Cover Image: The Secret Notebook

The Secret Notebook

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

First off I have to mention the cover... I loved it. Completely eye catching.

This is a dual timeline story of a Grandmother (Molly) and her Granddaughter (Izzie). When Izzies Grandmother dies she is tasked with clearing out the home that has been left to her. Whilst clearing she finds an old notebook/diary that her Grandmother kept during WWII. 

Through the dual timeline we watch Izzie recover from a broken heart whilst reading Molly's notebook,  reliving her tales of love in such dire times. 

A story of true love, heartbreak, life in world war WWIi and strength. 

A really lovely read that really touched on emotion.

Huge thanks to netgalley and Harper Collins UK for the ARC
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book from beginning to end! I couldn't put it down. The Notebook that was found and read by Izzie after her nans death was honest, fun and heartbreaking all wrapped together in an unimaginable time in the past due to war. It was written with pure love for family and hope for a happy ending. I cried and laughed through this wonderful story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
Very interesting and well written read with lovely characters. Both the main characters were strong women and I enjoyed this very much.
Was this review helpful?
I so wanted to enjoy this book but I just couldn’t get into it. This book just didn’t hold my attention and I ended up not finishing it.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the dual timeline and the flawless combination of Izzie’s story and her nan’s story. A secret diary and a look into her now diseased grandma’s life influences how Izzie feels about her current life situation and more importantly influences her actions going forward. Now days, most people don’t take the time to write down their thoughts and feelings, so it made this story even more unique. The loss in this story makes the reader able to connect with the characters in an astounding way. I really enjoyed reading both their stories.
Was this review helpful?
Dual timeline story of love and loss. Interesting characters in both timelines and a fairly standard story. A pleasant read.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Notebook is a great dual timeline. Izzie is current day, 2017 and her Grandmother Molly is in the 40’s. Very heartfelt story and a pleasant read.
Thank you NetGalley!
Was this review helpful?
Still reeling from the death of her husband, Izzy suffers further loss when her Nan dies. Rather than return to London, Izzy remains in Blackpool to sort out Molly’s house and belongings, with the help of old flame, Justin. As they’re cleaning out the attic, Izzy finds an old notebook hidden away, and discovers that it’s a diary Molly kept during the Second World War. As she and Justin uncover the secrets of so long ago, their feelings for each other grow.

I wanted to enjoy The Secret Notebook, as I expected it to be an entertaining story, and on a basic level it was. Sadly, for me anyway, it didn’t really read well, and there wasn’t any Wow factor. There was no great mystery in the notebook, other than at the very beginning, and, given that you knew he survived, no possible suspense during the war. 

Overall, a pleasant story without any great action.
Was this review helpful?
Two different love stories set in two timelines--one during WWII, and one closer to present day.  Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Notebook is a great story of love and how it can all be so good and so bad at the same time. The main character Izzie finds a secret notebook written by her beloved Nan. She is taken back in time to witness the love story of her grandparents. The story goes back and forth between her grandmother Molly and Izzie’s own unrequited love story. I feel there were some missing pieces of the story and at times it seemed wordy but otherwise a great read.
Was this review helpful?
Izzie is grieving the loss of her husband Rufus when she gets a call from Justin her Nan's neighbor saying Nan is doing badly and he is arranging for Nan to go to hospital. Izzie drops everything and heads to Blackpool where Nan lives. Izzie makes it just in time to see Nan and Nan's last message was look in the attic. Izzie was living with Nan and Grandpop in her teens and they were very close. Nan leaves her house to Izzie. Izzie decides to clean out the house by herself to remember the great times she had there. While cleaning the loft (attic?) Izzie finds a hole in the wall and inside is Nan's diary. The story now travels from WWII when Molly (Nan) was younger and 2017 with Izzie. I loved the story and how the two lives merge together. This is a story that is a pleasure to read.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Notebook tells two love stories that despite parallel themes are separated over time. Following the death of her writer husband, Rufus, Izzie has returned to her Nan’s former home in Blackpool with whom she had a very close relationship. As she sets about doing the place up so she can sell it, she finds her nan’s notebook hidden away in her old attic bedroom. Nan Molly’s notebook is filled to the rafters with diary entries, letters, photos and a zillion other memories written during the war years and telling her love story with Jack.

Molly’s story tells of her first encounter with her eventual husband and his twin brother when they are billeted to stay at her step-mother’s B&B. From dancing to falling in love, mistaken identities to getting pregnant, her nan’s story is full of love and hope, but it’s not without sadness and drama.

As Izzie reads this, she has met up with her own first love, the man she always thought rejected her, Justin. It becomes clear the two still have feelings for each other – can they overcome the misunderstandings that affected their lives as her nan did with those in hers?

It slightly amused me that when Izzie read about her nan stepping out with Joe, she presumed him to be her grandfather – the man she’d grown up with – as opposed to his twin brother, Jack (cue the misunderstanding that changed Nan’s life for the better) Maybe it’s just me, but as an adult, I knew my grandfather’s name; Izzie didn’t seem to.

Overall, the storyline is a tad predictable, but it is sweet and heart-warming and an easy read with some great insights into the war years and life in a Blackpool B&B back then. A quick read and most enjoyable as the two stories intersect.
Was this review helpful?
This is a gorgeous book, which goes back and forth between the past and the present. Izzie arrives at her grandmother’s bungalow, to clear it out after she dies, and finds the notebook, which contains Molly’s story.

I loved both aspects of this story. Molly’s account of her time during the war, her romance and what happens next, was a particular favourite part of the book for me, but Izzie has her own story too, and her own past to deal with, and the two blend together perfectly.

I loved the setting of Blackpool, a place I have visited many times, and I found it easy to picture the area where it all takes place.

