Rating: really liked it
Morane is really close to her grandmother Rozenn Caradec, as a child she loved visiting her house Vue Claire on the south coast of Cornwall and she thought she knew her grandmother well? At ninety six Rozenn passes away and she leaves her entire estate to Morane’s sister Gwen and Morie inherits only a silver compass that no one in the family ever has seen before. Morie has recently had a terrible time, now add this and did she do something to upset her grandmother?
When the sisters go through their grandmothers things, Morie finds some old photographs and a couple of pages of a letter. Morie assumes her grandmother must have left some clues behind, she knows Rozenn grew up in Paris, her father was a doctor, whenever they tried asking her about her life during WW II and she would change the subject. Morie decides to visit St Martin in Brittany France, nothing can prepare her for what she uncovers about her grandmother's past, the Guillou family and what happened to them during the Second World War.
You Let Me Go has a dual timeline it goes between present time and 1941. It’s a story about WW II, family, secrets, regret, suffering, lies, disloyalty and betrayal. It’s also about Morane discovering the truth about her beloved grandmother, coming to terms with what has happened in her own life, finally moving on and new beginnings. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and four stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
Rating: liked it
This book has everything I love it: a story following a home, the intertwining of family and a dual story line.
This story follows Rozenne growing up with her Dad as a doctor during the war.
The other storyline is from years and years later when Rozenne passes. She decides to leave her estate to only one of the Granddaughters ( when there are two) leaving the family to wonder. This leads one of the Granddaughters on an exploration of her families history for answers.
This book covers all kinds of issues including family lies, deception, fear from the war, strength and love.
What a beautiful cover! That drew me into the book immediately.
Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an ARC of this lovely book!
Rating: really liked it
"People are their surroundings and surroundings become imprinted by the people who live there."
This was a wonderful story about family and regrets and what happened in a small island town when they were German occupied. I loved the historical information, something I hadn't read much about for this area. I loved the perspective of the two storylines - the current granddaughter and then the grandmother in her youth. It was a great way to tell the story. I was nervous we wouldn't get the final details but we do, and I loved them. Great story, well told.
An e-ARC was provided to me by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
Rating: really liked it
Now and then I need an escape from my usual crime/psychological thriller reads, I was browsing Netgalley and the book description for You Let Me Go caught my interest. Firstly, because I appreciate a book with a dual timeline, (one timeline is set in the present, and the other is set in Brittany during the German occupation in 1941) and secondly I love historical fiction so this book ticked both boxes for me.
Morane is left devastated when not only does she loose her beloved Grandmother Rozenn, but she learns her sister is the sole inheritor of the family home in Cornwall. Why did her grandmother turn her back on her? Perhaps the answers lie in an old letter Moran finds, which inadvertently takes her on a journey into her grandmother’s past, when Brittany was under German occupation. In her pursuit for the truth, she realises she never knew her grandmother at all as she uncovers secrets that tore a family apart.
I genuinely enjoyed Rozenn’s story, Graham brings her story to life, I especially liked reading about her life in Brittany. The descriptions of her family living in a small French village occupied by the Germans, made it obvious how hard life must have been for Rozenn, not knowing who you could trust, and living in constant fear. The choice she makes weren’t necessarily the right ones, but they were made in fear. Ultimately all she wanted to do was protect her family. I found it tragic that these choices led to devastating consequences that shattered a loving family into a million pieces. You Let Me Go has all the elements needed for an enjoyable read, deeply rich characters, engaging dialogue and a compelling story line. A poignant, heart-rending story about love, guilt and betrayal.
Rating: liked it
I went in to this book not exactly knowing what I would expect by the ending.
I won’t lie, it is a slow starter. For the first 40% of the book, it felt as though it was written for the reader to bide their time whilst the story grew in the background, which was so disappointing. However, once this point was reached and one of the characters, Morane, had made the decision to go to Brittany to discover the truth of her Grandmothers past, things really good interesting!
