The Secret Book of Flora Lea: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


A dual-timeline historical mystery based on World War 2's Operation Pied Piper.  The story centers around Hazel and Flora, two children sent as evacuees to the countryside in England at the start of the war. Flora goes missing one day on the banks of the River Thames, and is presumed drowned. 20 years later Hazel, who now works in a Rare Book Shop, receives a copy of a book that could only have been written by her sister, or someone who knows her and sets off on a quest to find Flora. A beautifully written and compelling novel about the stories that change our lives.  I couldn't put it down!

                                            -  Polly

 

— From Polly's Favorites

May 2023 Indie Next List


“This book is pure magic about the power of story, the bond between sisters, hope, perseverance, mystery, and an unexpected twist. Not to be missed, it may be Patti Callahan Henry’s best yet!”
— Pam Sparks, Covered Treasures Bookstore, Monument, CO

Description


When a woman discovers a rare book with connections to her past, long-held secrets about her missing sister and their childhood in the English countryside during World War II are revealed in this “beguiling blend of hope, mystery, and true familial love” (Sadeqa Johnson, New York Times bestselling author).

In the war-torn London of 1939, fourteen-year-old Hazel and five-year-old Flora are evacuated to a rural village to escape the horrors of the Second World War. Living with the kind Bridie Aberdeen and her teenage son, Harry, in a charming stone cottage along the River Thames, Hazel fills their days with walks and games to distract her young sister, including one that she creates for her sister and her sister alone—a fairy tale about a magical land, a secret place they can escape to that is all their own.

But the unthinkable happens when young Flora suddenly vanishes while playing near the banks of the river. Shattered, Hazel blames herself for her sister’s disappearance, and she carries that guilt into adulthood as a private burden she feels she deserves.

Twenty years later, Hazel is in London, ready to move on from her job at a cozy rare bookstore to a career at Sotheby’s. With a charming boyfriend and her elegantly timeworn Bloomsbury flat, Hazel’s future seems determined. But her tidy life is turned upside down when she unwraps a package containing an illustrated book called Whisperwood and the River of Stars. Hazel never told a soul about the imaginary world she created just for Flora. Could this book hold the secrets to Flora’s disappearance? Could it be a sign that her beloved sister is still alive after all these years?

As Hazel embarks on a feverish quest, revisiting long-dormant relationships and bravely opening wounds from her past, her career and future hang in the balance. Spellbinding and atmospheric, “this heartrending, captivating tale of family, first love, and fate will sweep you away” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).

About the Author


Patti Callahan Henry is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of several novels, including Surviving Savannah and Becoming Mrs. Lewis. She is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year Award, and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year. She is the cohost and cocreator of the popular weekly online live web show and podcast Friends and Fiction. A full-time author and mother of three, she lives in Alabama and South Carolina with her family. Find out more at PattiCallahanHenry.com.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781668011843
ISBN-10: 1668011840
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 384
Language: English