Book Review · Books

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke [BOOK REVIEW]

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke [BOOK REVIEW]


I really enjoyed reading Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke. This book was an emotional rollercoaster, and I enjoyed every minute of that ride! Thank you to the team at Muddy Pearl Books, for sending me a copy of this book.

It’s a beautiful, but painfully raw story about a war that not only made people’s lives miserable, but also left painful wounds for generations to bear as well!


Hannah Sterling was never close with her mother. And when her mum dies, Hannah learns she left secret letters for her. Intrigued to find out what her mum was hiding from her, Hannah travels to Germany, to meet the grandfather she never knew she had.

Thirty years earlier, during the second world war, in Germany, Lieselotte’s father is being promoted in his ranks of the Nazi party. He also wants his daughter to marry, as any good and reputable woman should. But Lukas, the man she loves, is not an ideal match that will keep his reputation intact. How far is he prepared to go, to ensure his daughter’s cooperation?

My Thoughts:

Secrets She Kept is written in two timelines, thirty years apart, and this was an instant hit for me. I love stories that go back and forth, with characters that are connected, and in the end, the timelines’ plots meet and reveal the full story and solve the mystery. This story was written from Hannah’s and Lieselotte’s perspectives, a daughter and a mother, both struggling in their own way. Lieselotte, trying to fight a corrupt system and help people she is forbidden to help, and Hannah, trying desperately to re-connect with her mother and get to know her more through her past.

The Second World War is still a sensitive and painful topic to discuss in the world. Too many innocent people lost their lives. And many that managed to survive were never reunited with their families. This story is about all the pain, all the grief, and all the tragedy it caused, and about a love story that could never be.

The characters in this book are written perfectly.

I was about to say that you can relate to them, but no one could relate to people that have been in those terrible camps and suffered such terror. However, Cathy brings this experience to the reader in such a way that you cannot help but fell as if you are there, suffering with them. The post-war Germany was very realistic as well, especially people’s experiences. It showed how people can manage their grief, their regrets, or how they are able to live, knowing their older generations did terrible things to innocent people. You can see that best in Hannah, when she desperately wants to help people that have been hurt. But how can you help a person, that has lost everything already?

This book made me cry so many times. It is so raw and hard to take in, and it takes a toll on you when you read. But it speaks so loud about things that happened, which shouldn’t happen, and about people’s experiences. When I was reading it, I felt as if I was there myself.

Secrets She Kept is a truly magnificent book that I wholeheartedly recommend. It is emotional and contains a lot of intriguing secrets that you, as a reader, will be slowly uncovering. I loved it, and I hope that people will continue to share these stories. A lot of bad things happened to innocent people, and that should never be forgotten, no matter how hard it may be to tell.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

Nemesis (Tom Wilde #3) by Rory Clements

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Nemesis is the third book from the Tom Wilde series by Rory Clements. I haven’t read the previous two books, and I also haven’t read any books from Rory Clements before. I received this book through ReadersFirst, and I will be honest, I was quite reluctant to read it. You already know my opinion on reading sequels before reading the previous books – but I went in blind in this book.

The blue cover is simply gorgeous and I knew it was a thriller and a mystery, so I decided this was enough to get me going. If this book review ever captures your attention, I advise you to also go in blind. I think going blind made me enjoy this book even more.

The fact that this is a third book in a series doesn’t mean anything. The only similarity with the other books is the main character. Almost the same basis as Dan Brown’s series and his professor Robert Langdon. The books are entirely standalones.

It is very hard to reveal what the plot is about without spoiling the fun. Tom Wilde is a university professor and one of his very talented students, Marcus, has left to join the International Brigades in Spain. Now, two years after, he is in trouble, and Tom helps him come home.

Meanwhile, numerous things happen, involving World War 2 Politics and propaganda, and in these times, no one knows who to trust. And when Tom Wilde finds himself in great danger, who will help him? And who does he needs to be afraid from? Has maybe helping Marcus been his greatest mistake?

Nemesis is full of suspense from the very first chapter, and the thing I loved the most about it was that the chapters are quite short, and always leave you hanging, hungry to find out more. Every word that Rory Clements types had a meaning and a purpose in this book, and that was the bit I admired the most.

The time setting revolves around the Second World War – a subject I don’t often read about. I can’t judge about the historical fiction element. However I do know that while I am a person that doesn’t enjoy war books, this one struck me in a nice way. The war setting was very well written, and you could even feel the atmosphere around it. The ending was pleasantly surprising and it involved a mystery I could simply not resist.

I will definitely read more books by Rory Clements, as I really enjoy the writing. If you enjoy thrillers and if you are a fan of Dan Brown, you will probably enjoy Nemesis a lot!

Buy Links: Amazon UK * Amazon US

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