Secrets and Lies
This story transports you into the very different worlds of London and Sydney, Australia, during the Depression era through the eyes of best friends Esmé and Minnie. One was raised in an orphanage with her siblings following the tragic death of her parents, and one would like nothing better than to move forward into an adventurous adult world, leaving her dysfunctional family behind her. Both girls have just completed nursing school, and Minnie suggests that they sign on for a cruise bound for Australia, working for the passage as a nurse and as a dancer. Relationships form on this cruise that will change their futures.
This impetuous life-changing trip does not sit well with Esmé’s older sister, Livia, and her second husband, who put her through nursing school in hopes that she would settle near the family. Livia holds her family very close, and her daughter by her first marriage even closer. There is a hint of a family secret and a lie that cut off her young daughter from her only living grandparent. When Esmé comes home for a visit, she finds herself caught in the middle. She then returns to Australia to help Minnie, who has made some bad choices, and together they rise up to conquer adversities and move forward with people and surprising events, which complete this story in a most satisfying way.
Secrets and Lies is a terrific novel. It is rich in characters and their relationships and interactions with one another and was very difficult to put down. I found it interesting to see how the Depression affected Australia and the UK, and the industry and life in Sydney and the rural areas are filled with detail and authenticity.