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The Forgotten Cottage

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Connected through time to her great-grandmother by a shared English countryside home, an American nurse tries to piece together her family's tangled history in this new historical novel from the acclaimed author of At Summer's End. England, 2014: Audrey Collins knows only two things about her beloved grandmother's past: She was born into nobility and she immigrated to Ameri Connected through time to her great-grandmother by a shared English countryside home, an American nurse tries to piece together her family's tangled history in this new historical novel from the acclaimed author of At Summer's End. England, 2014: Audrey Collins knows only two things about her beloved grandmother's past: She was born into nobility and she immigrated to America at seventeen years old. So when Audrey inherits her gran's home in North Yorkshire, she arrives expecting a sprawling country estate fit for lords and ladies. Instead, she finds an abandoned stone cottage perfectly preserved as Gran left it when she fled in 1941--ration book and all--and begins to uncover what secrets her family has been keeping. France, 1915: Lady Emilie Dawes is working as a nurse on the Western Front, grateful to have escaped the restraints of her restrictive, privileged home life. But the independence she fought hard to earn is suddenly jeopardized when a familiar man shows up in one of her hospital beds. Facing him means facing her past, and the decisions she had made in fear. As the war rages around her, Emilie realizes she cannot continue running from who she is until she decides who she truly wants to be. Over a hundred years apart, Audrey and Emilie each struggle to find purpose, love, and a place to call home in this enchanting family saga celebrating the courage of underestimated women--and the power a secret can hold across generations.


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Connected through time to her great-grandmother by a shared English countryside home, an American nurse tries to piece together her family's tangled history in this new historical novel from the acclaimed author of At Summer's End. England, 2014: Audrey Collins knows only two things about her beloved grandmother's past: She was born into nobility and she immigrated to Ameri Connected through time to her great-grandmother by a shared English countryside home, an American nurse tries to piece together her family's tangled history in this new historical novel from the acclaimed author of At Summer's End. England, 2014: Audrey Collins knows only two things about her beloved grandmother's past: She was born into nobility and she immigrated to America at seventeen years old. So when Audrey inherits her gran's home in North Yorkshire, she arrives expecting a sprawling country estate fit for lords and ladies. Instead, she finds an abandoned stone cottage perfectly preserved as Gran left it when she fled in 1941--ration book and all--and begins to uncover what secrets her family has been keeping. France, 1915: Lady Emilie Dawes is working as a nurse on the Western Front, grateful to have escaped the restraints of her restrictive, privileged home life. But the independence she fought hard to earn is suddenly jeopardized when a familiar man shows up in one of her hospital beds. Facing him means facing her past, and the decisions she had made in fear. As the war rages around her, Emilie realizes she cannot continue running from who she is until she decides who she truly wants to be. Over a hundred years apart, Audrey and Emilie each struggle to find purpose, love, and a place to call home in this enchanting family saga celebrating the courage of underestimated women--and the power a secret can hold across generations.

30 review for The Forgotten Cottage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    2019 - Audrey lost her job as a nurse because of her drinking and is taking care of her grandmother. Gran dies, but before she passes she leaves a note for Audrey about a cottage in Yorkshire, England, that she left to Audrey. What also is puzzling to Audrey is why did Gran leave the cottage all those years ago and why if she had been a Lady why wasn't the cottage grand. Audrey finds the cottage charming and full of things from Gran's past. Under the floorboards are even more interesting pieces of 2019 - Audrey lost her job as a nurse because of her drinking and is taking care of her grandmother. Gran dies, but before she passes she leaves a note for Audrey about a cottage in Yorkshire, England, that she left to Audrey. What also is puzzling to Audrey is why did Gran leave the cottage all those years ago and why if she had been a Lady why wasn't the cottage grand. Audrey finds the cottage charming and full of things from Gran's past. Under the floorboards are even more interesting pieces of Gran's life. She kept them secret for all those years. 1915 - We meet Emilie, Gran's mother, and Audrey's great grandmother. Emilie lives in luxury, but feels hemmed in with all the restrictions put on her by her family and their decision to have her marry someone she doesn't love. Emilie escapes to London with nothing but scorn from her family and joins the VAD's - nurses in the Voluntary Aid Detachment. Nursing isn't for Emilie, but she finds her true love in one of the hospital beds. We follow both women and learn how everything is connected. I fell in love with the cottage and would love to live in it. Does Audrey sell the cottage or go back to her life in the United States with her controlling sister and father and a life of nursing she hopes is still there for her? I know which one I would choose. The writing is wonderful, and the cover is a pull-in, but I enjoyed the present-day chapters more than the 1915 ones. The 1915 ones were a bit too long even though they gave necessary background. If you love remote villages and WWI, this book should be a wonderful read for you. 4/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee (bookswithnopictures)

