Readers' Favorite

August 18, 2022

The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Audrey, a recovering alcoholic, impulsively flees to England following the death of her grandmother. Her grandmother had basically raised her and her sister after their mother died and when Audrey's life spiraled out of control, it was her grandmother who helped her pick up the pieces. Now, having inherited a cottage that the family knew nothing of, she is looking for answers. But will she find more answers than what sent her grandmother to America in the first place?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis
August 2022; ‎Berkley; 978-0593201312
audio, ebook, print (416 pages); women's fiction

The Forgotten Cottage
 is a dual timeline story set in the English countryside. The first timeline, and one we spend the most time in, is set during WWI. Lady Emilie is already chafing against the role of women in the early 1900s and her parents' pressure to marry the man who she felt was more childhood friend than suitor - yet he is the heir to a dukedom. A chance meeting at a late ball of the season and England's increasing presence in the war in Europe sets her on a new course - only if she has the courage to turn her back on everything.

I don't read a lot of WWI stories so I found that storyline interesting. It had the feel of Downton Abbey and Lady Emilie reminded me of Lady Sybil. But Lady Emilie's mother isn't as progressive as Lady Grantham. 

Unlike most dual timeline stories, the chapters do not alternate between the two periods. We get several chapters with Emilie before switching back to present-day with Audrey. There's actually not much going on with Audrey and I felt the present-day timeline was just to prolong the mystery of why Audrey's grandmother Dottie (Emilie's daughter) never talked about her past. 

Having a recovering addict as a main character made this women's fiction story a bit unique, and I'm sure readers who are also recovering will appreciate seeing themselves reflected on the page. There is also a little bit of a romance. But really there isn't much of a plot or character development. I liked the characters and would have liked to have seen more done with them.

Really the selling point of this book is the mysteries. Why did Emilie not return to her family's home after the war? Did Emilie marry Lord Bridgmond or follow her heart with Isaac? What made Dottie flee Yorkshire for America in the middle of the second World War? It was my desire to have answers to these questions that really had me turning the pages.

It is definitely a pleasant story for a weekend of light reading.

Buy The Forgotten Cottage at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us. Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up for our newsletter today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


Post a Comment