The best kept secrets are waiting to be found.
With an air of faded splendour, Willoughby Manor was an idyllic childhood home to Ruben De Lacy. Gazing at it now, decades later, the memories are flooding back, and not all of them are welcome…
In a tumbledown cottage in Willoughby’s grounds, Dolly and Olive King lived with their eccentric explorer father. One of the last things he did was to lay a treasure hunt before he died, but when events took an unexpected turn, Dolly and Olive left Willoughby for good, never to complete it.
But when Ruben uncovers a secret message, hidden for decades, he knows he needs Olive and Dolly’s help. Can the three of them solve the treasure hunt, and will piecing together the clues help them understand what happened to their families that summer, all those years ago?
A glorious summer read with a delightful cast of characters from the bestselling author of The Summer We Ran Away.
I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
A crumbling house full of faded glory and painful memories is what greets Ruben when he returns to his childhood home the last time before he sells it. He’s a father, but this is not something he excels at, so forgetting he is looking after his daughter for two weeks is nothing new. When they discover the first clue to a treasure hunt, his childhood and teenage memories come flooding back and make him contact Dolly and Olive, his two fellow treasure hunters.
Olive has settled for comfort and doesn’t realise it until her lover leaves her for someone else. Ruben’s request stirs up old memories but is she brave enough to face them. Dolly is driven and dangerous. When she’s suspended from the job she loves with her annoying partner, an invitation back to her childhood is the best on offer.
This is an emotional and entertaining story. The soul-searching, acceptance and forgiveness unfold in a heartwarming way. It examines relationships, family, first love and friendships. There is gentle romance for the two couples and the building of a daughter and father bond. The characters are easy to empathise with, even Ruben, as his past is revealed. There is mystery, secrets and tragedy revealed in a story full of sensory imagery and believable emotions.
A charming Summer read with engaging characters.