Do you believe in fairies?
This is the premise of this enchanting novel from Hazel Gaynor, which draws part of the plot from the real-life story of the Cottingley Fairies. When I heard about this book I was intrigued as to the direction Hazel Gaynor would take it. And I wasn't disappointed!
In present-day Ireland, Olivia Kavanagh inherits her grandfather's secondhand bookshop. Olivia is at a crossroads in her life. She's engaged to be married, the date is hurtling towards her, and she's inundated with emails from her wedding planner. She certainly doesn't have time to revitalise a failing bookshop. But amongst the clutter she discovers a manuscript written by Frances Griffiths, about her life in Yorkshire, England, at the beginning of the 20th century.
I found it hard to decide which timeline I liked the best, and in the end I couldn't! I loved hearing about Frances's life, and how she and her cousin inadvertently became involved in what was to be known as one of the greatest hoaxes of the 20th century, and why it was so important for the people of that time to believe in magic. I also enjoyed how Olivia, in the present-day, rediscovered her true self and realised what was really important to her. I particularly loved the description of the bookshop (it reminded me a bit of You've Got Mail), and the characters of Ross and Iris.
The Cottingley Secret is a truly enchanting story and I absolutely loved it! I would recommend it to anyone who loves reading historical stories with a little bit of a mystery, or quirky tales with engaging characters and more than a sprinkling of magic! One of my favourites this year. It's like a hug in a book, and made me feel all warm and fuzzy!
At the time of writing, the ebook is available as a 99p download on Kindle.