Book Review: The Shut-Away Sisters by Suzanne Goldring

Format: Paperback

Pages: 356 pages

Published: June 24, 2021

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Synopsis:

Two ordinary sisters. A long and brutal war. A heroic sacrifice…

London, 1915. As German bombs rain down on the East End of London and hungry children queue for rations in the blistering cold, fifteen-year-old Florrie is forced to grow up fast. With her father fighting in the muddy trenches, Florrie turns to her older sister Edith for comfort. But the war has changed Edith. She has grown quiet, with dark shadows under her eyes, and has started leaving the house at night in secret. When Florrie follows her sister through the dark and winding streets of London, she is shocked by what she discovers. But she knows she must keep her sister’s secret for the sake of their family, even if she herself must pay the ultimate price…

Years later Kate, running from her broken relationship, is sorting through her dead aunt Florrie’s house, which she shared with her sister Edith. As she sits on the threadbare carpets, looking at photos of Florrie during the war, she notices the change in her aunt – from carefree young girl with a hopeful smile to a hollow-cheeked young woman, with dark sad eyes.

Determined to put her family’s ghosts to rest, Kate must unearth the secret past of her two aunts. Why is there a hidden locked room in the little house they shared? What is the story behind the abandoned wedding dress wrapped in tissue and tied up with a ribbon? And when Kate discovers the tragic secrets that have bound her family together, will she ever be able to move on?


Running away from a failed relationship, Kate finds solace by sorting through her dead aunt Florrie’s house, a house that Aunt Florrie shared with her sister, Edith. Kate begins looking through photos, and she’s starting to see a strange comparison. Her aunt Florrie appears to go through a drastic change in many photographs-from a smiling, lighthearted young girl to a downtrodden young woman with sad eyes. With renewed invigoration, Kate starts to dig deep into her aunts’ past and unearth some tragic secrets that will drive her family apart and begin to wonder will she ever be able to move on from what she discovers.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, then this an enjoyable one to make sure to have in your beach bag this summer. Kate is the type of character that readers could identify with, dealing with an unfortunate event and tries to rediscover herself by looking back into her family’s past. Although it is a trope constantly written before, that does not mean this book you should count out. Goldring joins other authors who provide readers with strong female characters intertwined with a heartbreaking tale that will prevent you from taking your eyes off the page. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll encounter so many emotions you don’t know what to do with them!

Great for fans of Jojo Moyes and Kate Morton, The Shut-Away Sisters by Suzanne Goldring is a pure delight with engaging and compelling storytelling that will give readers the escapism they look for in the books as they enter the summer season. You don’t want to miss this!


Author Bio:

Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant, specialising in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Whether she is working in her thatched cottage in Hampshire or her seaside home in North Cornwall, Suzanne finds inspiration in the secrets hidden by everyday life.

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