Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, New Books, Romance

The Drowned Village Norma Curtis 4*#Review #Audiobook #Review @TheNormaCurtis @bookouture #WW2 #Wales #historicalfiction #contemporaryfiction #romance #relationships #secrets #lies #loss #TheDrownedVillage

She’s guarded her secret for a lifetime. He’s not ready to let go.

Sixty-five years ago. Pushing aside drooping hollyhocks, Elin Jenkins tosses back her dark hair and runs up the familiar path to the tiny village of Capel Celyn, past the mossy graveyard with its crumbling stones, towards the farm that’s been in her family for generations. Laughing, Al catches her around the waist, squeezing her tight. ‘Marry me,’ he whispers. ‘I’ll use my Navy liberty leave, we’ll go ask your parents. I don’t want this to end.’ Tears prick her eyes as she smiles up at him.

Three days later, Al is on his ship back to Pennsylvania. And in the months that follow, Elin’s frantic telegrams to him go unanswered. Then she receives the wedding invitation. Scribbled on the back are three words: No hard feelings.

Present-day. Al Locke, retired Navy Captain, smooths his silver hair and finishes up with a spritz of aftershave. With a spring in his step he hasn’t had for decades, he sets off up the well-worn track through the valley. As he rounds the last bend, his heart begins to race. He has no doubt he will meet her in the village today. He will, at last, hear the horrible truth of what happened to Elin after he left, and he’ll confess why he couldn’t face coming back… until now.

As Al crests the final, familiar hill, a startling brightness draws him in like a vision. Before him, a glittering lake fills the entire valley. The pretty stone village of Capel Celyn, and all traces of Elin, are gone…

A beautiful and heartbreaking story about lost love, forgiveness and family secrets.

(Previously titled The Captain’s Wife)

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Bookouture Audio via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story works well as an audiobook. The narrator brings each of the main characters to life in a believable way, drawing the reader into their world. It’s a dual timeline story set in WW2 and the postwar period and then in present times. The revised title is apt because it concentrates on the opposition to a proposed reservoir that involved the drowning of the village.

The story’s heart is the short and tragic romance between a young village girl Elin and an American Navy sailor, Al. The novel captures the intensity of their relationship and its sad aftermath beautifully. This story has a mystery, friendship, lies, and secrets and shows first love can resonate for a lifetime.

The gently paced story is full of emotion and historical detail. The ending is poignantly romantic yet realistic.


Author, blogger and book reviewer. I am the author of 'The Dragon Legacy' series and 'The Dangerous Gift'. Animal welfare supporter. Loves reading, writing, countryside walks, cookery and gardening, .

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