Thursday, 11 June 2020

Book Review: The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

The Hidden Beach
Karen Swan

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia 
Publication date: 28th April 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Romance
Pages: 400 
RRP: $32.99AUD
Format read: paperback 
Source: courtesy of the publisher

 In picturesque Stockholm, Bell Everhurst is working as a nanny for the perfect family. Hanna and Max Mogerts are parents to 9 year-old Linus, and 3-year old twins Elise and Tilde. 
One morning, as she’s rushing for the school run, Bell answers the phone – and everything changes. A woman from a clinic asks her to pass on the urgent message that Hanna’s husband is awake.Bell is confused. Max left the house just a few minutes earlier.
But soon the truth comes tumbling out: Hanna’s first husband fell into a coma seven years earlier, following an accident. Now he's awake. And he wants his family back.
As the city empties and everyone relocates for the summer to the beautiful tiny islands of the archipelago, they are all in crisis. Old wounds and new loves cannot exist side by side. Someone has to lose.
Caught in the middle, Bell tries to hold them all together, but she unwittingly becomes part of the problem. Under the midsummer sun, everything hangs in the balance - until a secret finally emerges that will decode all their fates.

Each year I look forward to Karen Swan’s latest offerings with their mysterious plots and evocative locations. More than ever, this year, armchair travel is the way to be taken away and immersed in the beautiful atmosphere of faraway places.

Bell, a 26 year old Britain now living in Stockholm, works as a nanny for the Mogert family – Hanna, Max, 3yo twins Elise & Tilde and 9yo Linus. Bell loved the children and quite often went above and beyond the regular nanny role working overtime. The Mogerts were like the perfect family until the phone call that Hanna’s husband had awoken from a 7 year coma comes. A call that could tear them apart.

Set in the idyllic archipelago islands where the family head for their summer holidays. Karen Swan skillfully depicts the carefree summer lifestyle but there is an underlying ominous feeling as Hanna goes out one night and Bell finds the children asleep, alone in the house.

Through The Hidden Beach Karen Swan explores the theme of family, what makes a family, the loss of family and a parent’s right to see their child. Bell feels the Mogerts are like family, she loves the children. But does she go above her nanny status when thinking there is making bad decisions regarding the children.

I loved that throughout the story we also had a good look at Bell’s personal life, outside her nanny job. Her friends were a fun lot and really cared about her.

Flash backs to earlier years built on the mystery and the twists come on subtley but have no less of an impact when revealed.
At times compelling and at other times heart-wrenching the anticipation and not knowing what was to come makes The Hidden Beach a captivating read.

  My rating 5/5           ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

photo credit: Goodreads

 Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. Her titles include Christmas in the Snow, Christmas at Tiffany's and The Summer Without You. She lives in Sussex and writes her books from a treehouse overlooking the Downs.


Click on the links below to read the reviews of other Karen Swan books I've read.
The Christmas Lights
The Christmas Party
The Spanish Promise
The Greek Escape