    If I could point to one new(ish) author and demand everyone read her, it would be Courtney Ellis. Both of her books are rich in history and transport the reader to a picturesque landscape, time, and place. The Forgotten Cottage, with a dual timeline, unfolds in both past and present. I can't choose which character or time frame I was more invested in. It's one of the few books that I can say I adored both equally. 2014 - Audrey is left an unexpected inheritance in the English countryside. While s If I could point to one new(ish) author and demand everyone read her, it would be Courtney Ellis. Both of her books are rich in history and transport the reader to a picturesque landscape, time, and place. The Forgotten Cottage, with a dual timeline, unfolds in both past and present. I can't choose which character or time frame I was more invested in. It's one of the few books that I can say I adored both equally. 2014 - Audrey is left an unexpected inheritance in the English countryside. While she misses her grandmother greatly, the mystery of the past and finding a way to move forward both inspire and intrigue her as she leaves the US to sell the quaint cottage. Secrets arise and with the help of Leslie, Audrey finds more than she bargains for. 1915 - Emilie is, by all appearances, a lady through and through with the world at her fingertips. She feels trapped by her station, expected to marry into nobility to a family friend. Meeting Isaac cracks open the door to new potential. With WWI on the horizon, all is about to change. This is going to be one of my top reads for 2022. I didn't read it quickly, but savored every minute within the pages. It's completely memorable and I cannot wait to see what inspires Courtney next! Thank you to the author for the gifted copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Trzewik

    Unraveling family’s past history Wonderful story of a granddaughter trying to find answers to her grandmother and in turn great grandmother past mysteries. Written in a dual timeline present and WW1. Inheriting her grandma house in England leads to many unanswered questions. Why did her grandmother suddenly leave England for the US? Why is the cottage like a time warp 1940’s? Who were her great grandparents? Is there really a Lord in her family? The story gives you a inside look at the life of a Unraveling family’s past history Wonderful story of a granddaughter trying to find answers to her grandmother and in turn great grandmother past mysteries. Written in a dual timeline present and WW1. Inheriting her grandma house in England leads to many unanswered questions. Why did her grandmother suddenly leave England for the US? Why is the cottage like a time warp 1940’s? Who were her great grandparents? Is there really a Lord in her family? The story gives you a inside look at the life of a VAD, a volunteer nurse aid during WW1 and what harsh conditions the soldiers lived through. Very moving story….a few tears…well written. Thank you #Goodreads for the book. All opinions are my own. #TheForgottenCottage

