Friday 18 March 2022

Book Review: The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy

The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy book cover

AD* | What if the key to your present lies in the past?

London, 1939

On the eve of the Second World War, Canadian Maggie Wyndham defies her family and stays in England to do her bit for the war effort. Torn between two countries, two men and living a life of lies working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Maggie's RAF sweetheart locket is part of who she is...and who she isn't.

San Francisco, 2019

Over twenty years after Maggie's death, her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow take a DNA test that's supposed to be a bit of fun but instead yields unexpected results. Willow has always treasured her grandmother's sweetheart locket, both family heirloom and a symbol of her grandparents' love story. But now she doesn't know what to believe. She embarks on a search for the truth, one she doesn't know will reveal far more about herself...

The Sweetheart Locket is a dual-timeline story about one family's secrets spanning over the decades.

In 2019, San Francisco native Willow takes a DNA test, thinking it will be little more than a fun Christmas gift from her cousin. However, the surprising results of the test throw everything Willow thought she knew about her family into question. 

With her mum staying suspiciously silent and her English grandmother long since laid to rest, Willow has a lot of questions but very few answers. Taking matters into her own hands, she plans a trip to England to follow in her grandmother's footsteps in an attempt to uncover the secrets of the past once and for all.

The story changes between Willow's adventures in the present-day, and her grandmother's life during the war. At a time when everyone had to keep secrets just to survive, Maggie thought little of keeping herself to herself - at work, at home, and in her personal life. However, as the war continued on, she would soon be faced with some very difficult decisions...

Both parts of the story were interesting to read about, though Maggie's life in wartime London was rather more engaging than her granddaughter's chapters. The book does not shy away from the horrors of war and even now, decades later, it's hard to imagine just how much real people like Maggie sacrificed for their countries. Above all, The Sweetheart Locket is a heartfelt story of love, family, and determination.

Rating: 3 stars

The Sweetheart Locket is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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