Title: The Secrets of Saffron Hall
Author: Clare Marchant
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance
Goodreads Rating: 4.32
Two women. Five centuries apart.
One life-changing secret about to be unearthed…
Though Eleanor is not wealthy, the saffron spice she grows for her new husband is more valuable than gold. But as his reputation in Henry’s court soars, Eleanor soon understands that she has entered into a dangerous game. The king’s affections do not last forever, and she must do anything to protect her family.
Following a tragedy, Amber channels her grief into cataloguing her grandfather’s library. When she finds an ancient book that reveals a dark secret, she feels compelled to investigate. But as the truth begins to unravel, she realises the answers to Eleanor’s story lie closer to home than she could have ever imagined…
A gripping dual timeline historical novel about a mother’s love and hope in the darkest of times, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Kathryn Hughes.
I read this book with some of my book club buddy’s. A lot of us enjoy historical fiction and were desperate to give this one a go. I managed to pick it up for 99p on Amazon and I have Clare Marchant’ latest one to read too (which is out this month)!
What I love about historical fiction is the way it conveys how family tragedy and secrets can continue for centuries, connecting us all with invisible strings. Clare Marchant demonstrates this in abundance with Eleanor and Amber’s story. These two women have so much in common and whilst they never knew each other. their connection was clear from the start. After discovering Eleanor’s diary Amber throws herself into discovering what happened at Saffron Hall during King Henry VIII’s reign. This provides the perfect distraction for Amber, who is trying to run away from dealing with her own recent tragedy.
I loved Eleanor and the way she took control of Saffron Hall. For someone so young and new to life as a married woman she certainly took to being lady of the manor. She was a brilliant wife and a great mother to all the children but I loved her passion about growing the saffron the most. The process and work she put into and the fact that it was very successful showed something not heard of in 1500’s, women providing for their families. I’m a sucker for anything Tudor related but this was a story told from the outside of the King’s court. It was refreshing to have a story from the outsider’s POV and see how Henry VIII’s actions spread far and wide.
The dual timeline was addictive and I honestly felt that I was there with Amber trying to unravel the mystery. When the final secrets were revealed it was heart breaking but there was also a sense of relief that Eleanor could finally rest knowing her story had been told.
This is a must read for all historical fiction fans. History, drama, mystery, secrets. What more could you ask for?