The part that Grace Darling played in the rescue of nine people from the wreck of The Forfarshire on the Farne Islands in 1838 is well known, but this story goes behind the familiar tale of the heroine to explore what her life must have been like, living in a lighthouse with her parents, wanting to be a lighthouse keeper herself, but knowing that in the mid nineteenth century, it was not a job thought suitable for a woman.
Hazel Gaynor not only shows how Grace dealt with the events of the night of the storm when she helped her father rescue the survivors, but also how she dealt with the unwanted media attention of the day with letters to answer, locks of hair to be enclosed, and even artists and sculptors coming to capture her likeness for the people to see because photography hadn't been invented.
Added to all this Hazel found a hint of a possible romance with a young man, and the name being mentioned of a George Emmerson, so she linked this to the true story of Sarah Dawson who Grace rescued on that fateful night, taking it and exploring how her life might have been if she had fallen in love with him.
From the story of George Emmerson and Sarah Dawson, his ficticious sister, comes the story of Matilda in 1938 with many links to the past, right back to Grace herself, and an unexpected family secret.
Both stories touched my heart and kept me rooting for Grace and Matilda until the end.
It is a wonderful book and I can't recommend it enough!
Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and her writing partner, Heather Webb, due out in paperback on 5th September 2019!