Set in London during the Second World War this second novel from the talented Caroline Beecham uncovers secrets of the past, which are best resolved in order to safeguard the future.
When Kathryn receives a letter from her beloved grandmother asking her to return to England to help sort out what seems to be a bit of a mystery attached to a painting titled The Crimson Dawn by war artist Jack Valente, she is a little curious about why this painting is so very important. As it was given to her many years before by her grandmother she is asked to bring the painting with her.
Feeling somewhat torn between her own marital issues in Melbourne and her desire to return once again to the familiarity of England to see her Grandmother, Kathryn chooses to go and hopes that in doing so she can come to a decision about her own marriage and future.
As she becomes more and more involved with her grandmothers past, she begins to understand that she and the rest of the family had very little knowledge about the role her grandmother held during the Second World War and her deep love of a man, artist Jack Valente.
Katheryn slowly begins to understand that Eleanor, a talented artist, desperately wanted to become one of a very few women who went to the front as a war artist, but unwittingly and unknowingly became embroiled in a situation that would have long lasting consequences.
Puzzling, emotional and confrontational, the days of war time London begin to emerge from the mists of the past, to present a canvas of immense love and loss as Eleanor falls deeply in love, Jack is sent on a mission never to return and the world of power and corruption sees Eleanor as a single mother, in a time when this was a serious breach of societies standards.
Beautifully written with a gentle understanding, transitioning seamlessly between the war years and 2010, Eleanor’s Secret was and is something that could have and most probably did happen too many during the adrenalin filled years’ of wartime London; when life was lived on the edge, men held the power and used it as they saw fit.
Caroline Beecham has uncovered the world of the War time artists in Britain, the backstory to this little known group of people, and the Committee of whom held immense power and influence. To prevent all the talent in the art world being drafted for the war effort the War Artists Advisory Committee was established during World War 1, remaining as a powerful collective throughout the following years until it was dissolved in 1945,having amassed a collection of more the 5,570 works by noted artists.
In Eleanor’s Secret, Beecham has presented a slice of history that was little known but is completely fascinating.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|