The Secret Hours

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I just finished this book and really loved it.I have read the deverille trilogy on holidays over the years and I loved this one to finish off the story.beautifully written lovely reading about times in old Ireland and around a Castle.
Was this review helpful?
I am a massive fan of this author and have thoroughly enjoyed reading her novels over the years. She's a real gem in the vein of  Rosamunde Pilcher and I recommend her works to all fans of The Shell Seekers. This one left me a little cold, I felt there were a few too many cliches for me and sadly I didn't finish it. It's a first for me to leave this author's book to one side. Shame ... but i suppose it happens when you have such a rich body of work. I'm putting it down to being a blip and will remain a fan!
Was this review helpful?
This book is an epic saga set in Southern Ireland in two time periods, the end of the nineteenth century and the 1960's,. it is the story of Faye, and her mother, Arethusa (sorry but this name really annoyed the hell out of me) who lived in Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century. When Faye’s mother dies she leaves a will in which she asks her daughter to go to her homeland, Ireland and scatter her ashes. She also leaves a bequest that will only be revealed after this has been done.

I think this book will appeal to readers who enjoy historical family sagas and romance.
Was this review helpful?
This is a heartwarming family drama set in two timelines. 
This is a great read perfect for fans of family sagas. 
This book has been well researched and you are treated to some Irish history as well as a great story
Was this review helpful?
I love these historical mystery/romance. I always feel swept away in the story and Santa does that with every book she has written. I cannot recommend this book enough if you love this genre!!!#NetGalley #TheSecretHours
Was this review helpful?
Firstly, the cover of this book is beautiful so that instantly made me want to read it and as I know that the author, Santa Montefiore writes epic stories, The Secret Hours was an obvious choice as my next read.

Although I have read other works by Santa Montefiore, I have not read the Deverill series so I was slightly concerned to find that this book is also part of that world. I needn't have worried as this book can stand alone and I did not feel as if I was missing out on parts of the story not having read earlier works.

This book is set in two time periods, the end of the nineteenth century and the 1960s. Both were times when there were certain expectations of women and we see the struggles of both Arethusa and her daughter, Faye, as they try to find happiness despite what is expected of them.

This was a captivating and enjoyable read. There were many twists and turns and I really felt for both Arethusa and Faye. I now want to go back and read the Deverill series to spend more time in this world and it's characters! 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Hours is the new book from Santa Montefiore, an author who never disappoints with her books.  This book is about one of the Deverill women but  is not part of Santa Montefiore’s Deverill trilogy so you don’t need to have read these books.  The plot moves between 1960’s and the late nineteenth century, and follows Faye Langton and her mother Arethusa Clayton, born a Deverill. When Arethusa, known as Tussy, dies she asks for her ashes to be scattered in Ireland which comes as a shock to to Faye and her brother Logan, who knew nothing of her mother’s past. Faye decides to travel to Ireland to learn more about her mother, a journey where she also finds out more about herself.  Set in the beautiful Irish landscape this is a book about love, family and forgiveness.

I haven’t read any of the previous books about the Deverill legacy and it didn’t make any difference to my enjoyment or understanding of the book. The late nineteenth century and the 1960’s were both a time of a patriarchal society, with women’s rights and freedom just beginning to change in the 60’s.  Although there are about sixty years between Tussy’s and Faye’s stories, they are both shackled to an extent by societies expectations of them.  Tussy, is a tenacious and wilful character, who knows her obligations to marry well, to be a good daughter and wife but she wants her fun first, to live before she gets married for duty. She is very much led by her heart rather than her head which can have consequences.

Faye, like her mother is shackled by society. She has always submitted to her father, brother and husband like a good daughter, sister and wife should, but in going to Ireland she defies her husband and removed from America finds a new sense of freedom in Ireland.  Faye gains the strength her mother had as a young woman,  and the more she learns about her mother and her Deverill heritage the more she questions her life as a wife, and a woman. I was really rooting for Faye to take control of her life and emerge from her dull life into a more exciting one, like a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Santa Montefiore brings the stunning Irish landscape to life, with Castle Deverill like a fairytale castle in its midst. In setting the book in the 1960’s and late nineteenth. century the is able to address quite a few important issues of the period including poverty, pregnancy out of wedlock, how women’s lives were decided by their fathers and then husbands, racism and forbidden love and how even though there is a over half a century time frame things had not changed much.

