Review of It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell, the queen of contemporary romance

It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell

It Started with a Secret by Jill Mansell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have read every novel that Jill Mansell has published and they never fail to warm my heart. Many of you know I have really struggled to read during lockdown, and I am only just starting to get back into my reading rhythm, but this book was exactly what I needed to just lose myself in the joy of reading again. This book is like a comfort blanket, with characters you can cheer on and a feel good narrative that leaves you smiling.

I used to consider that Jill Mansell novels were a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I have no hesitation in saying that she is one of my favourite authors, and could probably give a bit of a master class in characterisation and the development of the narrative arc.

My initial thought was that I didn’t like the title, because to me, the book started with a misrepresentation – or blatant deception. There were also one or two plot lines that I did not like, particularly the one with Dawn and the unplanned fatherhood she foisted on an unlikable but otherwise forgettable male character. Are we supposed to excuse her choices simply because the man she chose as the father of her child was a cad? But then, for obvious reasons, I was never going to like or appreciate this story line.

That said, I let myself sink into this book, imagined the glorious Cornwall setting in all its summer glory and enjoyed Lainey, Seth, Majella and Kit each finding their own happy ending, in their own particular way.

View all my reviews

Published by Deborah Siddoway

Dickens enthusiast, book lover, wine drinker, writer, lover of all things Victorian, and happily divorced mother of two lovely (and very tall) boys.

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