Renee Conoulty: Her Mother's Secret by Natasha Lester


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Her Mother's Secret by Natasha Lester

1918, England. Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora's life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father's chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father's life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New York City. On the way she meets debonair department store heir Everett Forsyth . . . In Manhattan, Leo works hard to make her cosmetics dream come true, but she's a woman alone with a small salary and a society that deems make-up scandalous.

1939, New York City. Everett's daughter, Alice, a promising ballerina, receives a mysterious letter inviting her to star in a series of advertisements for a cosmetics line. If she accepts she will be immortalized like dancers such as Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Ginger Rogers. Why, then, are her parents so quick to forbid it?

HER MOTHER'S SECRET is the story of a brave young woman chasing a dream in the face of society's disapproval.

Hey! Here's my review.

I adored Natasha's previous novel, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, and I think Her Mother's Secret is even better. Although both novels are set in New York in the 1920s, they are independent stories of independent women with no crossover (though I think you should read them both).

I found this story emotionally engaging from the beginning. I was intrigued to see how the romance would be resolved, at one point I couldn't see any way for it to work out. I loved Leo's strong character and her drive to achieve against all odds. The novel was well researched and the portrayal of day to day life in the 1920s was authentic and fascinating. And the plot twists... Kept me turning the pages.

The perfect red lipstick may be a different shade for different women, but this is a book that would suit everyone.


  • Where: Netgalley
  • Format: ebook


  1. What an endorsement! Sounds fantastic, but alas my TBR pile just can't take the strain right now, so it will just have to go on my reading wishlist.

    1. I hope you get to it one day. I've put my TBR on a diet too.