, despite the hard times they both had to go through.
In Willow’s story, it was good to see the family relationships and how they changed over time, particularly between Willow and her mother. There are so many layers to this novel that I really enjoyed uncovering them and finding out what would happen to the characters and their family dynamic.
The book is really well-written with wonderful characters. As well as Maggie and Willow, I especially loved Evie, Vi, Dermot and Sophie. As I have researched my family tree too, I was interested in the parts about Willow wanting to know more about her ancestors.
Overall, it’s a great book and I would definitely read more from this author.
The Sweetheart Locket
What if the key to your present lies in the past?
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…
A gripping and heart-breaking dual timeline novel about love, loss and buried secrets, The Sweetheart Locket is perfect for fans of Lorna Cook, Rachel Hore and Suzanne Kelman.
Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/TheSweetheartLocket
Other links (Apple, GooglePlay & Kobo) via Hachette: https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/jen-gilroy-2/the-sweetheart-locket/9781398708365/
Author Bio –
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.
Visit Jen online at www.jengilroy.com
Social Media Links –