Fiction Book Reviews

Romance | The Secrets of Sunshine | Phaedra Patrick

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The Secrets of Sunshine is such an uplifting story.  I enjoyed The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and The Library of Lost and Found but Phaedra Patrick’s latest story is my favourite.


Book cover for The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick

The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick is published by HQ and is available to purchase in digital, paperback and audiobook formats.

Only his daughter Poppy knows that behind his prickly exterior, Mitchell Fisher is deeply lonely. He may have sworn off romance, relishing his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to his hometown’s famous ‘love story’ bridge… but underneath it all, he’s still grieving the loss of Poppy’s mum.

Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes when Mitchell bravely rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but then she disappears. Desperate to find the mysterious woman, Mitchell teams up with her spirited sister Liza to see if she’s left any clues behind. There’s just one – a secret message on the padlock she left on love story bridge…

Brimming with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and a sparkling cast of characters, The Secrets of Sunshine follows one man’s journey to unlock his heart and discover new beginnings in the unlikeliest places.

Review

It makes an interesting change for a male character to be the lead in a story that deals with grief, healing and moving on with life.  I’ve really enjoyed Mitchell’s transformation and his experiences from stepping out of his comfort zone.  He’s such a solid character and I must admit took a piece of my heart.  His situation, is in part, a reflection of the duties and responsibilities society throws at us.  His speech at Graham’s wedding just made me fall in love with him a little bit more.

Poppy is fabulous.  Her perception of life as a 9 year old is spot on. I hadn’t thought of one piece of wisdom she said to Mitchell in one very emotional scene.  She was so right.  Aunt Jean is great too and is only the start of Mitchell’s move away from planning and structure.  I wasn’t sure what to make of Liza – was she too whimsical and insubstantial?

I didn’t realise just how much I was attached to Mitchell and Poppy until I cried with them.

I’ve loved the mystery and the intrigue.  The disappearance of Yvette kept me guessing and I so wanted to know what was in the lilac envelope!  I could empathise with Mitchell’s reluctance…  I’ve also enjoyed the padlocks and letters but most of all, how these things bound people together and the impact they had on everyone, even Carl the concierge. 🙂

Sometimes a book comes along that you’re so absorbed in that when you glance at how much you’ve read (on the Kindle) you’re gobsmacked you’re so far in.  This is one of those stories. 

The Secrets of Sunshine is entertaining, emotional and might even prompt you to look at life with optimism.  A perfect read to escape with.

Highly recommended.


Phaedra Patrick is the international bestselling author of RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE (known as WISHES UNDER THE WILLOW TREE in the UK), and THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER, which has been translated into over twenty languages worldwide.

Film rights for THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER have been optioned in the US by a major Hollywood studio. A USA Today bestseller, the novel was awarded the Prix des Lectrices 2017 in France, and was a top ten Audible audiobook in the USA. It also reached top three on the Apple iBooks chart.

Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop said: “Phaedra Patrick understands the soul. Eccentric, charming and wise…This book will illuminate your heart.”

RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE has also been optioned as a TV movie in the US.

Both ARTHUR PEPPER and BENEDICT STONE were Indie Next picks in the US, and each was awarded a starred review by the Library Journal. The publication described Phaedra’s work as, “Tender, insightful and surprising.”

THE LIBRARY OF LOST AND FOUND, is available as a US hardback/audio/ebook, and UK audio/ebook. In October 2019, the book reached #11 on Kindle UK. In November, it was selected as The Great North West Read 2019, to be read across over 300 libraries in the NW of England.

Her fourth book will be titled THE SECRETS OF SUNSHINE (UK) and THE SECRETS OF LOVE STORY BRIDGE (US), and she will be writing a fifth and sixth book for her current publishers, Park Row in the US and HQ in the UK.

Phaedra qualified firstly as a stained glass artist before gaining her professional Marketing qualifications. She has worked as a waitress, stained glass designer, film festival organiser and communications manager. She enjoyed her first real writing success when she entered and won several short story competitions, and she now writes full time.

She lives in Saddleworth, UK and is represented by Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson Literary, Film and TV Agency. Twitter @phaedrapatrick   Facebook Page


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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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