The chapters took turns in telling the reader either about the past, present or future. Most of these were based on Rozenn, was a Parisian who went to live in St Martin with her parents, twin sister Claire and her brother Yann. Yann was meant to have gone back to Paris or reported himself to duty to help the Germans, but the family kept him hidden at home. Rozenn who could see the troubles and problems that were being faced with this, found a local boy, Luc who was to help Yann get across the sea to Britain. However, on the night of the escape, things went awfully wrong, and the suspense of the last few chapters made it all the more thrilling when it finally came out.
Morane, was Rozenn’s granddaughter, who after discovering a letter hidden in her late grandmothers bedroom decided to investigate further. Morane went to the house where Rozenn and her family lived, and found out the truth which lie, ironically, between the family homes four walls.
I’ve kept this review rather sketchy, because honestly, you need to read it to understand why this book was such a good read! The only disappointing side, was the build up was too long which could disengage people to keep going. If you are going to read this book, give it the chance! Keep pushing through, because honestly, I have been going round my house for the last two hours yelling ‘OH MY GOD, I DIDN’T SEE THAT HAPPENING’.
Rating: liked it
★★★ 3.5 stars
What drew me to this book initially was the premise and two things I further noted - Cornwall and dual timeline. I seemed to be drawn to stories set in Cornwall, particularly one that is dual timeline. And the mystery to one's past sounded like an exciting aspect I looked forward to peeling away.
But...I won't lie. YOU LET ME GO is a slow starter. So slow I wondered when it was ever going to get there. I wouldn't say the first half of the story is superfluous because it does give you the background of what's to come. I just wish it got there quicker. It's not until the second half of the book, after Morie makes the decision to travel to Brittany to uncover the truth of her grandmother's past that things really start to get interesting. Does it make trudging through the first half worth it? I think so...eventually.
Devastated by the loss of her beloved grandmother Morane is equally at a loss to learn that her sister Gwen is the sole beneficiary to inherit Rozenn's beautiful home, Vue Claire, in Cornwall. All that Morie had been bequeathed was an old silver compass with initials engraved on the back. Feeling somewhat guilty, Gwen assures Morie that she would have the deeds changed to reflect both sisters as co-owners. But Morie refuses. Rozenn had her reasons...if only Morie could understand why.
Having suffered her own tragedies in recent times with an accident (not fully revealed till about halfway through), the loss of her business and partner, Morie is now struggling to rebuild her own business as a property manager rebuilding and renovating properties for clients. Her business is based in London but her heart is in Cornwall, and so she finds herself making any excuse to travel back to Vue Claire and help Gwen redecorate the house. It's while she is there that she makes a puzzling discovery. A single page from a letter in a hand Morie didn't recognise. The contents are equally puzzling as they don't appear to make much sense despite her name being mentioned. Who wrote this letter to Rozenn and why did the writer mention making contact with her? She has received no communication from anyone to do with Rozenn. So what is this all about?
The letter takes her back to some old photos she'd come across in an old album along with some sketches of birds and mice. It seems her grandmother had a deft hand at drawing though she never seemed to pursue it, choosing instead to become an architect. Some of the photos seem to puzzle her also...particularly two of Rozenn as a little girl in the 20s, sitting on a beach. In one she appears serious and contemplative whilst in the other she is beaming at the camera. And although the photos appeared to be taken on the same day, she is wearing two different bathing costumes. Why? It made no sense to Morie at all. Then when she discovers a second page to the letter it is then that Morie makes the sudden decision to travel to Brittany and to the village St Martin, which is mentioned more than once. What does St Martin have to do with Rozenn? And more importantly, what does it have to with her?