A beautiful and heart-warming story, I found it a real pleasure to read, and I enjoyed it so much.
Was this review helpful?
This book was received as an ARC from HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I have read many historical fiction novels that involve romance in major historic events but this one really tugged at my heart strings. The language used really warmed my heart and after reading so many thrillers and mysteries, it was really refreshing to read some romance. The relationship and bond between Izzie and Justin and when Izzie discovers her grandmother's journal and how she never got the chance she wanted at love which motivated Izzie to never give up on Justin before it's too late. We all have that voice in our head that holds us back and stops us from taking chances and living our dreams and Izzie is proof that you should not let anything or anyone hold you back even if it means risking your life.

We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
A year after loosing her husband, Izzie returns home to bury her beloved grandmother. As she cleans out the cottage, Izzie discovers an old diary and reconnects with an old love, Justin. Over the course of several months Izzie cleans out her Nan's house, discovers family secrets, and learns what she really wants.

I enjoyed this novel a lot and I think I did because it is not like the standard POV WWII novel. First, these two characters are related and new each other. This is not one where some young lady finds an old journal and goes on a quest to discover more about the person who wrote it. In this case Izzie's Nan wrote this diary for a several months during WWII and Izzie does not need to do anything more than read the book. Second, the story in the diary is nothing heroic. Normally the person who is being looked at has some tragic, heroic, resistance based WWII story. In this case, Molly (Izzie's Nan) is just a normal girl living and working in Blackpool who does something that changes her life. The very every day nature of the story was refreshing and enjoyable.

If you are a women's lit fan then pick this one up.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Notebook by Julia Wild is an outstanding historical fiction book which features present day (2017) and 1943 in Blackpool.  Izzie Dean is a recent young widow who soon has to endure another tragedy when her much loved nan, Molly, dies. Izzie does make it in time to say goodbye and a garbled message about a book is mentioned.  What proceeds soon is the mysterious book is located.  We are transported to a deliciously satisfying story of secrets, intrigue, and tough choices as Molly navigates life as a young woman during WW2.

While both stories had secrets and deception, the story of the tough choices Molly made resonated so purely with me.  It was well researched and entirely plausible to be transported back in time when women had little freedom.  Molly was at the mercy of a stepmother who cared little for her well being and more about the free labor Molly provided.  When Molly is given a little freedom to experience life she unfortunately falls for the wrong man.  

This book has an outstanding cast of characters that you truly feel connected to.  The struggle Molly feels when trying to decide the fate of her poor decision is heart wrenching.  The tragedies that Izzie encountered keeping her from her young love with Justin are masterful.  The love stories of Izzie’s Nan and her grandfather that developed is admirable.  The dedication that Izzie has to learning the truth and the way the past mirrors hope for her future is poignant.  The care in creating strong heroines with an amazing storyline by Wild is apparent on every page.  

I was provided a free advance reader copy from Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter in exchange for my honest review from Net Galley.  The opinions shared in this review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Set across a dual timeline in Blackpool during world war II and 2017, ‘The Secret Notebook’ is a compelling novel of family history, love and secrets.

When Izzie’s nan passes away, her final words tell her granddaughter of a diary which has been hidden for years in the attic of the house. When Izzie stumbles across it as she clears her nan’s possessions, she is transported back in time to the second world war and learns things about her family’s past she would never have believed to be possible.

Mirroring events in the present day, as Izzie struggles to deal with her feelings for her ex-boyfriend Justin, who she believes ditched her years ago and who left her broken-hearted, this is a moving romantic tale which keeps the reader entranced from the offset.

While Molly’s story is initially the more compelling of the two, by the end of the novel, the continuing attraction between Izzie and Justin is equally engrossing.

A stunning read.

With thanks to the author and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Notebook" by Julia Wild is a story told in two timelines. 

Izzie's beloved Grandmother passes away. With an aching heart she returns to clean out her childhood home.  Izzie finds a notebook, a diary of sorts, that was her Grandmother’’s from the 1940s. It is full of letters, bits and bobs , as well as, journal entries.  Izzie learns a lot about her Grandmother’s life as well as reaching new conclusions about her own.  The notebook contains the romantic story of how her grandparents met during World War II. 

I found this an easy read and loved the premise of it. The story really made me long for the days we would write letters. I am a huge historical fiction reader and I enjoyed the story.  At times it fell flat and at times was predictable.  

The Secret Notebook takes the reader on a journey of the main characters self-discovery. These two strong women characters grow, forgive, and at last finally love. 

I would like to thank the author, Harper Collins and One More Chapter for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Notebook by Julia Wild

When Izzie's Nan passes away she returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up.  She discovers her Nan's secret notebook, written during WW2, and reconnects with her teenage love, Justin.  Secrets and lies resurface and romance is rekindled.

This was such a lovely book - I loved the dual timeline and enjoyed Izzie and her Nan's stories so much.  Very highly recommended!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book.
Was this review helpful?
Izzie's beloved Nan passes away, and she is left her Blackpool home. With her heart aching, she begins to clean out her childhood home and stumbles upon her Nan's diary from the 1940s. As she dives into her Nan's past, Izzie's first love materializes back into her life. Stirring up old emotions, letting Izzie know that the spark for Justin is still there. Izzie is sent on a path of discovery. Not only into her Nan's past, but into her own. Can she let the past go and allow Justin back into her life? Her Nan's notebook lets Izzie see her in a different light. Showing her just how hard life truly was in the 1940s. How strong and determined Nan had to be in order to make a life for herself and her son.

The Secret Notebook takes you on a journey of self-discovery. For not only Izzie, but for her Nan as well. You can watch these two characters grow, forgive, and at last finally love.
Was this review helpful?