Cover Image: The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

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Member Reviews

This book is incredibly well-written and such a great story! I was a little hesitant at first considering it was set in the late 1800’s, but wow, I loved it! I usually struggle with historical fiction & never found myself bored. I was intrigued the entire time, especially the mystery portion! 

Thanks to a NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review
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Molly Butterfield is a young woman with a lot of growing up to do. Finding herself dumped, jobless, and homeless, a spell living with her recently widowed Grandfather on the Dorset coast seems like a smart move. 

Molly always knew her grandfather's house was quirky. But she never anticipated a mysterious connection with another, identical, residence—hundreds of miles away. The draw to discover the nature of the force which forged that connection beckons Molly on a journey. One via which she might determine not only the answers to her questions, but perhaps also find herself along the way.

This is a magical and intriguing tale of how love can overcome even the greatest and seemingly insurmountable adversity.
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Molly becomes homeless after a break up and Mum and stepdad aren’t around to help out. It is about time that Molly who is 24 learns to stand on her own two feet. Luckily an invite from her grandad is her saviour. The only problem is he lives in a architecturally strange  house which is in the middle of nowhere on the Dorset coast. There is no internet and not much to do. Hawthorn Place, built in the 1900s has always been a holiday refuge for Molly so she agrees to stay and help her ageing grandad.
One night while stuck in a cupboard looking for alcohol Molly magically ends up in another house, Acacia House, which is exactly the same as Hawthorn Place but it is in Norfolk. 
I’m not a great fan of ‘magic’, but in this book it really works. 
There is a dual timeline of Molly in the present time and the history of Percy Gladwell,  the architect of the houses from the 1900s.
As Molly starts to look into the history of the two houses and what their connection is she begins to find herself and we learn of the life of Percy and the history of the people who lived in the houses. 
A really enjoyable and entertaining read.
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An interesting tale split between 2 eras, focusing on a main character from each time, the story is interesting, especially how the 2 connect together, but I really struggled with our heroine Molly, as I found her to be a petulant, quarrelsome person who was rather spoiled, and not at all likeable, and it took a long time to be able to tolerate her. In fact at one point I did stop reading just because I'd had enough of Molly and it was putting me off the story as a whole, thus why I can't in all good conscience give this the highest rating
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When, Molly Butterfield’s relationship ends, she assumes she can stay with her mum Annetta and step-father Brain. They have other plans, her grandfather Walter’s recently been widowed, he’s lonely and Brian agrees to take her to stay with her Pop. Her grandfather lives in an odd house called Hawthorn Place, on the Dorset Coast, it’s a very unique house and it’s around a hundred years old.

Molly’s used to everyone picking up after her, she’s spoilt, twenty four and broke. She discovers that her grandfather hasn’t been coping, he’s been sleeping in a chair, and eating microwave dinners. His once beautiful garden is over grown, Molly stops feeling sorry for herself, and tries to get her grandfather interested in more than watching TV and he discovers the internet. 

Molly finds a tiny door, it reveals an identical Art and Crafts house, called Acadia House, and it’s in Norfolk and two hundred miles away. The Secrets of Hawthorn Place, has a dual timeline that goes between the past, present, it’s a whimsical and mystical story about the two houses and the people who lived in them. They were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, the current owner of Arcadia House, Rory Brooker has his own issues with mental health and he and Percy have a lot in common. 

Molly is transformed from being a rather selfish person, she becomes interested in history, architecture, domestic tasks, and helping both her grandfather and Rory overcome the tragedy in their lives. Jenni Keer has written a really interesting story, the past and present are linked together in a very clever way, and five stars from me.
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4.5 Stars

I loved this book so much. It was a very face paced read for me and that rarely happens with historical fiction. We have Molly in the present day who is at her parents home after a bad break up when her mother thinks a visit to her grandad might be exactly what Molly needs at the moment. We also have Lucy and Violet from a hundred years ago and eventually we learn how these lives all relate to each other. 