It's 1941 and eighteen year old Rozenn has had to leave all that she knows and love in Paris as she and her family travel to St Martin to live for an indefinite period. France under German occupation is a dangerous place and the family need special permits to travel to the village port of St Martin, a restricted zone. But they are desperate. Germany is bringing in forced labour for men of working age, and that includes Rozenn's brother Yann who has only just recovered from his time in a German camp. As French residents, they are required to register with the German authorities as to where they are living and while they are registered in St Martin, Rozenn's brother Yann is not. And so they keep him hidden in the outbuildings of the house on the cliff in which they now live...a far cry from the pampered lifestyle of their apartment in Paris.
In the village, Rozenn keeps to herself while not drawing attention to herself or her family but a woman with her looks is not forgotten in a hurry. She meets some of the locals - Luc, Martine and a delightful Irish woman, Madame O'Donnell. But she still yearns for Paris. Life in the house on the cliffs is primitive at best. In Paris she had a bidet; here the privy is in an outbuilding. But like her family, Rozenn had to make the best of things. It wasn't forever...just until they could get Yann to safety. Her doctor father didn't appear to be making any headway with this so Rozenn made enquiries with local boy Luc about fishing boats aiding an escape. It was a dangerous move, as Luc reminded her, for if they were caught...but Rozenn's family were desperate. It wouldn't be long before the Germans discovered an unregistered man living in their outbuildings and then they would all be punished.
The boat was to take Yann to Britain, where he could maybe join the Free French and fight for their freedom, but on the night of the escape things go horribly wrong...changing the course of Rozenn's history of which she would never speak again.
So what became of Yann? And Rozenn's family? And their primitive house on the cliff? How had Rozenn come to be in England? And why would she never talk about it? And what is it about St Martin that holds the secrets to Rozenn's past?
After the initial first 50%, I couldn't put the book down. But that first half was dreadfully slow and seemed to be weighed down with a few unnecessary aspects and could have moved a little quicker had they been removed. For example, Theo. I don't understand the point of his presence at the beginning. It didn't go anywhere, it wasn't integral to the story and then he was barely mentioned throughout the rest of the book...so why was it even there? And the constant referral to Morane's "accident" throughout the first half without actually saying what it is until she gets to France...what's the big secret? Again, not integral to the story. It was just an incident which occurred that didn't seem to be wholly important, except to keep Morie from actually moving forward. Once it was revealed, I was like...so, that's it?
That being said, YOU LET ME GO is a compelling tale taking us back to the past as well as keeping us in the present. It alternates between 1941 and the present day in each chapter from Rozenn's and Morane's perspectives. There is one chapter from Rozenn's sister Claire's perspective towards the end but apart from that, it is Rozenn and Morane's story. At first I was confused as to where I was as there was no "header" as such to each chapter letting the reader know in which era the chapter is set, but after a while you become familiar with how the story is told and it no longer becomes an issue...but at first it was.
Although I didn't much care for Rozenn, her story was intriguing but she wasn't very nice to her sister and she was a bit of a snob. The villagers could see it and the reader can see it. The turning point for her was probably the escape which was more than likely a penultimate time in her life. I think part of Rozenn remained as such because even after her death she seemed to be unreachable. No one, not even her son or granddaughters, knew anything of her past apart from the fact she came from Paris. Was she ashamed of the part she played in whatever became of her family? Did she feel guilty that they may have all been captured and thus suffered at the hands of the Germans while she got away? Guilty that it was meant to be Yann's escape, not hers? I don't know. Rozenn was a closed book both during her life and after her death.
I wasn't particularly enamoured with Morane either, but I applaud her doggedness at seeing her journey through. She got her answers in the end as did the reader. She just she seemed to be submerged in her misfortune a little too much whilst refusing help from those around her. And then when she found something to sink her teeth into she kept second guessing herself. I don't know - maybe it was that, maybe it wasn't. It's just something about her didn't endear me to her.
I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the second half of YOU LET ME GO which was intense and had me engaged from 50% onwards. I found myself trying to work out what went wrong, what happened and what it all meant. There were twists and even I didn't guess how it would end.
