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Her Mother's Secret

Author: Natasha Lester
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ISBN: 9780733634659
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Fiction, Modern & Contemporary Fiction,

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A sweeping story of love and ambition from England to the Manhattan of the 1920s and 1940s by the author of A KISS FROM MR FITZGERALD 1918, England. Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora's life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father's chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father's life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New York City. On the way she meets debonair department store heir Everett Forsyth . . . In Manhattan, Leo works hard to make her cosmetics dream come true, but she's a woman alone with a small salary and a society that deems make-up scandalous. 1939, New York City. Everett's daughter, Alice, a promising ballerina, receives a mysterious letter inviting her to star in a series of advertisements for a cosmetics line. If she accepts she will be immortalized like dancers such as Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Ginger Rogers. Why, then, are her parents so quick to forbid it? Her Mother's Secret is the story of a brave young woman chasing a dream in the face of society's disapproval. Read More

Magazine article

Her Mother's Secret by Natasha Lester Lester’s research for Her Mother’s Secret included walking the New York streets inhabited by her characters and examining original documents from the era. As a result, the vivid detail of the narrative has the ring of authenticity and is utterly compelling. Read on >

Readers' reviews

A sweeping saga that won't let you go in a hurry!!
Described as ‘A sweeping story of love, ambition and courage in the face of society’s disapproval’…… It can not be denied, no truer statement could be made.

I would however add that it is also colourful, vibrant and filled with loss and turmoil.

The protagonist of our tale is Leonora East (Leo) and is set at the end of WW1,1918 in a small English village. Leo works in her fathers chemist and has big dreams of making cosmetics. Times when the likes of lipstick was looked upon as immoral, cosmetics sent secretly vial mail order. Circumstances unfold where she finds herself leaving England for the shores of New York City.
On her way she meets Mr Everett Forsyth….Intrigued? I was, right from the outset!!!

This book packs in a lot for 385 pages, some may argue to the detriment of some character/story depth…but that again is neither here or there.

The afterglow, though bittersweet is still really sweet & it leaves me wanting to hug most of the characters, even the nasty ones and I may add, they are downright catty…!

It did read like a bit of a fairytale at times but it didn’t detract from the storyline and on the occasion, early on, the viewpoint to which it was being narrated from/spoken got a little confusing. But that may have just been a mood thing on my part!

This is the perfect weekend read & if you are anything like me, I deliberately dragged it out a little bit! So if you want to get your teeth into a good condensed saga set in the mid 1900’s, you have reached your destination. Review by Sarah
(Posted on 2/06/2017)