As expected from Santa Montefiore, The Secret Hours is an enjoyable and compelling read that I couldn’t put down once started. Tussy and Faye are both wonderful characters, who you can’t help but admire and invest emotion in their respective stories. There is no doubt of Santa Montefiore’s skill as a story teller, and this is another stunning novel and one I highly recommend.  Beautiful setting, characters you care about, and an engaging story, a perfect read.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Hours.


I have read a few books by Santa Montefiore but I didn't know before I started this one that it was the fourth in a series of books about the Deverills. This didn't detract from the story as I had no idea there were other books but I now want to to back to book one and read them all. It seems a fifth one is to follow.

Faye is an American housewife with grown up children  staying in an unhappy marriage for their sake. When her mother dies she leaves a diary for Faye to read and wants her ashes scattered in Ireland where she was born. Faye and her brother know nothing about her mother's childhood in Ireland or why she came to America and while Faye is desperate to fulfill her mother's last wishes her brother and husband are violently against it.
Faye decides to go against their wishes for the first time in her life and much to everyone's surprise she travels to Ireland on her own.

A whole new world and new family opens up for Faye and she is distraught when she has to leave. Will she follow her heart or do what is expected of her? 

I loved this story. It had a few twists and turns before the end. We learn what happened to Faye's mother and why she left her family to go to America and what the family were told. There is also a lovely present day romance which added to the whole ambience of the book.
Santa Montefiore never fails to deliver a cracking  good story and this is one of those.
Was this review helpful?
I have read and have really enjoyed all of Santa Montefiore's previous books and highly recommend them all, so I was looking forward to reading this book. I wasn't disappointed. I couldn't put this down. 

Although this is another story of the Deverills, this could be read as a standalone novel. But if you haven't read the other Deverill novels, I would highly recommend you to do so as they are fabulous - perfect for anyone who enjoys family sagas and romance. 

This was captivating from the beginning. I was immediately hooked into the story. Fantastic characterisation and such a wonderful setting. Such a heartwarming family story, I loved the irish history woven into the family story. Delightful.

Fantastic, I can't recommend this highly enough and can't wait for the next book from Santa.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This story takes place over a period of 60 years, covering two generations of the Deverill  family. We meet the American daughter, middle aged, discontented with her marriage and frustrated  at her acceptance of the belief that to obey and conform is her role in life. Troubled by mysterious dreams of a castle in a far away country inhabited by her double continues to disturb the equilibrium of her life.  The death of her mother, followed by a death bed request results in a determination to fulfill her mothers last wishes even to the extent she will move completely out of her safely controlled comfort  zone and enter the forbidden territory of satisfying her own selfish needs and desires. . A diary revealing lost secrets from her mothers past and a visit half way across the world slowly unravel the tenuous links with an unknown family and series of events from 60 years previous.  Discovering her mothers hidden past sets off a chain of events that will alter her life and that of her husband and family irretrievably. A love story from a previous age, where duty and respectability where all that mattered collide with the longings of a repressed wife and mother who unexpectedly is given a second chance in life. I was never sure how both these love stories would end and impatiently reached a conclusion that was both sad and uplifting. Mystery, love, a family saga, historical connotations. For me this book gives the reader a hugely enjoyable escape to the mores of two very different eras.  Escapism personified. I really really enjoyed this book.
Was this review helpful?
I really thought that “The Last Secret of the Deverills” was the last book of the series, but no, there was one more story to tell. It the first books were Kitty’s and men of Deverills, then this book is Deverills daughter’s book. Since Arethusa is only mentioned on family tree under name Tussy, I had no idea at first who she is. This book is actually Arethusa and her daughter Faye’s book. In a way, it reminded me a lotCecelia Ahern’s P.S. I Love You, just instead of husband sending his wife to Ireland, here mother sends her daughter to Ireland. And just like in the previous books the libronovella must contain a lot of drama, lot of tears, lot of love and secrets.