I was sucked in by both timelines and the mystery surrounding it all. I loved the setting of the Dorset coast and how real the storyline was, it played out like actual life. There were a lot of feelings put into the writing of this book. The novel is so beautifully written the kind of book that makes you sigh, leaves a smile on your face and has you hugging the book when you're done. I love when that happens!
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This is a great read.
The story follows Molly who decides to go and stay with her grandad who lives  in Dorset trying to get her life back on track.  She finds his house has a magical aspect where the story continues in a dual time. One in the late 18th and early 19th century and the second is told in the present day. 
The characters are so believable and the story is a fun read along with a wonderful love story.
I loved every page of this book and highly recommend it.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced reading copy. It was an absolute pleasure.
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Molly Butterfield at age 24, hates her telemarketing job and  is still letting others take care of her. So, when her lover throws her out of his house, she tries to go back to her mom and stepfather Brian's place. Unfortunately, they are swapping houses with a couple from New York. She is offered a lifeline with an offer to go stay with her her recently widowed grandfather on the Dorset coast. She had spent lovely summers there, but had argued with her grandmother just before she died. Molly decides to go back to stay with her grandfather who is grieving badly.  The house was very unusually designed and built and has a very peculiar cupboard that leads Molly into an odd situation that makes her grow up. The house is the link to the dual time stories and the information about architecture in the early 1900's is interesting. Molly is an unlikeable spoiled brat for about a quarter of the book, but staying with her is worth it as she starts to take responsibility for her actions and the other characters in the two stories are sympathetic. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.   This was a real family story with a great storyline and great characters and I really enjoyed it.
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I read this book very quickly as I love historical fiction.  A magical love story set during two time periods, you will be encouraging everyone you know  to read this book!
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I think the main theme of this book is transformation by love.  In the beginning of the story, many of the characters were honestly not very likeable to me. I continued to read and convinced myself that they had those personalities for the story to develop.  Once I was able to get pass my feelings for the characters, I really enjoyed this lovely book.  It is filled with magic, hope and the knowledge that love will find a way.  

The book is written in a dual timeline and that was an excellent way to tell this tale.  It was very interesting to see that life really does not change all that much from time to time.  People still have the same issues to deal with.  Whether it is being tied to the constraints of society, or growing to find your way in the world, people from historical times and current time are still struggling with this.

I enjoy this author’s writing style and I always adore that she includes a character from the older population.  I believe a well-formed story should include characters of different ages.  

Two of the main “characters” are houses that were designed by the same architect.  The houses play a huge part in the story and they have a magical quality that I really enjoyed.  I cannot help hoping that this could be a reality in life.  I will now look at old houses differently and wonder about mystical happenings in them.

I was engrossed in the book by 50% and I definitely did not want to put it down and then I was so sorry that it had ended.  I grew to care so much for the characters.  The plot took me on an unknown path and it was a fantastic journey.

I highly recommend this book and I look forward to more of Jenni Keer’s work in the future.  I want to thank Headline, Headline Accent and NetGalley for giving me the pleasure of reading the advance reader copy, with no obligation to write a review. My review is written freely as a hobby, and is totally my own opinion, not influenced by receiving the ARC.  #TheSecretsofHawthornPlace #NetGalley
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I loved this. I wasn’t sure at first as Molly was so unlikeable she was almost a caricature. You just knew she was going to improve! 

I really don’t want to give away any spoilers, which means I can’t really talk about large parts of the story. Let’s just say I very much enjoyed the plot and it turned out as I hoped and imagined it would. 

It zips along nicely and while some of the writing felt a little clunky at times, it was an enjoyable and entertaining read from start to finish. I loved Grandad and felt his experience of grief was well portrayed. I just wish I could see the houses! 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy of this book. I’ll definitely look for more of this author’s work!
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My rating:

Plot: 5 out of 5 stars
Writing: 5 out of 5 stars
Character development: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Recommended for readers of:

Historical Fiction


A wonderful story written over an dual time line with a mystical twist. The first timeline tells the story of Percy an architect of the Arts and Craft movement and takes place at the end of 19th century and early 20th century. The second timeline is set in the present and tells the story of Molly who after her relationship ends finds herself at a loose end. Unable to fall back on her parents as she was expecting, she is kind of forced stay with her granddad a recent widower in a remote village in Dorset. With no internet and plenty of time on her hand, she becomes intrigued with the history of the house she is staying in, in her investigation she not only helps her granddad heal but also finds herself again.