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tracie

    Two women at the crossroads of their lives intersect in this tale of two time periods: the present and pre-World War I. Audrey Collins is an alcoholic who is on probation from her nursing career and has spent her time off at AA and taking care of her almost 100-year-old Gran. At her passing, Audrey discovers her Gran left her a cottage in Yorkshire, England and she leaves America and her dad and controlling sister and finds Sparrow Cottage. The rundown but charming cottage is filled with items f Two women at the crossroads of their lives intersect in this tale of two time periods: the present and pre-World War I. Audrey Collins is an alcoholic who is on probation from her nursing career and has spent her time off at AA and taking care of her almost 100-year-old Gran. At her passing, Audrey discovers her Gran left her a cottage in Yorkshire, England and she leaves America and her dad and controlling sister and finds Sparrow Cottage. The rundown but charming cottage is filled with items from the 1940's, when her Gran mysteriously left for America, among them a VAD nurse uniform, a medal and a letter. The story then shifts to Emilie Dawes another relative of Audreys as it turns out. It is about 1914 and Emilie is also at sea in her life. She is restless and not convinced she should marry a childhood friend, Rhys, the son of a duke, just because their parents want them to marry. Then she meets Isaac, her worldview changes, and she flees to London when the war starts. She enlists in the VAD and finds herself nursing in France. Both women grow and become better women, especially Emilie, as she sees the horror around her and realizes how vapid and smug many of her class have been. The author nicely wraps the two stories together and the side characters add interest in both time periods. The notes at the end are informative and add pathos to the fiction. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nina Furrtheloveofbooks

