A Mother’s Secret

Written by Dilly Court
Review by Ann Northfield

If you like books with a pretty girl on the front dressed in period costume looking meaningful and mysterious, perhaps Mills & Boon, then maybe this bodice-heaving saga type book is for you. It wasn’t for me.

Seventeen-year-old Belinda Phillips in India falls in love with a handsome Anglo-Indian officer and ends up having his illegitimate daughter. Believing him to be killed in action, she marries a rich widower and reluctantly gives her child to a foster mother in a rough area of London. She cannot keep the child as her husband would be angry and she would lose her place in society. The child, Cassy, survives her brutal and neglected upbringing and is reunited with her mother, only to suffer further troubles and tribulations when her mother becomes poor.

The cardboard characters and hard-to-believe plot were not the worst things about this novel. Reading sentences such as ‘She knew for a certainty that Cade loved her mother truly and deeply, and their love would last for eternity. Tears flowed down her cheeks but they were tears of joy’ made it difficult to keep going at times. My tears reading it were not those of joy. This author has written about twelve other novels and also writes under the name of Lily Baxter, so clearly there is a market for these novels. Strictly for fans of this genre only, I’m afraid.