Nettie’s Secret

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

Although I do love dilly court as a rule and I did enjoy this book I just felt it was a bit different from her usual books. It lacks the passion I normally find in her books
Was this review helpful?
This was such an enjoyable book to read. I couldn’t put it down. If you like Historical Fiction and Women’s Fiction then this is a book for you. It’s got everything you need in a book. It’s got a great plot, that takes you on a journey from London and though Europe, with lots of twists and turns filled with lots of intrigue along the way.

The year is 1875 and Nettie Carroll lives in Covent Garden, a district in London England, with her father Robert Carroll in a rented attic studio. Her father used to be quite a popular artist to the rich and famous, until his style of painting portraits lost popularity.

So now he spends his time making copies of other peoples works. This work doesn’t bring in the same amount to what he used to make. It doesn’t cover the cost of food and rent and if he does have any money he usually spends it before Nettie manages to pay the bills. Some nights she’d go to bed hungry.

Luckily for Nettie she has some good friends who live on the 2nd floor, Byron Horton who is a clerk in a law firm, Philip Ransom who also works at the same firm and Ted Jones (aka Tender Heart as women are always breaking his heart) and he works for the Midland Railway Company. They sometimes invite Nettie down to share their supper and on other occasions they take her with them when they go out for a meal and treat her.

Nettie aspires to being a published author but to make a little extra money, she mends clothes for the people who can afford to let others mend them. When she gets paid for this she try’s to save a little of the money. She also try’s to make sure that Ma Burton their landlady is paid. As the last thing you want is to be owing Ma Burton as her 2 son’s don’t mind bashing people up for unpaid debts.

Nettie takes her fathers finished painting to an art gallery owned by Marmaduke Dexter, known as Duke to most people. He says that he is selling her fathers paintings a copies, but Nettie thinks that her fathers work is so good Duke is actually selling them as originals. Making himself lots of money and only paying her father a pittance. Nettie always disagrees with Duke about the amount he pays her father, as she believes he should be paid more, but Duke doesn’t agree as he says he’s the one taking all of the risks.

One afternoon as Nettie reaches the art gallery she notices a man acting strangely and it’s obvious that he’s watching the gallery and making notes of who is going in and out. She mentions this to Duke. It turns out that this man is called Samson Wegg and he’s a PI who the police have hired to look into the goings on at the art gallery.

Just before Nettie leaves Duke tell’s her that it would be best if she and her father left London for a while and the sooner the better. In case the police decide to arrest her father. Nettie demands extra money off Duke so that they can leave London.

Nettie and her father quickly pack up their essentials so they can flee London, but Nettie can’t just leave without saying good bye to her friends on the 2nd floor. When Byron hears about this he insists on accompanying them, so he can protect Nettie and help her with her father.

So the 3 of them set of for Paris in the hope of meeting up with Duke. As Duke has another art gallery in Paris and they know that he’ll have connections there so her father can make some money.

Things go from bad to worse and they end up having to flee Paris, because Samson Wegg has found them and he’s ready to summon the police. During their time in Paris Byron has been making enquiries down at the river. Trying to find any trace of his mother and her side of the family. His mothers family are known to have been water gypsies who made a living by sailing up and down the river. As luck would have it Byron found the only person on the river to have known his mothers family and he says he can take them further up stream to the little village where his uncle still lives.

It takes them a few days to reach Byron’s uncles village, but they all have a great time meeting the locals every time they dock for the night. The locals at every dock seem to know their hosts and every night turns out to be a party with singing, drinking and dancing. When they have finally reached their destination Nettie and her father let Byron go and find his uncle on his own, while they find a nice cafe and before Nettie knows it her father is the life and soul of the cafe. He’s drawing funny caricatures of the locals in exchange for wine and food for them all.

Before long Samson Wegg catches up with them again, so they find themselves on the run again. With not much money between them and with Nettie and her father having nowhere else to go they decide it’ll be best to go with Byron. He has been told roughly where he might find his mother. It’s another long arduous journey through some of toughest terrains through Europe, but every day is like a new adventure not knowing where they’ll end up.

They eventually find Byron’s mother, she is living in an old castle on a hill and everyone refers to her as the Countess. The castle is very grand in a bit of a dilapidated way on the outside, but inside it’s far brighter and very homely.

They all stay with Byron’s mother for a while and Byron finds out things that his father never told him, as it turns out that there were many secrets. One big secret is that his mother is as broke as they are. When the Count died he didn’t leave her anything, apart from her clothes and the jewellery he gave her.

While they are staying with Byron’s mother who should turn up on the door step? Non other than Duke and his young wife. They also end up staying at the castle, but they have no idea about the Countess being broke and Duke is trying to sell her artwork that she can’t afford.

Within a short time after Duke and his wife arrived Samson Wegg has caught up with them yet again. He threatens them all from outside of the castle and they all know that time is running out for them. So they decide the best plan of action is to go back to London and try and clear Nettie’s fathers name.

Once they land back on British soil and due to the lack of money they find that they have to get jobs and work to make enough money to travel the last leg of their journey to London. Then to hopefully get everything sorted out once and for all.

