Post Script: The Secret Years – Barbara Hannay

Australian Contemporary Fiction at its best!

Cover The Secret Years

The Secret Years

Barbara Hannay

Penguin Books

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143799733

 

 

Description:

When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather Harry’s World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as ‘George’ and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy’s family history that has been kept a mystery . . . until now.

 

How did a cattleman from north Queensland find forbidden love with the Honourable Georgina Lenton of London and persuade her to move to his isolated outback property? And why are the effects of this encounter still reverberating in the lives of Lucy and her mother, Rose, now?

 

As the passions of the past trickle down the years, three generations of one family pull together. Each must learn in their own way how true love can conquer the greatest challenges of all.

 

From the wild beauty of the Australian bush to England’s rugged south coast, this is a deeply moving story of heartbreak, heroism and homecoming by a beloved, multi-award-winning author.

 

 

 

My View:

Barbara Hannay writes beautiful visuals of rural and remote Australia, in particular the thriving military town that is Townsville with its beautiful Strand and bustling city scapes to far north Queensland with its picturesque cattle properties, where “Big mobs of silvery Braham cattle grazed, and telegraph poles tracked the straight line of the Flinders Highway into the shimmering distance till they looked like mere wisps of smoke.”(p.348); such beautiful visuals forever remind me of Queensland.

 

The dual storylines – of George and Harrys’ early life during and after WW11 and Lucy’s current life, add many more destinations to the mix – we have London in the time of air raids and blackouts and the rugged Cornwall coast when Lucy visits England researching her family’s history, we have war zones past and present – Harry fought in many places including Tobruk, Kokoda and New Britain (an island of Papua New Guinea) and we have Lucy and Simon’s service in Afghanistan; so much information, travel and history is packed into this book.

 

Lots of travel, a fast moving and engaging narrative that reflects on times past and present , on families and choices, cultures and wars and the relationships that shape us and bind us to the land and characters you will warm to, this is a remarkable book. And did I mention the romance? Nick Myatt sets new standards for the male love interest in rural romances.

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Post Script: The Secret Years – Barbara Hannay

  1. This one sounds like one of those ‘generational’ stories that tell about a family over several decades, and they can be compelling. And the contrast between WWII London and North Queensland sounds particularly interesting. I’m glad you thought this was a good ‘un, Carol.

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