As you can see from the front cover, this is the fourth of a series of novels set in Guernsey. I have never been to any of the Channel Islands but feel I have got to know a little about beautiful Guernsey from Anne Allen’s wonderful descriptions and would love to visit – especially if I could spend some time at the fabulous La Folie Health Resort!
At the heart of this story is a family mystery going back to the time of the German occupation of the island during the Second World War. Andy’s grandfather was killed, believed to be an informer, and his inheritance passed to his brother instead. Andy has never believed his grandfather to be a traitor and can’t understand why his father won’t fight for his rightful inheritance. Charlotte, recently divorced, has come to the island to spend some time with her friend and de-stressing at the health resort. Hit by writers’ block, she offers to help research the family mystery.
As a keen amateur genealogist, I was very interested in the parts of the story concerning Charlotte’s research. I would so loved to have found a document like Andy’s grandmother’s diary – invaluable! I enjoyed reading about the growing attraction between Andy and Charlotte though both were very nervous of a new relationship. Would the difference in their backgrounds prove too much to overcome?
This was an enjoyable read with characters I felt were people I would want to be friends with in real life. I would like to know more about them so I hope there will be a fifth in the Guernsey Novels series. If you like a story with family secrets to be uncovered, beautifully described settings and romance included too then this is a book for you.
I am grateful to the author, Anne Allen, for giving me a copy of her book to review. It was published on 15 June 2015 and you can buy a copy here: The Family Divided
One family, divided by death – and money. Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him? With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance. Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs. Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…