This book is beautifully written, set in a beautiful location. It gave am interesting insight into the Arts and Craft Movement, which I didn’t know a lot about. The setting of the book the Dorset and Norfolk coast were described in great detail. This made the scenes appear very realistic. The characters were complex but interesting and their actions felt authentic, this made them realistic. You feel yourself getting invested in them easily. The story flowed well and was very captivating. I was sad when I reached the end and there was no more.
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This was a really fun read. It takes place in Norfolk which is an instant sell to me as that is were my boyfriend originates from.
When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.

But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery. 

Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.

What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever...
I loved the relationship between Molly and her grandad as well as unraveling the mystery  of the secret love which linked both the Hawthorn Place and Acacia together.
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When Molly arrives at home with a broken relationship in tow, she's shocked to see her Mom and stepdad house swapping for the summer, leaving her without a place to crash. Reluctant to return to her boring job, she agrees to live with her Grandad to help him around his home for the summer. Even though it means no Wi-Fi.

Molly is an irritating character of privilege and while there were often parts I didn't get in the book, such as her Mom not telling her who her real father is, it was an intriguing book nonetheless. I loved the dual timeline and the mystery Molly got caught up in. Well written fun book to read at the beach!
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There was so much to love about this book. Twenty-four-year-old Molly Butterfield finds herself at loose ends when her boyfriend dumps her, she loses her place to live, and she finds herself homeless. Ditching her dead-end job, she decides to spend the summer with her recently widowed grandfather, and life ends up never being the same!

The quirky house she lives in ends up being steeped in a mystery that Molly is determined to uncover. And while she's at it, she learns a lot about what it actually means to be an adult, with or without a cell phone.

I loved the interspersing of the historical story of Percy and Violet with the present-day story of Molly and all that she's experiencing. 

This exploration of what love and life are really all about was very enjoyable to read. Thank you, NetGalley, Jenni Keer and Headline Accent for the opportunity to read and review an ARC.
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When Molly finds herself unexpectedly homeless, she goes to stay with her recently widowed granddad. Hidden on the Dorset coast sits Hawthorn Place, a quirky Arts and Crafts house built in the late 1900’s. A touch of magic leads Molly to discover the exact same house built miles away on the Norfolk coast. As Molly delves into the history of the two houses, can she discover what the connection is between them?

An enjoyable story which was easy and entertaining to read.
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I received The Secrets of Hawthorn Place as part of a NetGalley giveaway.

Molly, recently single and unemployed, arrives to spend the summer at her widowed grandfather's home on the Dorset coast. There she stumbles upon a hidden compartment which transports her to a nearly identical home in Norfolk. She soon establishes a dual existence, moving back and forth between homes while trying to help her grieving grandfather, hold down work, find romance, and discover the story behind this supernatural occurrence. For the latter, she takes up her late grandmother's research on the architect of both homes and his illicit romance with one of his clients.

I always like a good dual timeline story, and this was certainly that, albeit a quieter, straightforward one with fewer twists and turns (and I wish it wasn't necessary to rely on magic). I'll say, I found Molly off-putting for a really long time, which made it hard to connect with her. There's immature twenty-somethings, and then there are obnoxiously, willfully spoiled ones, and Molly is definitely the latter. She improved a bit toward the end, but by then it was almost too late.
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This was a really heartwarming read that I enjoyed. The dual timeline really helped build the atmosphere and the characters were endearing. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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What a beautiful, enchanting and captivating book this is! The story flows seamlessly between the timelines, and is filled with vivid description, interesting and  very likeable characters, and a storyline that is intriguing and had me caught in its spell. From the first to the last page, I was compelled to know more, to discover the secrets within the book, and just didn’t want the story to end! The love, the yearning, and the hope simply leapt from the pages, as did regret, loss, and sublime happiness. I absolutely loved this story, it moved me, hurt my heart,, and enthralled me. Highly recommended.
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