As I said at the beginning this is a really good book it’s full of adventure and intrigue . Taking you from London to the continent during 1875, when not many people travelled that far. If you love historical fiction I’m sure you’ll just love this book and fall in love with the huge array of characters.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book - it was interesting in terms of storyline and had some fascinating characters. Very well written!
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this book about nettie and her father and how they get caught up in lots of trouble with the police then end up in Paris. I have never read any by silly court before but will again it was a lovely easy read that I enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?
Dilly Court is always a good read, excellent description of the places and the era that add much atmosphere t9 the book, would recommend
Was this review helpful?
I struggled a little with Nettie's Secret. Whilst there was a very engagable bunch of characters the story didn't really grab me. The historical setting did grab me though, I love reading Victorian setting books. I think Nettie's dad had been a little self centered and needed to be less annoying and the trouble he created through sheer self indulgence and Nettie let him off the hook far too many times!

I think all the characters with their own problems overshadowed Nettie a bit. I do think this would make a great movie/mini series for TV which I hope will happen some day.
Was this review helpful?
I was given a copy of Nettles secret by Dilly Court in exchange for an honest review.  I have read other books by Dilly Court but found this Story really hard to get into. The story is about Nettle and her Father who is a painter and paints copies of paintings for Duke when he gets court they must go on the run to find Duke. Whilst they are on the run they keep finding copies of the paintings either original or forgery it just wasn't very believable. Unfortunately this book wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
This was one of the worst reads for this year.
The story line was very disjointed with the main character appearing as a bit part floating through the story.
Very disappointing.
Was this review helpful?
Not really my cup of tea but an easy read to pass the time. Characters were likeable and the storyline was well written. Just not my kind of book.
Was this review helpful?
Nettie's Secret is a standalone book by Dilly Court.

My sister is a huge fan of this author so when I saw a book available on NetGalley by the author I had to request it. I wanted to see what my sister enjoyed so much.  After reading this book I believe she and I will have to agree to differ in our taste in books. That said, I have read some of the reviews of this book and it has been said by fans of the author that this book was a one-off disappointment. With that in mind, I will give Dilly Court another chance if another book is offered at a later date.

For now, though, I am sorry to say that I didn't enjoy this book much at all. Nettie has a lovely character but she is too soft by far when it comes to her father. He surely can't be as dim as we are made to believe...I won't give spoilers but let's just say he is quite disappointing. The one part I did enjoy about the story is that whilst on the run Robert and Nettie spend time on a barge with a delightful character who I could read a whole book about. All those scenes along the river were a joy to read, especially one early morning scene where Nettie gets quite a surprise. I shall say no more. 

The premise of the book was promising, artist and his daughter on the run for a crime unwittingly committed and their adventures whilst on the run. But it just wasn't believable. The ending especially was crazy, both with the romance aspect and what happens with Nettie's dad, or more to the point how it happens.

I am sorry that I found this book so disappointing, I really had high hopes for it.
Was this review helpful?
Nettie is a girl who has looked after her artist father, trying to make him be more responsible about money and budgeting. Unfortunately he is copying paintings and they are being sold on as originals, by Duke Dexter, a very unscrupolous art agent.
In what little spare time Nettie has, she starts to write a novel about love, and adventur with an eccen trices. Eventually her and her father have to flee, first to France, and their friend Byron (who speaks fluent French)  goes with them. Eventually they then move to Spain, and move into a castle with a Contessa. Their trip from France is on a barge with an eccentric bargee, who eventually is also arrested with Nettie's father.
However they are eventually released, and when they reach this castle, Nettie's father starts to paint the Conessa's portrait,  but she is fidgety, flighty, and very difficult to paint.
When they return to England, Nettie discovers her novel is to be published, and she receives an advance from the publisher. So, for the time being her and her father are solvent, and secure.
Was this review helpful?
Though it took me a while to get into the book, once I did it became an enjoyable summer read. I enjoyed much of the book, especially Nettie's character and her struggles as a female writer. I also enjoyed Byron's quest to find his family. However, some of the other characters did irritate me, especially Constance, and Nettie's father. I sometimes felt the plot was dragging, having no clear direction, but seeming to be just a ever-changing group of people wandering around Europe. 
Despite this, I definitely enjoyed the book.
Was this review helpful?
An enjoyable story with interesting characters and fascinating details of life in those times. Definitely recommended to those readers who enjoy reading this type of book.
Was this review helpful?
I found it difficult to get into the book to start with but it was worth persevering. I love historical novels and this one did not disappoint.
Was this review helpful?
This is my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it
The characters are well described and likeable
Well written and engaging 
It’s a long book but it’s easy to get back into after a break.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book I've read by Dilly Court. It took me a while to get into the book and whilst I quite enjoyed it I did think the plot was rather weak in places and the ending was quite predictable.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book and the characters were amazing.  So well written, I was  in all the places Nettie visited with her, such a good read.  A real heartwarming story.
Was this review helpful?
I love Dilly Courts books and have enjoyed and read most of them. But this one i couldn't get into, i found my mind wandering whilst reading it. It just didn't hold my interest at all. and some of it seemed unbelievable.  It isn't like her other books and i was sorely disappointed, i can't understand where she was coming from with this one and am sad to say i read half of it got bored and gave up. I really hope she goes back to the stories we all love.
Thank you, NetGalley for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
This book would make a great summer holiday read. Romantic drama at its fluffiest. The story is a little silly but completely untaxing and easy to read. It’s very ‘Mills and Boon so if this is your thing it’s a perfect book for you.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
A very good read and one I can highly recommend to others. 
I could not put this down.
Thoroughly enjoyable with an amazing cast of characters that you cannot help but engage with.
Was this review helpful?