The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh
Rachel, saved from an attack twelve years before by a faceless stranger, never got to thank him, never knew his name.
Despite the devastation she chose to rise above it to help others from their pain by becoming a psychologist.... Her only issue now is that she's an expert at fixing everyone else's problems, and blind to her own.
After a long relationship with her boyfriend Will starts to go south, she turns to her best friend Amelia for guidance.
Suddenly her world is turned upside down when tragedy strikes and she's left with no one to comfort her but Will's rude older brother Ruari.
Paralysed by fear, she struggles to take grip of her life, until the day when anonymous letters begin to appear from the stranger who saved her twelve years before.
This was such a lovely read in so many ways.
I adored the setting which was romantic and comforting. Having been to South Africa a few times and having stayed in Johannesburg, I recognised a few of the places and food that was mentioned so this brought back some nostalgic memories for me which added to my overall enjoyment of the novel.
The book was character driven which I loved; I truly got swept away with Rachel's character and was routing for her to ditch her boyfriend Will and find a man who would devote his time to her. I adored the addition of the charming Mr Lemon and his backstory and loved reading about how this evolved throughout the novel.
Although I don't read many romance novels I found I was completely captivated by the premise of this book. The concept behind the letters was heartwarming and the fact that the love between all the characters, whether friendship, family or romantic grew slowly, over time, was invigorating to read.
Even though I found this novel uplifting and moving it also had a darker theme running through it; that of abuse, violation and rape. I think Leigh highlighted the story of survival in a sensitive and thoughtful way, showing the courage and bravery of the victim through her portrayal of Rachel.
A beautiful story with a stunning front cover which I read in one day. Many thanks to Taryn Leigh for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review. Such an enjoyable, moving read.
Taryn Leigh is a South African Author, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become an Author.
Taryn Leigh’s first book, Perfect Imperfections, is available in Paperback, eBook and AudioBook.
She lives in Pretoria with her husband and son.
About the Book:
The idea for this story, came about one afternoon, when Alshandra Visagie visited our home and shared her harrowing account of being attacked in her home by a stranger.
The way she told that story shook me to the core. Having known of her story my entire life, it was completely different sitting in the room and having a first-hand account of it. Her bravery and courage together with her story of survival was hair raising to say the least, but completely inspirational.
I knew then, that I needed to somehow share her story with the world.
Being a fiction author, I contemplated for months how to tell that story. Whether to tell it like she had, or whether to completely fictionalise it. Eventually, I came to the realisation that I would use this book as an avenue to present the topic of a woman overcoming this horrendous attack, through a work of fiction, and then have her share it with my readers in her own words in live chats. So if you have read this book, look out for those chats on social media, and if you are wondering which part is applicable to her story, it’s found in my own fictitious account in Chapter Fifteen.
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