A wonderful ending to this family saga.
Was this review helpful?
Another epic story from Santa Montefiore which I thoroughly enjoyed. The story slips between mother and daughter’s story showing differences in attitudes between the times but also similarities. Perfect beach read.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
Again a very good read and one I can highly recommend to others. 
I could not put this down.
Thoroughly enjoyable.
Was this review helpful?
beautifully written and captivating. This is then kind of book you should take on your Summer holidays. I am a huge fan of this author's writing and this doesn't disappoint
Was this review helpful?
I have read all of Ms Monefiore’s books and loved them all and this was no exception.
I was pleased to see that this was the 4th in the Deverill series and enjoyed it immensely.
I look forward to reading more in the future.
Was this review helpful?
Another amazing read from Santa Montefiore. 
Reading this book was like catching up with old friends and hearing all their recent news, I absolutely loved it.
I thought we’d heard the complete Deverill story last year, so was delighted to find out more about my favourite Ballinakelly family.
The Secret Hours tells the take of Faye as she sets out to fulfil her mother’s last wishes and finds she is part a whole new family she knew nothing about and then through her late Mothers diaries, her Mother’s wonderful life story is revealed.
Set in County Cork, London and 
Massachusetts, this book will have you guessing your way through, trying to find the answers to Arethusa’s story. 
Lost love, family and friendship, such a wonderful journey.....and now I am left wondering....will we meet the Deverill family again??
Was this review helpful?
First I fell in love with the cover, then I fell in love with this book.
It's an amazing book which is moving, engrossing, and entertaining.
I loved this women so frail and so strong at the same time, I was fascinated by the setting and the plot moved me and made me smile.
Even if it's part of series it can be read as a stand-alone as both the plot and the character development are well explained.
I loved the style of writing, the character development are amazing and I really liked them.
I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Was this review helpful?
Enthralling, I fell head-first into this captivating, standalone fourth book in the Deverill Chronicles. 

Bostonian Faye Langton has spent her life living and doing as others expect her to do; firstly as a daughter and now as a wife and mother. When her mother Arethusa Clayton dies, the reading of the will acts as a catalyst for Faye to embark on a journey to her Mom's homeland, Ireland. Knowing she will come up against opposition, Faye manages to convince her husband to let her go to Ballinakelly, to see if any of her Mom's family are still alive. On arrival, everything she thought she knew about Arethusa is a lie as she discovers secrets from the past, a large extended family she never knew existed as well as unlocking her own repressed passions and desires.

Written to reflect the past (early twentieth century) and the present (1961) we find out how and why Arethusa left her family in Ireland and moved to America without a backward glance. The missing elements are pieced together from extracts in a diary she bequeathed to her daughter, Faye. In Ireland, Faye's assisted by her newly found, lookalike cousin, Kitty Deverill and local 'Jack of all trades', Cormac O'Farrell. What they uncover is shocking however it allows both sides of the family to finally lay to rest the memory of the formidable Arethusa 'Tussy' Deverill. 

Exquisitely written, the narrative blends together captivating stories, heightened with historical events of the time. Set against a stunning County Cork backdrop, it's easy to visualise the scenery of this South Eastern part of Ireland along with the character of the communities within. Together, they create a delightful, page-turning experience for the reader.

I picked up this title simply because it's written by Santa Montefiore. I've only read one book by her in the past and it left a lasting impression. This second time around, I'm filled with the same feeling of satisfaction and a longing to read more from this author, starting with the other novels in the Deverill Chronicles.

Whether you are familiar with the Deverill's or not, The Secret Hours is a wonderful way to escape and pass away many hours whether as a holiday read or curled up next to a fire.

***arc generously received courtesy of Simon and Schuster UK Fiction via NetGalley***
Was this review helpful?
I read this very quickly over a weekend and enjoyed it as a light read, which didn't trouble the brain cells too much after a heavy week. 
Having said that I nearly gave up after the first 2 pages - starting with a dream retelling was not the way to grab my attention. 
It did improve and i I did find myself caring for the main 1960's character but then I am like her  bored  and 50+.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review 
Delighted  to get this early copy as I have read all the other books in this  series and it was excellent  to have a conclusion  which was again set in fabulous  Ireland  I can highly recommend  this book and author.
Was this review helpful?