The Secret Shore by Liz Fenwick is an absolutely marvellous historical tale. It will educate you as you read as the novel is grounded in fact.
Liz Fenwick has woven an epic tale with true life figures from World War II. Readers will instantly recognize the name Ian Flemming but many other characters were real too.
The tale is spun around Merry, a skilled cartographer who is remarkable at her craft. Special operatives relied on her eye for detail to make sorties into occupied France.
We see how difficult life was for women, having to choose between love or career. Women had opportunities in war to excel but were returned to the lesser positions in peacetime.
Life was difficult for homosexuals. We follow a couple of ladies who have to behave very differently outside their home. They have to deny who they really are.
The women in the novel are incredibly brave and very clever. They have huge hearts that help others in need.
Special operations were made by small groups. Here, bonds were made for life. When bad news must be given, it is best that it comes from a friend, with love.
All the characters were well drawn, realistic and likable. The reader cares about their plights.
Liz Fenwick has written comprehensive descriptions of the landscape. The Cornish coast comes alive for the reader.
The novel has the theme of home. Home is not just bricks and mortar. Home is where your heart is and it is where people love you.
The Secret Shore was an incredible read. It awakened all my senses. It was a celebration of the women in war who were so very brave, whether on the home front or working. I am sad that it is now ended.
I received a free copy via the publishers. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.