When Ali inherits her great-aunt’s house she immediately moves her whole family in, despite the warnings that there is something strange about the place. Unfazed, Ali begins redecorating, going through the rooms, making each one her own with the help of her daughter, Kelly. But when under the wallpaper in Kelly’s new room they discover a scrawled message from 1944 Ali begins to question the history of the house as she knows it.
Her family has always seemed so picture perfect, not a blemish or a secret to be found. Yet, this discovery throws her into confusion and Ali begins to question exactly what she knows about her family and the mysteries they have kept.
‘The Pearl Locket’ is another delightful time slip story, which connects England 2014 with war torn England in 1944, when Joan met Jack and for a little while they found true love.
Ali wants to sell the house she inherited from her great aunt, even though it’s close to the seaside and much bigger than the rented accommodation where they currently reside. Pete her husband has other ideas and persuades Ali he can renovate the house so they can enjoy living in it, or sell it at a profit if they decide to. Ali agrees, with some reservations and the family move in.
Ali doesn’t worry about her daughter Kelly’s current obsession with the 1940’s until the past impedes on the future and threatens their family unity.
Joan and Jack’s wartime romance is poignant and gentle a reminder of sad times and sacrifice. The story within a story unfolds seamlessly and informs the present dilemma Kelly and her great grandmother Margaret experiences.
Kelly is sensitive to the house and its echoes of the past but Ali and Pete don’t understand what she is going through, until she takes drastic action. Kelly’s life parallels Joan’s, in many instances carefully interwoven into the story. There are plenty of unexpected plot twists and the empathy you feel with Joan peaks when her world falls apart.
Like The Emerald Comb’‘ the relationship between the female lead and her husband is strained and he comes across as a selfish individual, through her eyes.
This is classy women’s fiction with vivid characters and imagery, which bring the story to life; both in the contemporary setting and the past. This absorbing tale got me reaching for the tissues close to the end but it’s worth the tears.
Tragedy tempered with hope, connects the past with present in a realistically satisfying way and makes a great ending.
Read my 5* Review of ‘The Emerald Comb’