If I could give this emotionally charged, extraordinarily well-written book ten stars, I would. Although The Guardian of Secrets is over six hundred pages, I devoured it in just a few sittings. This book captured my interest from the very first page. I couldn’t even stop reading The Guardian of Secrets while attending an outdoor play. “Seriously?” I heard my husband say while he glanced at my iPhone. The book is unputdownable. You’re going to love it.
The story begins in Kent, England with Celia Merrill Dobbs, a beautiful married woman who is depressed and alone on her family’s farm. Her loneliness though turns into terror when her husband, Joseph Dobbs begins to show his true colors. Celia flees to Spain with her newborn son. Her husband is a sociopath, vile and evil to the core. You’re going to detest him, but you’ll love Celia.
While in Spain, Ernesto Martinez takes Celia under his wing. Celia falls deeply in love with Ernesto and is ecstatically happy until the Spanish Civil War breaks out.
Jan Petken’s writing is so realistic and painted with so many authentic details that I felt as if I was in the war, fleeing bullets, caring for the wounded and crying over the dead. This compelling book alternates between England and Spain with many intricately woven subplots that add depth and intrigue.
It’s a story about the power of love, the agony of betrayal, and the tragedies of war. I will not give any more details away. I will only say that The Guardian of Secrets will send you on an emotional roller coaster. Get ready to read a quality book with well-drawn characters, meticulously written plots, and prose that just flows until you no longer read the words, but live them. This is the first book I have read by this talented writer, but it will not be my last.
~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover