In the bustling city of Stockholm, Bell has been working as a nanny for what seems like the perfect family. Professional couple Hanna and Max and the children 9 year old Linus and excitable four year old twins Elise and Tilde. Bell has become an integral part of the family. 5 days a week sees her keeping them all organised and on task and doing a job she enjoys for a family she has come to love.
On an ordinary morning in this ordinary house, juggling the school run and the daily tasks, Bell stops to take a phone call from a doctor at a clinic she has never heard of, asking her to pass on a message to her employer Hanna, that her husband is awake. The message seems confusing and Bell is puzzled. A mistake on the doctor’s part surely Bell thinks, as Hanna’s husband Max has just left for work only a few minutes before…well awake.
Unable to contact Hanna, Bell is unsettled by this phone call and hopes Hanna on her return home will confirm it is for another Hanna Mogert. The look on Hanna’s face when the message is finally delivered leaves Bell in no doubt it was indeed meant for Hanna and the truth is quietly spoken. Hanna’s first husband fell into a coma 7 years ago following an accident. But now he is awake and he wants his family back.
As Bell continues to care for Hanna, Max and the children in an uneasy environment during the weeks that follow she takes respite at the weekends with her friends in the city and escapes from the unspoken tension and changed dynamics until the summer arrives and like so many other affluent families Hanna, Bell and the children relocate to the islands of the archipelago to their summer house. Only this year it will be different.
Karen Swan’s expressive description of the islands of the archipelago off the coast of Stockholm paints a beautiful picture an idyllic setting at midsummer with an almost never setting sun. But the location masks a family in crisis and fractured souls. Bell, no stranger to loss and grief finds herself caught up in the middle of long held secrets and resentment and unwittingly becomes part of the problem. Under the summer sun lives are tossed and torn, secrets are exposed. Secrets that will either tear them apart or set them free.
Karen Swan has always been able to weave a story with clever plots and colourful characters together with clear geographical descriptions to set the scene for a perfect read.
About the author…
Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. Her bestselling novels include the summer romances The Paris Secret and The Rome Affair. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a tree house overlooking the Downs.
The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan was released April 2020. RRP $32.99 For more information visit www.panmacmillan.com.au
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, however we received a review copy of The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan to facilitate this post. The above is the reviewer’s own words and opinion.