If you love your books quick and fast-paced, then this one isn't for you. The beginning is very slow and did not really start until about 50% but if you are patient, I promise it will be worth it in the end.
I would like to thank #ElizaGraham, #RachelsRandomResources, #Netgalley and #AmazonPublishing for an ARC of #YouLetMeGo in exchange for an honest review.
This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.
Rating: really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5
**Disclaimer:** I would like to personally thank Amazon Publishing UK, Eliza Graham, and Netgalley for this exclusive read of “You Let Me Go” in exchange for a review and my honest opinion of the book. The Publisher, Netgalley, nor the author has paid anything in monetary value for this following review. All thoughts are of the reviewer.
This book was a very surprising and interesting read. Before I finished this book, I had really felt that that special ingredient was missing in this book. When I had starting to get to the end of the book; that is when it had really, really sucked me in.
While this is a historical fiction book, I would say that 50% does take place during the Second World War in France and the other half takes place in modern day England.
In the present time aspect of the book, we are introduced to sisters Gwen and Morie. While they were close when they were younger, their relationship in the previous years has been hanging by a thread. This thread only starts to stretch when their recently deceased grandmother, Rozenn, leaves her home to the oldest sister, Gwen while Morie is left with a compass.
Morie’s life has been quite the rollercoaster lately as well. From learning of an ex-boyfriend’s betrayal to the crumpling of her business. Her dad and sister think that Morie is on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
In order to also set aside some of the guilt that Gwen feels from Morie getting left out of the will; Gwen asks for her help with renovations with Vue Claire. Until one night, after a crime had taken place at Vue Claire; Morie finds a letter that is set to change everything she has ever known. Her life is about to change. Will what she learns destroy her family and the memory of her beloved grandmother?
In the past aspect of the book, we learn of Rozenn’s family. She is 18 when her family leaves for the village port of St. Martin. Her father is a doctor and is sent to the restricted zone as the new doctor there. What should be a new opportunity for the family has the family on edge. In a town where everyone knows everyones business. One mouth to the Nazis will put the whole family in danger.
Rozenn will reset at nothing to protect her family, even if this includes to letting those know what could break her family apart forever. Rozenn quickly learn how to use her contacts to get what she wants. However, will those contacts help or hurt her when she needs them.
If you are a fan of historical fiction, then You Let Me Go is for you. If you are into quick, fast-paced books then I suggest looking elsewhere. The book really did not start opening up until towards the end. If you are patient, I promise this book will be worth it in the end!
Rating: liked it
“You Let Me Go,” a historical fiction novel by Eliza Graham, explores how trauma or a family secret percolates down through generations and affects both children and grandchildren.
Rozenn Caradec is dearly loved by her two grand-daughters and the feeling is mutual. Time spent together on Vue Claire on the Cornish coast is precious and full of memories, something Morane and Gwen are grateful for once their grandmother passes away. What shocked the girls the most was that Morane seemed to be snubbed in the will and neither girl could figure out why their 96 year old grandmother had been so uncharacteristically cruel. Gwen was left the entire estate and Morane was left a simple engraved silver compass. Adding to the hurt is the fact that Morane is in pain; she has lost her boyfriend, her job and is dealing with pain associated with an accident.
As the girls start to go through Rozenn’s memorabilia, they find photos and letters which confirm her childhood in Paris and teen years in occupied Brittany. Morane knows there must be a reason for her grandmother’s choice, so she heads to Brittany to search for clues to her past. Morane discovers that sometimes the truth can be painful and that humans will go to great lengths to protect loved ones. She also comes to terms with the idea that there was a side to her grandmother that was kept hidden and that she didn’t really know her at all. Her world is turned upside down with the discovery that her grandmother had an identical twin, Claire, and that the girls once had to make a terrible sacrifice on a remote Brittany beach. Regardless of the reasons for this heartbreaking decision, there’s generational trickle-down issues and questions arise. Can Morane live with what she finds? Is it enough to help her repair her sibling relationship?
