Her Mother’s Secret by Jan Baynham #bookreview @JanBaynham @ChocLitUK @RubyFiction

With it seeming very unlikely that anyone will be heading off on holiday anytime soon, I couldn’t resist taking a virtual trip to Greece in Jan Baynham’s debut novel, Her Mother’s Secret. It’s publication day today so congratulations Jan. I hope you have a glass of retsina to celebrate.

Her Mother’s Secret is a book I found very intriguing right from the beginning. We meet Alexandra who is grieving the recent loss of her mother and has had a furious row with her father. While staying at her grandmother’s she discovers a diary that her mother Elin kept when spending the summer of 1969 at a painting school in Greece. Alexandra had no idea that her mother had been in Greece, let alone that she was an artist. She decides to go to Greece herself to try to uncover what happened all those years ago.

I loved all the descriptions of Greek island life. The author described everything so vividly: the blue sea, the clarity of the light, the beautiful landscape, the boats in the harbour, the colourful, little houses perched on the hillside on the island, the mouth-watering food and the friendly locals. I almost imagined I could feel that warm sunshine on my face. I’ve never been to Greece but this book certainly makes me want to go there. I feel like I’ve actually had a bit of a holiday after reading it!

The strong bond between mother and daughter was so clear, even though with book written from Elin’s perspective in 1969 and Alexandra’s in 1991, there aren’t actually any parts when the reader meets them together. They clearly had so much in common. Both were artistic, both suffered an early loss of a parent, both were clearly passionate and spirited and both discovered a love of Greece.

With long hidden secrets waiting to be uncovered, sunshine and a beautiful setting, mysteries to be resolved and handsome Greek leading men, Her Mother’s Secret is an enjoyable, escapist read. While you are stuck at home, why not take a trip to Greece with Elin and Alexandra?

My thanks to Liz at ChocLit/Ruby Fiction for my review copy of the book. Her Mother’s Secret is available from today in ebook format. You can order your copy from the Ruby Fiction website here: Her Mother’s Secret

From the back of the book

It’s 1969 and free-spirited artist Elin Morgan has left Wales for a sun-drenched Greek island. As she makes new friends and enjoys the laidback lifestyle, she writes all about it in her diary. But Elin’s carefree summer of love doesn’t last long, and her island experience ultimately leaves her with a shocking secret …


Twenty-two years later, Elin’s daughter Alexandra has inherited the diary and is reeling from its revelations. The discovery compels Alexandra to make her own journey to the same island, following in her mother’s footsteps. Once there, she sets about uncovering what really happened to Elin in that summer of ’69.

About the author


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