Today I am delighted to host the blog tour for The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick.
A single father gets an unexpected second chance at love in the heart-warming new novel from the bestselling author of The Library of Lost and Found.
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.
I first discovered Phaedra’s work some years ago when I worked for a small but knowledgable book recommendation website. My boss at the time could spot a new talent from a mile away and she plopped a proof copy of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper in my hands and said ‘this is a good one.’ As always her taste was brilliant and I fell in love with Arthur’s story and was delighted to have discovered a new author. Last year I read and equally loved the wonderful The Library of Lost and Found (click here to check out my review for that). So I didn’t hesitate a jot when HQ invited me to take part in the blog tour for her latest offering.
Dare I say that The Secrets of Sunshine is my favourite yet. Of course that’s a difficult statement to make and I feel slightly disloyal to both Arthur and Martha but… it is truly wonderful and completely glorious. It barely took me a day to read, I was simply unable to stop reading. Phaedra has this super ability to make you absolutely fall in love with her characters. Mitchell, this lonely, sad man who is simply trying to get through the pain of each day without Anita, the love of his life. All the while trying his hardest not to let down his daughter, nine-year-old Poppy. What a wonderful couple they are too. Poppy is the adorable, strong feisty female in this story and boy did I want a happy ending for them both.
There are so many themes throughout this book. Loneliness, fear, anxiety, love, friendship, families, new beginnings and making peace with past events make this a heartwarming read. We can certainly see how Mitchell’s view on his world changes as events unfolded. It all begins as he is finishing a days work removing padlocks from the bridge. He’s just on his way to pick up Poppy from school when he catches site of a woman attaching a padlock to the bridge – the same bridge he has just spent the day removing padlocks from. He feels a fleeting connection with her, possibly something that made him think of Anita. A moment later she has fallen over the edge of the bridge and without a second thought he follows and saves her life. Afterwards in his haste to get to Poppy he forgets to even ask the mystery woman’s name and so begins a hunt that may just help bring him out from the grey world he has lived in since Anita’s death, blinking into the sunshine.
There is so much sunshine within the pages of this book. A wonderful cast of characters, an intriguing mystery and the magic of love and friendship reminding us that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you so muhc to the lovely team at HQ for inviting me to read and review The Secrets of Sunshine and for sending me an advanced reading copy. It was a truly wonderful read.
The Secrets of Sunshine will be published in paperback, ebook and on audiobook on Thursday 14th May 2020. Why not preorder yourself a copy now?
About the author
Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. An award-winning short story writer, she now writes full time in Saddleworth where she lives with her family.
Her debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, was translated into over twenty languages worldwide and has been optioned by a major Hollywood film studio. Her second novel, Wishes Under the Willow Tree, is also under option in the US as a TV movie. Her third novel is The Library of Lost and Found, and The Secrets of Sunshine is Phaedra’s fourth novel.
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