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The Secret Hours

Narrated by: Genevieve Swallow
Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (193 ratings)

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Summary

Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way.   

On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea. 

All Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America, as did so many in those times of hardship and famine. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now? What was the real reason that she turned away from them? And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa’s estate? 

Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story.  

Faye feels bereft, as if her mother’s whole family has died with her. Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother’s last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa’s insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.  

©2019 Santa Montefiore (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

What members say

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Brilliant

Thank you Santa Montefiore for writing such a wonderful story, which I loved, and Genevieve Swallow for reading it so beautifully. I found the ending so emotional and was happy that everything turned out so well. Do listen and I am sure that you will enjoy it too.

7 people found this helpful

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Superb!

This is a lovely "stand alone" story, however on realising it is about one of the Deverill family from Castle Deverill in Ireland, it is amazing.
The three books: Songs of Love and War + Daughters of Castle Deverill + The Last Secret of the Deverills
The story takes place forty years later in1961 giving an insite into the later lives of some of the Deverill family members, staff and villagers. The storyline also takes the listener to a period before the Songs of Love and War book.
An excellent story and lovely bonus for listeners of the three previous Deverill Castle books.

5 people found this helpful

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What a wonderful book....

Yet another wonderful book from Santa Montefiore read brilliantly by Genevieve Swallow. Could stand alone as a beautiful story but the fact that it includes characters from the Deverills series makes it even more special. This story goes back before the first Deverills book and introduces us to the life story of the younger sister of Bertie, Lord Deverill , who had run away to America when she was 18.
A beautiful tale with the usual interesting characters that feature in Santa’s books so vividly. So lovely too to find out about the later years of Kitty, Bertie, Maud , JP and all..... very cleverly interwoven. The story starts in 1961 and takes the reader back in time to the 1890’s. I completely loved it and didn’t want it to end.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful.

Another of my favorite author's books that kept me reading long into the night. Beautifully read.

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totally enthralled

well written and beautifully narrated, I loved this book. lt was like a modern mills and boon but so much better.

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best reads ever

Utterly brilliant, captured my imagination and I loved every second. Reduced me to tears and I will miss it very much. Congratulations to all concerned.

1 person found this helpful

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A lovely summer's read

I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Secret Hours'. A little predictable, but nevertheless most enjoyable and very we'll narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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Yet another excellent Deverill’s story

Good story though 2 chapters too long. I skipped from halfway though the penultimate chapter to almost the end of the final chapter but nothing had happened

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Excellent

This book has been the best ever. Lovely blend of old and new. With a few love stories thrown in too. Looking forward to the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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Storyline spoiled by poor narration for me

I enjoyed the story, particularly as I got further into the book, but it was marred for me by poor narration, especially in the first half. The upper class English accents were dodgy to say the least, and I found them distracting and annoying.

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  • Anne Renaud
  • 14-11-19

Stunning - both author and narrator

Once again Santa Montefiore has given us a beautifully written story set in both Ireland and the USA. Her descriptions take you right to the beautiful places she describes with characters so relateable you feel you know them personally. I loved her previous stories about this castle and family, and once again she hasn't disappointed. I have listened to all her stories, and also to all those narrated by the wonderful Genevieve Swallow, and in fact often listen to them more than once. Highly recommended.

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  • Eugenie
  • 10-09-19

must read

Higjly recommend it Loved it!
I hope there is a further saga of the Deverills