If you’re a devotee of historical fiction, then you will fall in love with this beautifully written novel. The French Secret is a highly entertaining family saga, which gives a very finely detailed and well-depicted portrayal of pre- and post-war France, Britain, and the USA. When young Clara leaves her parents in Preston and goes to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin in Brittany, her life takes a turn for the better. She quickly adapts to the French culture, works hard at her family’s bar and bakes for the local patisserie. When not working, she has a close circle of friends to call on and carves out an enviable life for any young girl. So it is little wonder she wants to remain in Brittany when her stay comes to an end three months later. Thankfully, she doesn’t return to the UK and her story takes on a new drama and depth that neither she nor her family could have ever predicted. With the onset of World War II, the arrival of Nazis in the village, British Intelligence connections, and a rollercoaster of emotions, young Clara quickly has some growing up to do. And when she becomes a mother, and a wife to an abusive husband, it seems that she is headed for tragedy. Will Clara ever find the happiness she deserves? Will she ever return home to see her parents? Will she be marred by tragedy forever? Find out all this and much, much more, in this gripping, romantic historical novel.