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The Secrets We Share by Emma Hannigan

The Secrets We Share

Family Drama   All Shortlists and Winners   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   
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Winner Epic category Romantic Novel of the Year 2016 .

Returning with another warm and delightful tale, Emma Hannigan, much loved author of The Summer Guest, will delight fans of Patricia Scanlan and Cathy Kelly with this big-hearted novel of Ireland. Clara, two years a widow, decides she must try and contact her estranged son Max who walked out of the family twenty years ago. She writes to Max’s daughter Nathalie and catches the teenage girl at a crisis time. Her grandmother offers the perfect escape. A bond quickly develops between the two especially as they both excel in quilting. Nathalie finds a tin of letters in the sewing room and so discovers some dark family secrets dating back to before World War II. It is pretty obvious Clara left the tin for Nathalie to find but it has the desired effect. Much drama and revelation ensues and a satisfactory ending is nicely arrived at. All good fun.

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
‘From the moment Emma shared with me her inspiration for her new novel, I knew we had something truly special on our hands. The Secrets We Share was inspired by Emma’s Austrian grandmother’s story. On the day of Emma’s twenty-first birthday, her Oma (German for grandmother) whispered to her that her gift was not one she could unwrap. It was something far more precious – her story. She told Emma things she had never told anyone else before. At the heart of Emma’s novel lies the warmth, wisdom and love of her grandmother – and the secrets you’ll want to share…’
Sherise Hobbs, Associate Publisher, Headline

If you like Emma Hannigan you might also like to read books by Patricia Scanlan, Cathy Kelly and Maeve Binchy.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.  You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Joan Sidwell - 'It is beautifully told, full of warmth, I wanted to visit Clara’s house and peep into the sewing room...a book to curl up with and savour, highly recommended.'
  • Lesley Hart - 'I really enjoyed this well written story of a family healing itself, after 20 years of silence, through the connection made by a grieving grandmother and the granddaughter she meets as a young adult.'
  • Wendy Stubbs - 'The best read so far from Emma Hannigan. Captivated from the start, I was engrossed in an intertwining story of generations. The love between the estranged family members enraptured me.'
  • Ruth - 'This book is a mesmerising story about love, self-discovery and the torment of loss and grief.   A gem of a book, worth keeping on the shelves for a second read in the future.'
  • Celeste McCreesh - 'I didn't just like it, I really LOVED it...So grab this book, curl up on the couch and prepare to have a few lump in your throat moments too.  It definitely didn't disappoint.'
  • Emily Wright - 'A captivating novel; this book enveloped me in a warm hug whilst taking me on an emotional rollercoaster.'
  • Julie Wragg - 'Family secrets are finally shared and past hurts healed in this charming novel.'
  • Maz Tucker - 'Another great book by Emma Hannigan from the Emerald Isle. This is a truly emotional book, and one minute you’ll be laughing, the next crying. Brilliantly written.'
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'Excellent book, a great holiday read.'
  • Nikki Clark - 'An endearing story that will keep you turning the pages as secrets are shared.'
  • Lisa Lamb - 'An absolutely absorbing family "story" with loveable characters. I will be seeking out further titles by this author.'
  • Carolyn Huckfield - 'A story that covering three generations of Clara's family. Clara wants to put things right and this is the novel that should push Emma Hannigan into the A list of contemporary Irish writers.'
  • Anne Cater - 'emotional, endearing and very enjoyable. Emma Hannigan is a gifted storyteller. I enjoyed this story so very much.'
  • Judith Waring - 'And what a lot of secrets there are to be discovered! Perfect to read with a cup of tea to hand and no desire to get up until you've got to the last page.'
  • Christine Waddington - 'different from Emma Hannigan’s previous novels and readers expecting a similar style will be surprised.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'The story gripped me from the first page to the last and I read it within 48 hours nearly missing my bus stop in the process. Highly recommended.'

Win a Hardback copy of Letters to Iris!

This author has certainly not lost her touch despite it being six years since her last book. Letters to irisThis is warm, affectionate, engaging and insightful ... A wonderful read, highly recommended. - Sarah Broadhurst

Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble, is now out in hardback to mark the publication we are giving away 5 hardback copies of this book to FIVE lucky winners.

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below.

Please note that the draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 14 May 2018. The Winners will be notified by 24 May 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 14/05/2018


The Secrets We Share by Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan, much loved author of The Summer Guest, will delight fans of Patricia Scanlan and Cathy Kelly with her big-hearted novels of Ireland. 'A writer who understands exactly how women think' Cathy Kelly Devastated after a tragedy, Nathalie Conway finds herself on a plane to Ireland. She is on her way to stay with her grandmother Clara. The grandmother up until now Nathalie had no idea existed...As Clara awaits her granddaughter's arrival, she is filled with a new sense of hope. She has spent the last twenty years praying her son Max would come back into her life. Perhaps now her son can find a way to forgive her for the past. And her granddaughter may be the thread to stitch the pieces of her beloved family back together.

About the Author

Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan is the author of ten bestselling novels including The Secrets We Share, Driving Home for Christmas and the bestselling memoir Talk to the Headscarf which charted her journey through cancer. Emma lives in Co. Wicklow , Ireland, with her husband, two children and a dog.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th August 2015


Emma Hannigan

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Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group


368 pages


Family Drama
All Shortlists and Winners
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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