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The Secret Hours cover art

The Secret Hours

By: Santa Montefiore
Narrated by: Genevieve Swallow
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Summary

Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way.

On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea.

All Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America, as did so many in those times of hardship and famine. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now? What was the real reason that she turned away from them? And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa’s estate?

Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story.

Faye feels bereft, as if her mother’s whole family has died with her. Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother’s last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa’s insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.

©2019 Santa Montefiore (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Secret Hours

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What a wonderful book....

Yet another wonderful book from Santa Montefiore read brilliantly by Genevieve Swallow. Could stand alone as a beautiful story but the fact that it includes characters from the Deverills series makes it even more special. This story goes back before the first Deverills book and introduces us to the life story of the younger sister of Bertie, Lord Deverill , who had run away to America when she was 18.
A beautiful tale with the usual interesting characters that feature in Santa’s books so vividly. So lovely too to find out about the later years of Kitty, Bertie, Maud , JP and all..... very cleverly interwoven. The story starts in 1961 and takes the reader back in time to the 1890’s. I completely loved it and didn’t want it to end.

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5 people found this helpful

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It’s a pity that there is no warning that this book ruins may of the plot lines from the Deverill chronicle

Beautiful book that I very much enjoyed. I liked it so much that I have now stared reading the Deverill chronicles only to find that I now know many of the plot endings

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Great story, also as stand-alone

This is my first Montefiore and I may well listen to more. She is a great story teller and knows how to describe beautiful landscapes. Her characters too come to life beautifully, and the narrator, Genevieve Swallow, does a wonderful job creating these in her work.

I've just got a couple of nags: some names are not pronounced properly and that should be part of the preparation a narrator does - or should be given the opportunity to do - before s/he starts recording. And on the part of the author I really felt the main 'present day (1961)' character Faye was a bit very whimpish. In the end I was almost screaming at her for her indecision!

With regard to the previous Deverill books: I have not read them and don't feel I've missed anything, so if you want you can read this as a stand-alone and enjoy it as much as I did! It just lost a star for the couple of nags I have because they go right through the book and they annoyed me. Otherwise it would have been a heart-felt 5 stars!

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Change of Tittle

This book took some tracking down.
So I ended up listening to the last one in the series first.
It takes a bit of perseverance to get through the first 5 chapters but it’s worth it in the end.
It is a bit over descriptive in some parts, but that’s something to many writers over do.
On the whole I have enjoyed the Deverills saga, and I will look out for other Santa Montefiore

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Hugely enjoyable story and lots of twists and turns, not to be missed!

I’d like the story and well read but I disliked the silly voices used. Great read!

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totally enthralled

well written and beautifully narrated, I loved this book. lt was like a modern mills and boon but so much better.

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2 people found this helpful

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Stunning!

What a beautifully written book. Its full of class, mystery, drama and love. I can honestly say it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Thank you.

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Truly excellent

Loved it! Love the characters, the descriptive writing, the lot. An exceedingly good read/listen

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Captivating

A beautiful love story that draws you in from the very beginning with characters brought to life through Genevieve’s skilful narration and different accents. I loved every minute and will listen again and again.

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By far my favourite so far

Wonderful story, beautifully written and spoken. I was hooked within minutes and enjoyed it immensely. Intriguing characters I felt a real empathy for. Loved it.

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