Mothers, Sons, Beloveds, and Other Strangers by Janie Dempsey Watts – Bee Readin'

Mothers, Sons, Beloveds, and Other Strangers by Janie Dempsey Watts

The Hidden Women by Kerry Barrett is a historical novel that goes between present day 2018 and back to the war in 1944. The story delves into the history of the women who flew for the ATA in Britain and family secrets one woman hoped would never be uncovered.

I was pulled into this novel immediately. First I love historic novels, second, I am incredibly curious and thirdly, I am deep into genealogy, so discovering family stories really intrigues me.

The book starts in present day London 2018. Helena Miles is a young single mom who loves digging into the past and it is also her job. She works as a researcher for a hit television show “Where Do You Come From”?, and her work has her dealing with mainly celebrity families. When the handsome superstar Jack Jones blows into her life, Helena will put on a path she never saw coming. While researching Jack’s genealogy, a familiar name pops up and Helena finds herself unexpectedly sliding down a deep dark rabbit hole into her own family history.

Readers are soon transported back Berkshire, England 1944. Lillian Miles is an ATA pilot and flies every type of aircraft during the war. When her niece starts poking around, she remains quiet about the secrets she has locked deep in her soul hoping they would never be discovered.

Helena’s job has strict rules about using the company resources to research your own family, but she ignores them hoping no one will discover her digging into her own family. Jack encourages her to continue her work and helps her along the way. This too will bring Helena trouble.

When Helena brings the information to her family, her father has his own questions and wants her to continue researching. What she discovers could quite possibly destroy her family. What happened to her Aunt Lillian during the war, why won’t she talk about it and what do the answers mean for her family?

If you really enjoy historical novels, are curious about the past and family stories and genealogy, you will love this novel. I enjoyed going between present day and the past to learn Lillian’s story. The book really is about friendship, sisterhood, strong women and family secrets.

The author did an incredible job bringing the character’s to life, giving them depth and you may just find yourself sympathetic to both sides. One wanting to keep the past secret and the other needing to know the truth.

I noticed the book was published a year ago today, so happy book anniversary to Kerry Barrett for a truly wonderful novel. Even better, Amazon’s Kindle price today is .99 cents. Don’t know if it is a one day deal or the price for now, but either way, it is totally worth the buy and read.

Until next time,
Bee Readin’

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8 thoughts on “Mothers, Sons, Beloveds, and Other Strangers by Janie Dempsey Watts”

  1. Hi Terri. This sounds like a good and quick read. I’ll add it to my list. Right now I’m reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. It’s a fictional story about Ernest Hemingway. Have you read it? Early in the summer I started Gone With the Wind. I’m really enjoying it, but have yet to make a dent in it. A year or so ago I reread Heidi. I enjoyed it more as an adult reading it. I think it’s one of my favorite books. I’m interested to hear which childhood book you are reading.

    1. Hi Janet. Thanks for the recommendation on The Paris Wife. I haven’t read it. Gone With the Wind is a challenge, such a long book, good for you. I thought it would be fun to go back and reread a classic that I loved as a child. I finished it and will blog it next week. I got more out of it as an adult than as a kid. I just started Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. So far so good. Hope you are having a great summer filled with lots of beautiful hikes. Chat soon, Terri

      1. Hi, I’m on page 140 in Eleanor Oliphant. I have a feeling it will rip our heart out at the end. The way she doesn’t expect to ever be loved. Anyway, I’m a friend of Janie’s. I haven’t got her short stories, but I will be seeing her at the Chattanooga Writer’s Guild meeting on Tuesday so I will probably get one then.

        1. Hi Victoria,
          Thanks so much for the comment and letting me know about Eleanor Oliphant. I am thoroughly enjoying it and have the same feeling as you, it will rip at our hearts. Tell Janie I said hello. I loved her short story book. I haven’t read any short story books lately, and it renewed my love for them. I hope you enjoy it! Take Care, Terri

  2. This sounds like a lovely read, Terri. Another one for my reading list, then. I am currently reading “Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria” by Noo Saro-Wiwa. It is excellent, and especially as I have no desire to ever travel to Nigeria, it gives me an opportunity to get to know the culture and country without ever setting foot there. Another brilliant book I’ve recently read is the novel “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi.

    1. Hi Jolandi, I think you would really enjoy the short stories, each one is so different. I have added Homegoing to my list and will check it out, thank you so much. I am with you on the Nigeria travels. I love to read books that offer a story from a country I won’t ever visit, especially when written well and they take you there without having to go. Keep me posted on other great books you read, I’m always searching. I just started Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and so far so good. Thanks for keeping in touch! I can’t wait to follow you on your new journey. Take care, Terri

        1. No worries, Jolandi. I am so glad to hear you have discovered some new books through the blog. Thank you for following and reading along.

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