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Publisher's Summary

Loch Ewe, 1940. When gamekeeper's daughter Flora's remote highland village finds itself the base for the Royal Navy's Arctic convoys, life in her close-knit community changes forever. In defiance of his disapproving father, the laird's son falls in love with Flora, and as tensions build in their disrupted home, any chance of their happiness seems doomed.

Decades later, Flora's daughter, singer Lexie Gordon, is forced to return to the village and to the tiny cottage where she grew up. Having long ago escaped to the bright lights of the West End, London still never truly felt like home. Now back, with a daughter of her own, Lexie learns that her mother - and the hostile-seeming village itself - have long been hiding secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew.

As she pieces together the fragments of her parents' story, Lexie discovers the courageous, devastating sacrifices made in her name. It's too late to rekindle her relationship with her mother, but can Lexie find it in her heart to forgive the past, to grieve for all that's lost, and finally find her place in the world?

©2020 Fiona Valpy. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Skylark's Secret

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  • Floridagurrl
  • 02-11-20

Lovely voice

Both the author with her story and the narrator with her reading had a lovely voice. I was introduced to a segment of WW2 history I had no knowledge of, and a place in the world I was equally unaware of. I’ve always rejoiced when I find an author who carefully researched .. it allows me a bit of education while enjoying a flight of fiction. The characters were realistic, the dialogue authentic without overwhelming me, and provided a view into life elsewhere and elsewhen that I completely enjoyed.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-05-21

A Lyrical Read

I ordered this book through Audible and listened in the morning as I had coffee and structured my day. It was perfect for that pace. The narrator's lovely, lyrical voice set the mood for my day to come ... and helped me to stop and listen to the soothing sounds of a new day awakening. The characters are well developed. The storyline is straight from pages of history where small inlet communities suffered the plague of war and the renewal of new futures for those generations touched by war's loss.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Colorado Cowgirl
  • 22-03-21

In the end I loved the story of romance in WWII

When the book started, it seemed to spend a lot of time on small details and Lexi's life in London singing on stage. I loved the narration but I started to wonder where the story was going, especially since it is described as a WWII story in Scotland. Then Lexi moved back home to Scotland with her baby (but not the baby's father), and again it focused on day-to-day life in the current time with flashes of her mother's life during WWII when the Arctic Convey fleet was working in and out of the harbor. It still seemed like a romance with the war in the background. Eventually more details about the war and the fate of the characters who were involved with the convoys came out and then the story became more interesting. Finally I really enjoyed the tale, although it was a tearjerker, as well as Lexi's relationship with Davey who spans both time periods.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Faith D.
  • 13-05-21

I couldn’t finish it

It was very boring I couldn’t finish it. Not even driving back-and-forth to work

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lori May
  • 18-02-21

Enjoyable story

The story was very enjoyable, the narrator really made the story come alive. I looked forward to driving to work just to listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley P.
  • 26-02-21

Well written but a bit dull

If you are like me and have no particular interest in Scotland, World War II or romance then you will probably find this a bit dull.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deppie Whitwam
  • 24-02-21

Excellent

This is a wonderful story with a fabulous near raider. I loved it from beginning to end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Denise Bradford
  • 02-02-21

beautiful story

really enjoyed. it was lovely. wonderful to learn so much about an era and a culture.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DeePap
  • 09-01-21

EXCELLENT READ/LISTEN

This was definitely an excellent read. This is the favorite type of read for me; historical fiction based on fact.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Catriona macKenzie
  • 21-11-20

Loved this book

This has been one of my favourite books from Audible. I loved the setting for the story, in
Aultbea in the north west highlands. The two stories ran side by side perfectly one set in 1940’s, the other in the 1970’s. Beautifully read by Mhairi Morrison made it perfect and authentic.
It was quite gripping until the end.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Autumn Rose
  • 09-02-21

like wrapping a cosy blanket around you!

This simple but beautiful story is like wrapping a cosy blanket around you! It is a constant stream of beautifully crafted words! it is simple yet mesmerising! Her descriptive writing is one of the best! not too wordy just perfect!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sally-AnneR
  • 14-01-21

Delightful story

Wonderfully told by Mhairi Morrison, although I had to speed it up to 1 as she reads really slowly. Her Scottish lilt blended beautifully with the content and I enjoyed the fact it was based on Churchill’s notes of the time so that the fleet and its war time tragedies were historically true. It’s easy to follow (important when listening I think) as the story is told through the eyes of mother and daughter alternating in their different time periods. Recommend for quiet times and bedtime listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gaynor MM
  • 02-01-21

Lovely story and an easy listen.

Enjoyed this audio book, easy to listen - you don't need to concentrate too much; enjoyed the historical based facts. Ideal for listening while doing something else - in my case sewing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Esther
  • 15-11-20

Enjoyable

A gentle enjoyable story with a lovely atmospheric Scottish setting. Not likely to be realistic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mama C
  • 23-10-20

Loved it...

Beautiful story with fantastic narration interwoven with a strong historical reality and island life in Scotland.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LB
  • 03-05-21

Love, war, legacy all in one story

I am Russian and though I knew about the role Arctic convoys played in helping Soviet war effort it was very interesting to get a glimpse into what it was like for those running them, risking their lives in very dangerous seas. The Scottish accent of the narrator made the story more real. I think the WWII storyline was better developed than the 1978 one, the modern part playing second fiddle. I wanted that part to end quicker so I could come back to the historical part which I could relate to more.

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  • Jackie
  • 29-04-21

Lovely story to listen to.

Loved listening to this whilst working. The story was eye opening of the period but also the area. Looking forward to the Sea of Memories.

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  • Diana at The Saker
  • 24-04-21

A captivating read

I wasn't sure if I could finish this book but once I gad sorted out the switching of the time line I was hooked. Beautifully written and a pleasing narration. I think I may well read this again and will try more of Fiona Valpy's books.

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  • Kate Castle
  • 06-01-21

Absorbing listen

A heart warming story with enough local and historical anchorage to absorb the reader