    Do you ever wonder about your families past? Do you feel like an outcast in the family and want to learn more about your family to find your place in the world? If you answered yes to either of those questions than this book is for you. In this book we have Lady Emily who is being pushed into a marriage of convenience with an royal family, though she yearns to find a life of her own with purpose and love instead of a title. The other main character is Lady Emily’s great-granddaughter, Audrey, a Do you ever wonder about your families past? Do you feel like an outcast in the family and want to learn more about your family to find your place in the world? If you answered yes to either of those questions than this book is for you. In this book we have Lady Emily who is being pushed into a marriage of convenience with an royal family, though she yearns to find a life of her own with purpose and love instead of a title. The other main character is Lady Emily’s great-granddaughter, Audrey, a recovering alcoholic who is trying to figure out about her grandmother’s past after she died and left her a cottage in the English countryside. This book is a great read and both timelines kept me hooked. I will say that the love interest between Audrey and Leslie kept me so vested in the country I was longing for more of their story. I listened to the story on audiobook while reading along to the book. Thank you to @prhaudio for an advanced digital copy for review purposes and to @netgalley and @berkley for and advanced digital copy. The audiobook had two narrators and so with each timeline being told by the character it made me love the story more. This is a book that I truly loved and I hope you grab a copy and give it a chance too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    I read Courtney Ellis’s debut novel last summer, At Summer’s End, and good lord was it ever good! I devoured it and it was one of my favorite reads last year. So naturally when I saw this one coming up for review I was thrilled! This one has a great dual timeline aspect which I know is often overdone in historical fiction, but for me it never gets old! I love readling dual timeline books! This book promises long buried family secrets and complex characters rich in historical detail. And it certai I read Courtney Ellis’s debut novel last summer, At Summer’s End, and good lord was it ever good! I devoured it and it was one of my favorite reads last year. So naturally when I saw this one coming up for review I was thrilled! This one has a great dual timeline aspect which I know is often overdone in historical fiction, but for me it never gets old! I love readling dual timeline books! This book promises long buried family secrets and complex characters rich in historical detail. And it certainly had all of those things! Ellis write beautiful historical fiction with lots of historical details and heart and this second book was not a disappointment in that regard. I know that fans of the historical fiction genre will not have missed Ellis’s first novel (not with that stunning cover that’s for sure!) but this book doesn’t quite have the ‘curb appeal’ that the first book did. The cover was more simple and not nearly as eye catching as her first book but it was still a wonderful read so don’t let the basic cover fool you! If you are a fan of historical fiction this book and author should be on your TBR list. Ellis is clearly one to watch in the genre and I for one am going to be eagerly awaiting the next book she writes! This book had a lot to recommend itself based on my expectations from the first book, but at first I did have my doubts that I would love this book though that was quickly dispelled. When this book started, instantly I was put off by the main character Audrey. She is a recovering alcoholic and I feared I would have a hard time relating to her. There is a history of alcoholics in my family so instantly when I read a character as an alcoholic (recovering or not) I have a hard time connecting or feeling sympathetic toward them. Obviously that I my own personal bias so when within the first couple of pages it’s established that Audrey is a recovering alcoholic, I feared I simply wouldn’t like the book because of my own bias. But I tried so hard to put it aside and enjoy the book mostly because I was so excited for this one. For me personally, I felt like try as I might, I couldn’t connect with Audrey at all—-but I did love reading Lady Emilie’s story and felt like of the two main plots this was my favorite and what ultimately saved the book for me. The WWI chapters were a little more detailed and lengthy than the modern day ones but I didn’t mind as it provided historical background and established different plot points that were necessary so naturally I assumed they would be longer and the focus of the book—–this is a historical fiction novel after all! I loved how much of a life Sparrow Cottage took on in the book. It was essentially its own characters and I loved that about this book and would have loved to have visited this wonderful house! It seemed so charming and idyllic. While I might not have loved Audrey’s character, her plot was well written and I liked how it took shape throughout the novel, especially with Isaac. Even if I had my own personal bias about her character, I still found her journey interesting and engaging and I think that many readers will connect with her and cheer her on as her life takes on a new meaning and shape. I loved discovering the past secrets and lives of the characters and those secrets made the book for me. This was a well written novel and a great follow up the Ellis’s debut novel. I ended up giving it 4 stars and felt content once it was complete. I am eager to see what tale Ellis will craft for us next, this is a historical fiction author to watch!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I received a complimentary advanced copy of THE FORGOTTEN COTTAGE by Courtney Ellis. Thank you to Berkley Publishing and PRH Audio for the chance to provide an honest review. Publication Date: 8/9/2022 Rating: 4 / 5 THE FORGOTTEN COTTAGE by Courtney Ellis is set in two timelines. In 2014 we are following Audrey, a young woman struggling after the loss of her grandmother. Her grandmother always kept pretty quiet about the details of her past, so Audrey is surprised when she learns that she’s inherit I received a complimentary advanced copy of THE FORGOTTEN COTTAGE by Courtney Ellis. Thank you to Berkley Publishing and PRH Audio for the chance to provide an honest review. Publication Date: 8/9/2022 Rating: 4 / 5 THE FORGOTTEN COTTAGE by Courtney Ellis is set in two timelines. In 2014 we are following Audrey, a young woman struggling after the loss of her grandmother. Her grandmother always kept pretty quiet about the details of her past, so Audrey is surprised when she learns that she’s inherited a house in North Yorkshire. She knew her grandmother was born to a well established family, but this home is a run down stone cottage, not exactly what a grand family would have owned. Together with the help of some locals, she begins to look into what she can learn of her grandmother’s story. In 1915 France, we follow Emilie, a young woman who is working as a nurse on the western front, working to find independence from the life of privilege and restrictions that come from her well to do family. Her family has determined she will marry well, but her heart is determined to go to someone else even though her family will not approve. I really enjoyed the story in both timelines and the heroines at the center of each story. I really liked the mystery elements of the story too that kept me guessing at how the stories would be interconnected and what Audrey’s grandmother’s history was. I liked the parallels between these two women as well, both working as nurses and trying to get on their own two feet. For Emilie it was a lot about finding independence in a time where women did not have many options. For Audrey she’s dealing with alcoholism and the impacts that has had on her license and her grief. This isn’t always an easy read, it did delve into some of the deplorable conditions of war in the historical timeline and injuries and health issues in both timelines. Still, I think things were handled well without being there purely for shock value. This was a good mix of historical fiction and contemporary with romance and mystery as well!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Lanigan

