“I knew why I’d run away from Dublin, but I’d no idea why I chose here, and even if I had, I had no intention of explaining my reasons to strangers”
– Secrets in the Snow
[ About the Book ]
As the winter snow falls on the small Irish village of Ballybray, Roisin O’Connor and her young son, Ben, are saying goodbye to their beloved neighbour Mabel Murphy. Mabel lived a bold and colourful life, but the arrival of her brooding nephew, ‘blow-in’ Aidan Murphy, just makes life more complicated for Roisin.
However, in one final act of love, a message arrives from Mabel that changes everything. And as winter turns to spring and the cold snow melts, the secrets both Roisin and Aidan are hiding must be revealed at last…
[ My Review ]
Secrets in the Snow by Emma Heatherington was published with Harper Collins on October 15th and is described as ‘a heartwarming Christmas romance.’‘ We all need a little spark of romance in our lives and Emma Heatherington’s writing provides just that.
Roisin and her young son, Ben, are blow-ins to the small village of Ballybray. In a spontaneous decision, made literally by sticking a pin on the map of Ireland, Roisin decided it was time to move on following the passing of her husband. This move is necessary. A fresh start. New beginnings.
When Roisin first arrived at their new home she intended keeping to herself. She wanted to heal and move on from the past by cocooning herself and sheltering from the outside world. But her elderly neighbour Mabel Murphy had other plans. Mabel, now a widow and a native New Yorker, moved to Ireland years previously with her Irish husband. Following his passing, Mabel chose not to let grief stand in her way and continued her life with the same vigour and passion as before. When Mabel met Roisin, she could see the pain, but also the strength of this young woman and in her subtle way encouraged Roisin to take baby steps out into the community.
For Roisin, her life blossomed under Mabel’s guidance. Ben loved Mabel and a very special relationship developed between the two. Mabel became a very unexpected and important member of their family. But the years caught up with Mabel and her passing left a huge hole in the lives of Roisin and Ben. Neither could cope without this strong woman who had helped them navigate those very difficult years when they initially arrived at Ballybray. A stranger arrives at Mabel’s house with the intention of selling it and Roisin is distraught. In discovering that this stranger is Mabel’s nephew, the oft-talked about Aidan Murphy, Roisin soon finds herself part of a bigger plan, one that Mabel was orchestrating from beyond the grave.
We all need a Mabel Murphy in our lives. Her joie de vivre is contagious spilling out of the pages in all its form. Mabel leaves instructions for both Roisin and Aidan in the hope of providing much needed comfort for both after she dies. But Aidan is married and living in New York, with a successful career and a glittering lifestyle, leaving a village lifestyle behind him many years back. Roisin is frustrated by Aidan’s lack of patience for Mabel’s last wishes. She is angry at Aidan and at Mabel.
Aidan is a polished business man with a flashy cosmopolitan lifestyle. Roisin, in her own words ‘had a head full of muddle’ with a ‘boho, hippy appearance’ On paper they are poles apart. What is Mabel trying to achieve with her last message? Can this final act of love be just what Roisin needs? What is hiding underneath the defensive layers of these two very stubborn individuals?
Secrets in the Snow is a sweet read. Parts of the story are quite predictable but I do think that the reader is very much aware of this from the premise. I will admit that Roisin’s behaviour did irritate at times, as I felt she was perhaps pushing Aidan a bit too far, but it does add to the overall will-they-won’t-they aspect of the plot.
Secrets in the Snow is a feel-good read, a story about the importance of family, friendship and about opening your heart to the possibility of love. It is a charming read that will appeal to all looking to escape the harshness of reality. An engaging cosy read with some wonderful characters, in particular the gorgeous Mabel Murphy.
Heart-warming. Delightful. Uplifting.
[ Bio ]
Emma Heatherington has penned more than thirty educational short films, plays and musicals as well as eleven novels, two of which were written under the pseudonym Emma Louise Jordan.
She was ghost-writer to Irish country music legend Philomena Begley and Liverpool born Nathan Carter, whose autobiography Born for the Road was nominated for an Irish Book Award.
Emma’s novel, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, was an eBook bestseller in both the UK and US.
She lives in her native Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, with her partner Jim McKee and their children Jordyn, Jade, Dua lta, Adam and Sonny James.
Twitter ~ @emmalou13