Blog Tour,  Women's Fiction

Book Review – The Secret – Katharine Johnson

The Secret by Katharine Johnson

Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

Swathi’s Rating: 4/5

SO, I was a day late to complete reading the book – thus the delay in my Blog Tour spot. But hey, I am super excited to share my review today and introduce this Historic literature to all of you! Read along the plot and UK people can enter to win an exclusive Giveaway from the author! Cheers!!


Love, Lies, and Betrayal in Wartime Italy.

Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences.

Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War, friendship is tested, and loyalties are divided until a chance encounter changes everything.

Their lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house in their Tuscan mountain village, while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher.

But neither marriage nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind.

Decades later, a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby, whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds among the next generation.

Purchase Link –


Swathi’s Review:

I’ve not read Katharine’s previous book The Silence yet, but when I started reading The Silence, I just knew I will enjoy it! Yes, there are a few characters that continue from the first book, but the author has splendidly plotted their arrival in an entirely different timeline ensuring the secrets are haunting from that point of time!

The plot journeys around the lives and secrets of three women – Irene, Sonia and Martina, shuffling between past and present. Set in a beautiful Tuscan Village of Santa Zita, the writing is brilliant and pleasant to teleport smoothly to the times of Second World War. The development of characters are pretty complex and demand to be known more about their lives. There is so much history that ties them together through all these times. It’s that smooth transformation that I loved in the storytelling of Katherine. I think it’s not an easy thing to do, considering the varying time frames.

The character of Martina is narrated by her own self as well from the words of Irena which makes the reader to judge her for her actions, which include a long lasting betrayal that seems to affect a lot of lives in the village. Most of all, I hated her and can’t imagine why anyone would do such an act.

The Secret is a complex web of well-developed characters, each of whom carry a secret of their own dating back from the World War 2 and connects to the present day. The story glides smoothly and the skilful words of Katharine effortlessly teleports the readers between the different time frames. A highly recommended Novel for History lovers. I can’t wait to read what she writes next!

My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and Katherine Johnson for my copy of the book, and the Blog Tour spot. All opinions are mine and they are unbiased.

Author Bio:

Katharine Johnson likes writing about ordinary people who through a character flaw or bad decision find themselves in extraordinary situations. She’s a journalist living in Berkshire, England with her family and springy spaniel. When she’s not writing you’ll find her exploring cities, visiting old houses, playing netball, eating cake or restoring her house in Italy which is nothing like Villa Leonida.

Social Media Links –


Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed copy of The Secret and 1 x Signed Copy of The Silence (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.

Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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