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Kathryn Hughes Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Letter (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Secret (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Key (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Her Last Promise (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Memory Box (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kathryn Hughes
Kathryn Hughes is a fiction author known for her best-selling novel, The Letter. Other outstanding works by this author include The Secret and The Key. Hughes was born in Manchester and married in Canada. Together with her husband, she ran a business for close to there decades. During this period, she was also raising her children and traveling to Singapore, India, South Africa, among other parts of the world. She then decided to concentrate her efforts on writing. Her debut novel, The Letter, was published in 2013.

The Letter
The Letter tells the story of women, a whole generation apart, whose lives had many parallels. In the present, we meet Tina Craig, a young woman married to an awful man. It is in 1973, and Tina has been saving to escape from her controlling and abusive husband. She is tired of his drinking, gambling, and violent behavior, and she has been secretly plotting to leave him. When her husband discovers the money she had been hiding in a coffee can, he gives it to her for betting. With no family to run to, Tina knows that it will take longer to leave her husband without her savings. Fortunately, a friend bets on her behalf, and she gets to keep her savings.

As an escape from all the troubles in her life, Tina volunteers in a charity shop whenever she is not at work. It is while working at this shop that she comes across a letter in an old coat. The letter was still unopened, and Tina’s curiosity pushes her to read it. This letter marks the start of an adventure that will bring strangers together. The letter, one of love, reveals how an evil man prevented a young woman from spending her life with the man she loved or a chance to raise their baby together. This letter also puts Tina’s life in danger when her husband stumbles on it and beats her accusing his pregnant wife of infidelity.

The author merges these two storylines effortlessly, even though one takes place in the 1970s while the other goes back to the early 1940s. With a fast pace, good depth, and memorable characters, the author paints a perfect picture of what happens when selfish men are left to make decisions. While these two women lived several decades apart, their experiences were similar. Both suffered greatly in the hands of men who were supposed to protect them. While the writing here is simple, the author covers some heavy topics, including rape and domestic violence. Your heart will break a few times in the story, but it is refreshing that the book ends on a somewhat happy note.

The Letter is a historical romance story of love found and lost. Although the story is nothing new, the way it is told makes it outstanding. We see how the two women learn to cope with the challenges that life throws their way. Some of the decisions are at times wrong, but it is admirable that they keep on pushing. The first storyline unravels just before WWII, and the author paints a perfect picture of the happenings during this period. If you are looking for an easy read with great characters, a solid plot, and a captivating storyline, this novel is ideal.

The Secret
The Secret tells the story of Mary and Beth. In 1975, Mary and her husband are desperate for a child. On the day Mary discovers that she is pregnant, her husband works in the cold mine. Unfortunately, Mary gets a call about an accident that happened at the mine. Did her dear husband survive the accident? Would she even get to share the good news about their baby? Fast forward to 2016. Beth is burying her mother, Mary Thomas. Her son is also seriously sick and in need of a kidney transplant. If only Beth could find a donor for her lovely son.

Beth did not know who her father was, and her mother did not say much about him. However, now more than ever, she needs to find him and see whether he could provide the organ her son needed to survive. When Beth comes across a newspaper cutting in her mother’s stuff, her world starts to fall apart. Secrets about the past come to the surface, and while the truth shakes Beth to the core, it somehow makes her understand her life better. That secret that Mary chose to keep forty years ago has such an impact on the one person she held so dear. Will Beth find a perfect donor for her son’s kidney? What does Beth do with the information she just uncovered now that her mom is not alive to answer her questions?

Most of this story is told in 1976, on the day family and friends went on a trip to Blackpool. The author creates believable characters and sets the right atmosphere for that scorching summer in 76’ when life changed for some. This story comes with a tinge of sadness and some bittersweet memories, but there is also enduring love that is sure to brighten your day. In the present, we get to see Beth’s struggles with more questions than answers. A lot is happening in her life, and you can almost feel her despair as she works to uncover past secrets.

The Secret shows how hard the truth can be to some people. Those who keep secrets often have a good reason as the truth is harder to live with. This captivating story will pull at your heartstrings, and the plot twists will keep you turning the pages. What happens to Beth when she discovers the truth? Will she find the help she needs? The time in the past and present is well divided, and the two storylines merge beautifully at the end. Join Hudges on this enjoyable ride, and you can be sure that you will not want to stop reading once you open the first page. The story remains interesting to the last page, and it is incredible how the characters grow on you, making it hard to say goodbye.

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