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The Secrets of Thistle Cottage

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Member Reviews

This novel was a time slip novel. I struggled with this book because it was slow, and I could not relate to any of the characters. Still, the story is well-written. I recommend this for fans of The Outlander!
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I am a bit of a sucker for an immersive read about witches to achieve some escapism…
This is quite a heart-warming read that switches between the past, (1661) and present time about a mother and daughter that live in Thistle Cottage; gathering strength from each other. They both try to live quiet lives there, not drawing too much attention to themselves, and both have their crosses to bear. 
Honor Seton and her daughter Alex, risk being victimised and killed for being witches by the imposing Laird, when essentially, all they are, are reluctant healers. Similarly, Tess and her daughter Jem are starting a new life after her well known husband was convicted and imprisoned. But they have moved into a small minded village, where all are not exactly welcoming.
Both women are strong in an unassuming way. They are warm characters and inclined to do good. The book flows and is easy to get into and follow, switching at junctures that neatly leaving you hanging. The historical component is immersive, dark, and atmospheric, with great thundery night imaginations. The latter more a contemporary witch hunt, based on social behaviours.
The read is entirely predictable, but nonetheless enjoyable enough. Nothing too heavy, despite some of the context. It offers a nice, blended approach that allows contemporary readers/historical readers that may not have read the other genre to experience it in a complementary way.
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A beautiful gothic tale that is full of mystery and intrigue.  This story is well written and keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.
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Thoughts to ponder: 🤔
What if your husband was a famous television personality who was suddenly convicted of brutal sex crimes against women. (As we all know this has actually happened recently in the media world.) Everyone says "How could the wife not be aware?" But would she know? What if her husband was so good at living a duel life that she honestly had no clue? Most importantly, how would she protect her innocent young children from harmful media and personal accusations? The children are not responsible for their dad's actions. Why should they suffer?

Tess Blyth moves with her 14-year-old daughter Jem, to escape the media coverage surrounding her ex-husband's very public transgressions and subsequent prison sentence. They need a new start and pick a beautiful little home (Thistle Cottage) near the beach. Tess and Jem love their new home until they begin to hear rumors that a witch and her daughter once lived in the house. At first, it's a fun distraction to track down clues to the mysterious past of Thistle Cottage. Suddenly, the game turns deadly when they are threatened and fear for their safety. 

The Secrets of Thistle Cottage is the raw emotional journey of two women separated by time trying to protect their daughters from very difficult situations. It is very well written and enjoyable suspense. I look forward to reading more from the very talented Kerry Barrett. (4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating.)

Thank you NetGalley and HQ Digital, for allowing me to review this thrilling book. I appreciate your kindness.
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Thank you both Author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this.

I blew through this book in two days. I found myself rooting for all four women in this and they were being hunted at two different times. This author did a beautiful job bouncing between both times with grace and ease. I love anything revolving around witches, magic, and powerful women and this book had all of this and more. I felt more drawn to Honor and Alice, as I loved learning little tidbits about Honor's healing capabilities. I cannot wait to add this to the library! It was truly wonderful.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC! I've tried getting into this book but it's simply not holding my attention, so unfortunately I have to DNF.
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Loved the Scottish setting but then I love all things Scottish expect the accent  and the witchcraft  scare. It was fairly quick read. It was nice to read something set in a time I normally don't read (1660s) and don't know much about from history class.
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A brilliant time slip, with a truly gripping witchcraft accusation storyline. Beautifully written and well tied together stories, as with all of Barrett's previous books!
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The Secrets of Thistle Cottage by Kerry Barrett 

I loved this book it was so good. Loved the dual time line. Another great read from this author. I will be read more of her books.
A dual timeline  portrayal of the 1600s and modern day.
A mother and daughter Alice and Honor's story starting a new life. in a "Witch cottage . I loved the way the two stories wove together 
Great stories of witchcraft, few unexpected turns along the way, a few creepy goings on. This has everything 17th century Britain,  My thanks to netgalley a for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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Another amazing duel timeline novel by Kerry Barrett. 
Love the two stories interwoven through history based in an old cottage. 
A historical book about witch craft and cleverly interwoven with the modern day equivalent of a ‘witch hunt’
In this book the dual timeline is split into both a mother & daughter. It is a unique way of showing two views in each timeline. 
I really liked the way this was written. My favourite timeline was the older story of Honor and her daughter Alice. But Tess and Jem are a great mother/ daughter duo! 
I have read all Kerry Barrett’s novels to date and would highly recommend!
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This book was very atmospheric and really enjoyed the dual time line.  It is a story of the past with a Mother & daughter living in Thistle Cottage and then present day with another Mother & daughter living there.

Tess & Jem have moved into Thistle Cottage to get away from problems of their past the cottage is also known as Witches cottage.  Honor and her daughter Alice lived in the cottage in 1661.  Honor is someone who helps people when they are ill or having problems giving birth, unfortunately Honor has made an enemy will she and her daughter be ok.  

Tess & Jem are getting strange and spooky things happening to the house is someone out there to get them scared.  Tess tries her best to put the past behind her.

