The Forgotten Village

Written by Lorna Cook
Review by Lisa Redmond

In the present day, Melissa hopes a short break on the Dorset coast with boyfriend Liam will help them reconnect while she reassesses her career following redundancy. Instead she is left to her own devices as an increasingly distant Liam spends his time surfing and seeing old friends. So she takes a trip to Tyneham, a village that was requisitioned during the Second World War. Here she meets Guy, a handsome TV historian, and becomes intrigued by a photograph of an unknown woman – Lady Veronica – taken on the day the village was handed over to the army. Moving back to 1943, we meet Veronica herself. She is packing up her belongings ready to leave Tyneham but, unlike the villagers, Veronica has no intention of returning.

Lorna Cook’s debut novel is a dual time tale, a device familiar to and beloved by fans of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore and Kath McGurl, and a format that’s popular amongst writers of both historical romance and historical mystery. It relies on the writer getting the balance between both stories exactly right and maintaining the tension as the narrative moves from one to the other. Lorna Cook gets this balance just right, ensuring that both strands are compelling and making this a fantastic page turner full of romance and mystery. It is a perfect holiday read.