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The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies

The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies

We’re currently away for a week and I was delighted to receive a copy of The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies to review. This was the second novel in the trilogy about one family. You can read my review of the first book, Daughters of War, in this post. The Hidden Palace can be read on its own, but it makes frequent references to what preceded it, and I would recommend reading it first. The Hidden Palace follows on straight away from Daughters of War.

The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies

A rebellious daughter

1925. Among the ancient honey-coloured walls of the tiny island of Malta, strangers slip into the shadows and anyone can buy a new name. Rosalie Delacroix flees Paris for a dancer’s job in the bohemian clubs deep in its winding streets.

A sister with a secret

1944. Running from the brutality of war in France, Florence Baudin faces a new life. But her estranged mother makes a desperate request: to find her vanished sister, who went missing years before.

A rift over generations

Betrayals and secrets, lies and silence hang between the sisters. A faded last letter from Rosalie is Florence’s only clue, the war an immovable barrier – and time is running out…

The book follows two stories, that of Rosalie and her niece, Florence. There are similarities between the lives of both women, and the threads of estrangement, love and war are woven throughout the stories. The threads are brought together towards the end of the book when Florence finds Rosalie.

Dinah Jefferies is a good story teller but The Hidden Palace is not my favourite book by her. I enjoyed reading the parts set in Malta (and would love to visit one day) but the will they/won’t they relationship between Florence and Jack really dragged on. It felt like there were lots of loose ends and some issues were skipped over whilst others went on a little too long. For example there was a brief mention of domestic violence which was passed over whilst the issue of white slavery felt like it was slotted into the narrative, and neither really fitted naturally within the story line.

However, it’s a good book, perfect to read whilst my children were playing at the park, and will delight fans of Dinah Jefferies. The Hidden Palace is published next month by Harper Collins.

Disclosure – I received a copy of this book via NetGalley to read and share my opinion on.

You may be interested in my other reviews of books by Dinah Jefferies:

Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies

The Tuscan Contessa by Dinah Jefferies

The Missing Sister by Dinah Jefferies

The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

Before The Rains by Dinah Jefferies

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter by Dinah Jefferies


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