I thought the book was well written and it was very interesting to read it.
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This novel mirrors the lives of two mother and daughter teams in North Berwick.  In 1661, Honor is a healer and living with her daughter Alice.  Honor is literate, a landowner and following the death or her husband John a decade earlier is on the town council.  All of this is unheard of at the time and when she fails to save the wife of the laird it begins a spiral of distrust.  In the present day Tess and her daughter Jem have fled Edinburgh following Tess' husband's high profile arrest and sentence for sexual assault.  They move into the Seton cottage and although they do everything they can to keep their secret it soon begins to appear that someone knows who they are and aren't happy with them living there.

For the the book was a slow builder and as such I took a while to get into it.  The older plot line held my attention far more than the modern one but the way the two plots have been woven together is done very well.  We've all been aware of a so-called modern day witch hunt when someone has been vilified on the media and the accusations leveled at Honor and Alice are quite in keeping with the old witch trials, where the slightest transgression, real or imagined, could lead to an accusation of sorcery.  It's not a particularly deep novel in that it isn't presented as a mystery to figure out who is targeting Tess and Jem, but it's an enjoyable story.  I wasn't 100% sold on the conclusion of either plotline but that's just me and I devoured the last 25% of the book to see where it went.  I perhaps would've preferred slightly archaic style dialogue in the older plotline rather than modern speech but I know others may have disliked that so it's another thing that's just a personal preference.

it was a decent, entertaining and well written novel that I can see appealing to a lot of people.
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A brilliant book which I couldn’t put down, atmospheric and conjuring a real sense of mystery and danger. .  Witchfinding in one century mirrors with a similar story in modern..  When Tess and her daughter flee to a new town to escape their old  lives following a very public scandal they never imagined becoming involved in the story of their new cottage and it’s earlier inhabitants.
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This was a fast-moving story and a light read despite the heavy theme. The women in both timelines face prejudice, animosity and threats fuelled by mass hysteria and a mob mentality. The story shows how lies and gossip can have devastating and far-reaching consequences whether spread by word of mouth or on social media.
I enjoyed the witches storyline. Knowing what historically happened to women like them I couldn't shake the foreboding sense of doom facing Honor and her daughter.
The present timeline had a similar feel but I didn't have the same fear for Tess and Jen as they had the privilege of having rights and the protection of law enforcement.
I felt that the ending was rushed a little bit with everything working out too neatly for all involved. However, this was a book I found difficult to put down. I loved the historical elements and the dual timelines
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3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Historical fiction meets beach read meets modern day morality tale. We, as modern folks, like to think that we would never succumb to the witch hunts of old. However, this book shows that the only thing that separates then from now is time. Human nature is slow to adapt. 

Told in a dual dual narrative style (each pair of mother & daughter) and dual timeline, it’s an easy read but there are some anachronisms (one example - the word bully is used incorrectly for the 17th century as it was basically the antonym of today’s meaning).

All in all, this was my first time reading this author and whenever I want to escape to the past, but not hurt my brain in doing so, I will definitely pick up another title they’ve written.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book to review.
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This is an easy to read, quite sweet, book that doesn't trouble you too much. Almost a straight whodunnit with some basic commentary about the evils of social media and historical throwbacks to the time of witches. 
Quite domestic and simple, not enough thrills or chills to really worry anyone. 
The idea of becoming a modern pariah in parallel to how wise women were treated in centuries past is a great one and would love to see it explored in a much more hard hitting novel.
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Kerry Barrett is such a talented writer and The Secrets of Thistle Cottage is yet another wonderful book! Ms Barrett skilfully weaves the two timelines to keep the reader gripped. An intriguing exploration of how women have been treated across the ages with fascinating historical details and vivid characterisation. 5 stars!
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I don’t normally enjoy books set in two timelines but this intertwined them beautifully. The same cottage but 400 years apart. Similar stories showing how things haven’t changed that much. Brilliantly described characters.
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This is a dual timeline book with Honor Seton and her daughter Alice in the 1700s and Tess Blyth with her daughter Jemima in the present day.  Each of them have their own points of view with dedicated chapters.  Honor and Alice are called to the Laird's home when illness takes hold.  Not everyone recovered and events conspire to have Honor be accused as a witch.  In present day Tess has escaped a huge scandal caused by her husband in Edinburgh. Tess and Jem try to settle into a quiet life when someone keeps vandalizing their home.  It was an enjoyable escape.  Thank you #NetGalley for the opportunity to give my honest and voluntary opinion on #TheSecretsOfThistleCottage.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There are two stories intertwined, both about women living with their daughters; one is set in the present day, the other in 1661.  The lives of Honor and her daughter Alice in 1661, and Tess and her daughter Jen are so very different, yet the events that happen mirror each other without seeming at all forced.  Thistle Cottage is where they live, in 1661 Honor owned it after her husband, a fisherman, drowned. Then, she had a lot of land, and was a Burgess - a town councillor- so a woman of importance at a time when women could not read and write, vote, or have their own money and property.  When Tess and her daughter move there it is to escape from the gossip in Edinburgh, where Tess’s husband, a well-known television personality, had been imprisoned as a paedophile.  Both families are trying to live quietly, in peace, but events overtake them. However, the way the local people act at their oppression is totally unexpected, particularly in the 1661 story.

This is probably one of the best books I have read for the way two stories seamlessly intertwine.  You learn a lot about life in the 1600’s for ordinary people.  A really enjoyable read.
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