A little difficult to get into at first, this dual timeline story alternates between present and 1941. If you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded with a moving story about a family with secrets and how betrayal and regrets are the biproducts of keeping it hidden. Another reward of sticking with it is that you’ll be treated to an ending that you will not see coming! You’ll also uncover the author’s message about how important it is to accept our past, learn from it, draw a line and move on. Growth comes on the other side of the line. The account of the Guillou family during WW2 is a heartbreaking multigenerational story with lessons for all of us.
Thank you to Eliza Graham, Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: really liked it
Brief synopsis from the book cover:
After her beloved grandmother Rozenn’s death, Morane is heartbroken to learn that her sister is the sole inheritor of the family home in Cornwall—while she herself has been written out of the will. With both her business and her relationship with her sister on the rocks, Morane becomes consumed by one question: what made Rozenn turn her back on her?
When she finds an old letter linking her grandmother to Brittany under German occupation, Morane escapes on the trail of her family’s past. In the coastal village where Rozenn lived in 1941, she uncovers a web of shameful secrets that haunted Rozenn to the end of her days. Was it to protect those she loved that a desperate Rozenn made a heartbreaking decision and changed the course of all their lives forever?
Morane goes in search of the truth but the truth can be painful. Can she make her peace with the past and repair her relationship with her sister?
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Character development: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommended for readers of:
This is a beautiful story about family, the bonds between sisters but also a story about self discovery overcoming hurt and finding your place in life. The plot is told over a dual timeline. The present time tells the story of Morane as she tries to uncover why her grandmother left her out of her will and made her sister the sole inheritor. The second timeline set in the past tells the story of her grandmother’s life during the German occupation in France. The characters are interesting and well developed their actions feel realistic as they are explained well.
A vividly written story, that is captivating and interesting. The plot starts of slow but is well developed and it kept me occupied from the first to the last page. The characters were nice and felt realistic. If you like historical fiction or enjoy dual timeline plots this book is for you!
Review copy provided by Netgalley at no cost to me.
Rating: really liked it
My thanks to Lake Union Publishing and the author for an opportunity to read and give an honest opinion of You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham.
This is much more of a historical novel than Women's Fiction. The majority of the book takes place during several months in Brittany after the German Occupation. The present day, and, I believe what was intended as the major part of the novel, involves the death of a beloved grandmother and the bequest of her lovely house in Cornwall to the elder of her two granddaughters.
The historical aspect of the book is well-researched and much more interesting than the contemporary sections. Told in alternating chapters, we meet Rozenn, the grandmother, and Morie, her younger granddaughter. Morie is in a bad way after her grandmother's death as her boyfriend, a gambler, has stolen all the profits of their joint construction business and abandoned her. As if that weren't bad enough, she suffers from the emotional scars following an accident, which is barely described and not until the last part of the book..
It would have been a much stronger novel if the early sections had moved along a bit faster. Having said that, the eleven weeks Rozenn and her family spend in Brittany and the introduction of her parents, older brother and twin sister (very well characterized), had taken up more of the early sections. Still, there is enough suspense and description of deprivation and fear brought on by war to make for interesting reading. . It's worth moving through the early days in Paris to see how the plotting comes together with much excitement towards the end. But don't be surprised if you guess the ending very early on. It seems inevitable..
Rating: it was amazing
Now this is my kind of book...historical fiction, interesting premise, twisty mysteries and questions, atmosphere and suspense all wrapped up in a dual timeline. One timeline is the present in Cornwall and the other in 1940s German occupied France, one as good as the other. The suspense is not of the nail biting variety but seeps into your mind which can be a good thing if done well as it is here. However, this book was unputdownable and I read it in one sitting. It is about choices, family relationships (refreshing!), betrayal and consequences.
