From the outset Leo captures your attention as more than just a romantic heroine. With ambition drive emotion glamour and bravado beyond her sex and years in the era in the in which she forges a future, it just makes you keep reading when it’s 11.30 and your going to be woken by the baby at 4am!
I adored Natasha's previous novel, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, and I think Her Mother's Secret is even better. Although both novels are set in New York in the 1920s, they are independent stories of independent women with no crossover (though I think you should read them both).
I found this story emotionally engaging from the beginning. I was intrigued to see how the romance would be resolved, at one point I couldn't see any way for it to work out. I loved Leo's strong character and her drive to achieve against all odds. The novel was well researched and the portrayal of day to day life in the 1920s was authentic and fascinating. And the plot twists... Kept me turning the pages.
The perfect red lipstick may be a different shade for different women, but this is a book that would suit everyone.
This is a story about a brave young woman who is chasing her dream in the face of society’s disapproval.
Recommended to mothers who enjoy Historical Fiction, this story is set in 3 different eras: 1918 England, 1920’s and takes you through to the 1930’s. At a time of celebration, tragedy strikes and this story takes you through a woman’s struggle and strength that leaves you asking.. can you guess her mother’s secret? Beautifully and elegantly written, you can also see the work and effort that was put into this book for historical accuracy that is intertwined with the fictional plot. Beautiful read.
Many thanks to Hachette Publishers for providing me with an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
This is my first book from Natasha Lester, but I can definitely say that it won't be my last.
I am not a big fan of historical romance (not that I don't read any, but am picky with what I do read), however I was swept away along with Leo in Her Mother's Secret.
From the first word to the last, I was taken on an amazing journey. Leo's transformation from small town English girl to New York society fashion/cosmetics icon is sweet, heartbreaking but also full of hope.
I loved Leo's tenacity, the drive to make it in the male-centric world of make up and manufacturing. How she gave them the big middle finger and proved herself.
There were lots of twists and turns, and there were a few things that I thought I knew then BAM ms Lester threw a curve ball at us.
It did take me a little while to pick up and start reading this book (nothing about the book, just time constraints) however once I picked it up, I couldn't stop reading.
Not to go back and read more of her beautiful work
It has been quite awhile since I've picked up a historical romance, and Her Mother's Secret did not dissapoint. Natasha Lester has created a beautiful and emotional tale of sacrifice, heartbreak and love. Underlying this story of perseverance and following your dreams, is an engaging and captivating tale with details of this era interwoven and wonderfully and vividly described.
Leonora 'Leo' is an incredibly endearing, resilient, tenacious, and determined character. She faces many hardships and heartbreak throughout this story and her strength of character, kept me completely enthralled. I read this book in one sitting and look forward to reading more of Ms. Lester's work in the future.
Paperback EditionReview At first, I thought this was going to be a predictable read, but as the chapters flew by, the plot turned this way and that, and every time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, a clever little twist popped up to fool me.
I really started to enjoy the book from the moment that Leo landed in New York and found lodgings and work in China Town. This is where Leo's strong character shines through, by choosing to live in a cheap rent area and by working at menial jobs, Leo flew in the face of social norms, but running the risk of social ostracism did not deter her.
Known for her diligent research, author Natasha Lester really comes in to her own when describing historical settings: the street vendors, the stores and their wares, and, notably, the wonderful descriptions of the fashions, each dress so beautifully described that the reader can all but see them.
I loved reading about how things were made and how things were done, how the cosmetic packagings were designed and manufactured, and who knew what it took to dress the window of a big store!
For me, it is all the wonderful historical detail that elevates this book above and beyond others of this genre. It is lovely to escape to this wonderful world that Natasha Lester builds for her readers. At one point though, the book does take a significant leap forward in time where the storyline changes to another character. This did interrupt the flow for me, it sort of jolted me out of the story and it took time to settle back into it.
I highly recommend “Her Mothers Secret” to those who love a well written, well researched and heartwarming story.
5 Emotional Stars - Wow what a wonderfully beautiful story! I LOVED this delightful novel if I could I would rate it more than 5 stars. I devoured this book which I found once I started I did not want to put it down. It was intriguing and I loved every character which made up this novel told from Leonora's perspective. The story spans from 1918 in a small town in England where Leonora aka Leo is a nineteen year old lady working in her fathers chemist shop where she sells cosmetics to army nurses. It spans through to 1939 in New York City where the battle still exists in Leo's fight to prove that cosmetics are not only for women of the night. Words cannot express the emotions I experienced throughout this book. I was on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. My heart broke many times for Leo but she is one very determined lady. I don't want to give away too much you just have to experience this wonderful story that Natasha Lester has given us which captures the historical era absolutely perfectly! I have already purchased a few copies for family and friends and I recommend this book to everyone. I cannot wait to see what this Author comes up with next. I loved A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald which I thought could not be topped but this book is even better. Definitely one of my all time favourite Authors which I will read all of her books.
This was another terrific historical romance novel by the talented Natasha Lester.
I quite liked 'A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald', but it's fair to say, I loved 'Her Mother's Secret', which has all the expected ingredients for this genre - interesting protagonists, strong adversaries, passionate love, secrets and coincidences - but it's the way that Natasha Lester packaged and mixed all these ingredients that make this novel an enthralling read.