Secret Years, The

Secret Years, The

by Hannay Barbara and Barbara Hannay

Paperback Publication Date: 26/08/2015

Some family secrets are best set free. When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather Harry's World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as 'George' and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy's family history that has been kept a mystery . . . until now. How did a cattleman from north Queensland find forbidden love with the Honourable Georgina Lenton of London and persuade her to move to his isolated outback property? And why are the effects of this encounter still reverberating in the lives of Lucy and her mother, Rose, now? As the passions of the past trickle down the years, three generations of one family pull together. Each must learn in their own way how true love can conquer the greatest challenges of all. From the wild beauty of the Australian bush to England's rugged south coast, this is a deeply moving story of heartbreak, heroism and homecoming by a beloved, multi-award-winning author. Praise for Barbara Hannay 'A sprawling love story set in the stunning north Queensland hinterland - this is Barbara Hannay at her best.' Queensland Country Life '***** Will have you laughing one moment and in tears the next.' Talking Books 'Seamlessly weaves together a story of love lost and gained. Another delightful rural romance.' Book'd Out
Publication Date:
Penguin Australia Pty Ltd
1st Edition
Dimensions (mm):

What I’m reading right now… I'm re-reading Save the Cat Strikes Back by Blake Synder. It's a wonderful in-depth study of the structure of successful movies and all good storytelling.

My favourite book growing up... Definitely Seven Little Australians. I will always remember the Sunday morning when I read the scene where Judy died. I felt as if I'd lost a best friend, but I still loved this book despite the heartbreak.

My all-time favourite book is... Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. It's such a warm, feel-good story, a great comfort read and it makes me long to live in Scotland.

The book I would recommend everyone to read... To Kill A Mockingbird. I first read this book when I was sixteen and it's the only book I've ever felt moved to  review. Later, as an English teacher, I saw another generation of students  deeply moved by the power of this novel.

The book I wish I wrote… Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – a clever premise with wonderful characters and and a compelling storyline. Not only are we trying to guess who “dunnit” but also who “carked it”.

My guilty reading pleasure is… Romance – Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, or Australian authors like Anne Gracie (regency historical romances with dashing rakes) or Kelly Hunter (short, contemporary romances and very sexy).

The book on my bookshelf that I have never read... Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.

The book that never should have been turned into a film… I know many books are a challenge to adapt for the screen, but if a director/producer is prepared to have a go, why not? It means great royalties for the author.

My book is about... three generations of one family. There's Lucy, a female soldier who's recently returned from Afghanistan and finds her life at a crossroads, Ro, her under-confident mum who feels she's made a mess of her life, and Harry, Lucy's grandfather, an outback cattleman and WW2 hero, who won the heart of a London debutante. The story moves from the Aussie outback to England and also to New Guinea during the war, so there's plenty of romance and heroism.

I’ll never forget... the day I first got “the call” from a publisher.

My favourite place is... my imagination. It can take me anywhere.

The most dangerous thing I have ever done is... throw away my safe career to become a writer. But it was worth it!

The first time I... arrived in Townsville and saw the calm, blue Coral Sea and Magnetic Island so green and alluring just offshore.

I regret... Life's too short for regrets.

I remember... my Year Seven teacher who read wonderful books to us every Friday afternoon.

The one piece of advice I should have listened to but didn’t... I don't know. I tend to listen to advice, and then make up my own mind about things. 

I love... books, books and more books.

I hate... I can't honestly think of anything I hate, except the obvious things like brutality and cruelty.

I wish I could... write faster.

I can’t say no to... champagne.

Yesterday, I... started a new novel, writing several hundred words that I promptly deleted. Today I made a little more progress.

Barbara Hannay

A former English teacher, Barbara Hannay is a city-bred girl with a yen for country life. Many of her forty-plus books are set in rural and outback Australia and have been enjoyed by readers around the world.

She has won the RITA, awarded by Romance Writers of America, and has twice won the Romantic Book of the Year award in Australia.

In her own version of life imitating art, Barbara and her husband currently live on a misty hillside in beautiful Far North Queensland where they keep heritage pigs and chickens and an untidy but productive garden.

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