You Let Me Go

Written by Eliza Graham
Review by Susan Sandberg

The title of this combination of historical fiction and modern mystery reflects the confusion of Morie, the protagonist, who is angry because her grandmother, Rozenn, cut her out of her will, leaving her Cornwall cottage solely to Morie’s older sister. She is jealous over Gwen’s inheritance, successful career, and happy marriage while her own business and love life are in tatters. Sibling rivalry and family mysteries drive the dual narratives separated by nearly 80 years. The early story begins in 1941 Paris with teenage Rozenn forced to relocate to rural Brittany with her family to flee German occupation and hide family secrets. The locals are suspicious of strangers, the Germans, and each other. A trusting Rozenn falls in love with a local and joins a covert operation intended to help her family, which ends in disaster.

In the contemporary narrative, Morie goes to Brittany to find out more about her grandmother’s mysterious life. The author writes lush descriptions of summer in Brittany with colorful flowers, natural fragrances, and sun sparkling on the sea. These chapters read like a taut, well-crafted detective story. Morie follows clues, unravels her complicated family history in Brittany, and learns sibling rivalry runs in the family. She discovers that mistakes and misunderstandings have been passed from generation to generation, and family stories about relatives were not always true. The older narrative about Rozenn is in third person, and the newer one in first person through Morie. The author smoothly weaves the two stories together into one fascinating family history spanning the decades. Readers might feel inspired to explore their own family histories in hopes of a positive outcome.