A tightly woven story full of secrets and lies with a breathtaking finale. London 1920 – Troubled young dancer, Lily, is invited to remote Elmridge House, home of the wealthy theatre benefactor Dr Cuthbertson to escape her troubled past. An isolated guest room and a surprise pregnancy leave her longing to return to the stage and her London life. She soon discovers that Elmridge House is not all that it seems – the house holds secrets which make it difficult for her to leave. Missensham 1942 – Young nurse Ivy Watts is called out to a patient at Elmridge House, home of the aloof Mrs Cuthbertson and reclusive Dr Cuthbertson. Ivy is entranced by the opulence of the house and its glamorous past, but when she tells her mother about Mrs Cuthbertson, her mother becomes fearful and forbids her from returning to the house. What secrets does Elmridge House hold? And why does Ivy’s mother live in fear of the mysterious Mrs Cuthbertson?
Ever since I read The Liar back in 2016, I have been waiting for Jennifer Well’s new book every year with eager anticipation. The Murderess was another great addition to her Missensham series last year. Don’t worry, even though these books are set in the same location and time period, the stories are completely independent (although there were mentions of The Murderess in this new book, which was super smart!).
The Secret is the new psychological thriller / historical saga by Jennifer Wells. It is a weird combination, but just like in The Cursed Wife by Pamela Hartshorne, there are some gifted writers that combine both genres beautifully. Jennifer is my favorite. She’s not only a wonderful writer, but she’s super nice and sweet if you reach out to her.
I don’t want to say much about the plot, only the basics. This is the story of Ivy, a young nurse who starts unconvering her mother’s life secrets when she meets Mrs Cuthbertson, a mysterious woman who lives at Elmridge House. But who exactly is Mrs Cuthbertson? And why is her mother so adamant that she never sees her again?
This book, like her previous two, has a somewhat complex structure with two different timelines narrated by two different characters: Ivy (the daughter) and Lily (the mother). And like in The Murderess, the book is filled with twists, so it’s quite an exciting adventure. I admit that I thought I had everything figured out when suddenly my suspicions became true at around 50%. And I thought: well, this cannot be it. Of course it wasn’t! How did I ever doubt Jennifer Well’s twisty talents? By the time I reached the ending, my mind was completely blown and I wanted to recommend this book to everyone.
I feel like some of you don’t give these books a chance because of the cover, but you are missing out on great suspenseful stories that will shock you more than once.
Have you read any of Jennifer Wells novels? Are you planning to do so? Let me know! 💙