Rozenn, Morane and Gwen's grandmother dies, willing her home to Gwen rather than Morane who receives a silver compass. Everyone is surprised and Morane tries to hide her disappointment and resentment. Morane, however, happens upon an intriguing old letter which starts a chain reaction, one which includes research and uncovering family secrets, changing lives. Rozenn has a mysterious past which is full of layers and several characters contribute to unraveling them. Actions resulting from the war change the course of events and the reader does not know what will happen until the very end.
If you prefer your Historical Fiction less gritty, this is for you. It is fascinating but without the graphic details of some others. I like the little extras which add authenticity such as the Breton names.
My sincere thank you to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this wonderful book! I enjoyed it very much.
Rating: really liked it
A story of two sisters in modern day and a story of two sisters during WWII. A family secret, and a daring escape.
Morane and her sister Gwen often visit their grandmother at her seaside home Vue Claire. When their grandmother passes away she leaves Vue Claire to Gwen and a shiny silver compass to Morane. What Morane can't understand is why the house was left only to her sister and not to both granddaughters. This leads Morane to try and find out what happened to her grandparents during the war.
During the war two twin sisters Claire and Rozenn lived in Paris. Their father was a doctor. When the German Occupation happened they moved to the country by the sea to hide her brother Yann from the Germans so they would not send him to a Labour camp. When Rozenn set up a rescue boat for Yann to leave for England the rescue went horribly wrong.
These two stories are told as the young woman Morane researching the past after the death of her grandmother. The story is sad and it is happy, The ending is a surprise, but it is a good ending.
I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it.
Thanks to Eliza Graham, Amazon Publishing U.K., Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of the book for an honest review.
Rating: really liked it
This book was a dual timeline story involving two granddaughters lives in recent years and their grandmothers late teen years in WW2. It was a mix of romance, war, betrayal and family ties. I loved absolutely everything about this book apart from it was a slow starter for me and I was tempted to stop reading at some points but I'm glad I didn't. It seemed to be setting the scene for the first 40% of the book.
After the initial bit though, I couldn't put the book down. It was intense and had me gripped and constantly wanting to find out what happens next. The originality of this book was great, so much was involved and the dual timeline definitely made it interesting. I enjoyed the characters, they was described well and each unique. The quality of the writing was well done. The plot kept twisting and turning and even till the end I didn't guess what the plot would end like.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and rate it 4 stars, only because it was a slow starter. If not it would have been 5 stars as the story was amazing
Rating: it was ok
The book was OK, not my favorite. I would give it 2.5 stars. The beginning was very slow and I found it hard to get into the story. I didn't care for the characters- Rozenn and Morane. Rozenn wasn't very nice to her sister. I didn't understand the scene with Theo. It didn't fit in and seemed unnecessary, plus he's barely mentioned throughout the rest of the book. If Yann was really trying to hide from the Germans, he did a horrible job of it. His family risked everything for him and he does the opposite of keeping himself hidden. I'm certain everyone in the small community knew he was there. Morane refused any help from her family, even though she obviously needed it. She reminded me so much of Rozenn. The story didn't become interesting until Morane visits France and all is finally revealed about the family.
Recommend giving the book a try, it just wasn't for me. I loved "The Lines We Leave Behind" and look forward to reading more books by the author. I love the cover of the book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Amazon Publishing UK through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Rating: liked it
Ah yes, another WW2 novel with alternating viewpoints and a modern day narrator uncovering secrets of the past, while the past plays out in alternate chapters.
In modern day Cornwall, Morane is doubly devastated by her grandmother's death and the fact that her grandmother mysteriously left her home on the shore to her sister and her sister alone. Compelled to uncover the reason behind the oversight, Morane goes on a journey to Brittany where she uncovers the truth of her grandmother's mysterious past during the war, one she refused to talk about while she was alive. What she discovers is the story of a family doing their best to survive the horrors of the war, while doing what they thought was best for themselves.
Though I feel like I've read this type of story many times before, You Let Me Go was compelling and I enjoyed the development of the main characters across generations as they come to terms with the truths of their lives and how to best share those truths with their families.