    I was so engrossed in this story that I was shocked when it ended. It definitely pulled me in and I loved both storylines. . In France 1915 Lady Emile is working as a nurse during the war. She comes from a privileged family but her life changes from the war and a forbidden love. . In England 2014 Audrey arrives to find her grandmother’s cottage that she knew nothing about. The only things she knew about her grandmother’s past was that she immigrated to America as a 17 year old and that she was born I was so engrossed in this story that I was shocked when it ended. It definitely pulled me in and I loved both storylines. . In France 1915 Lady Emile is working as a nurse during the war. She comes from a privileged family but her life changes from the war and a forbidden love. . In England 2014 Audrey arrives to find her grandmother’s cottage that she knew nothing about. The only things she knew about her grandmother’s past was that she immigrated to America as a 17 year old and that she was born into nobility, which she always thought was just a story. She is soon about to discover her family’s entire history here in this forgotton cottage. . I love how the storylines weaves together and discovering their history and let me tell you I would love to stay in this cottage! Huge thank you to @berkleypub @berittalksbooks @thephdivabooks @dg_reads and @netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lindy Thompson

    4.5 stars, rounded up. The Forgotten Cottage is an absolute beautiful story about a family and its history, both past and present. I genuinely loved both time lines. Audrey, in the present, is working so hard to turn over a new leaf and do better. Emilie, in the past, is fighting for her independence, to be valued for who she really is and not what her family wants her to do. I would find myself so invested in each story that when the story would switch, I was eager to continue reading and tryin 4.5 stars, rounded up. The Forgotten Cottage is an absolute beautiful story about a family and its history, both past and present. I genuinely loved both time lines. Audrey, in the present, is working so hard to turn over a new leaf and do better. Emilie, in the past, is fighting for her independence, to be valued for who she really is and not what her family wants her to do. I would find myself so invested in each story that when the story would switch, I was eager to continue reading and trying to piece together the clues of the past. If you enjoy historical fiction with romance, particularly around the time of WWI, then you must read this book! *descriptions of war injuries, one vague open door scene, some language (including 1 f-word) Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for my e-arc of this book. All opinions here are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dianne Landry

    I'm pretty sure I've read this story a few times by different authors. Yawn! I'm pretty sure I've read this story a few times by different authors. Yawn!

  11. 5 out of 5

    T. Rosado

    4.5 Stars I enjoyed this much more than the author’s debut. At Summer's End was a fine story, but I was drawn more deeply to this one and it hit me with some wonderful feels. The Forgotten Cottage was a dual timeline story done well. I was drawn emotionally to both timelines, but I especially enjoyed the vulnerabilities of the characters in the later timeline, as well as their sweet romance. 4.5 Stars I enjoyed this much more than the author’s debut. At Summer's End was a fine story, but I was drawn more deeply to this one and it hit me with some wonderful feels. The Forgotten Cottage was a dual timeline story done well. I was drawn emotionally to both timelines, but I especially enjoyed the vulnerabilities of the characters in the later timeline, as well as their sweet romance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Thank you to NetGalley, the author and Berkley Publishing house for the opportunity to read this fantastic historical fiction novel. Historical fiction is at the top of my favorites for reading choices because I always learn something from the experience. In The Forgotten Cottage, the author blends through time the current storyline (2019) in England and in the historical story which took place in both England and France in 1915. In the current side of the story, American Nurse Audrey Collins inh Thank you to NetGalley, the author and Berkley Publishing house for the opportunity to read this fantastic historical fiction novel. Historical fiction is at the top of my favorites for reading choices because I always learn something from the experience. In The Forgotten Cottage, the author blends through time the current storyline (2019) in England and in the historical story which took place in both England and France in 1915. In the current side of the story, American Nurse Audrey Collins inherits her grandmother’s home in the English countryside after she passed away at 100 years old. Audrey had been her caregiver. Audrey is a trained nurse; but due to some difficulties she was having related to her indulgence in alcohol, she was placed on probation. Once in recovery, she learns of her inheritance and feels a fresh start in a new place will be a positive change. Back in 1915, Lady Emilie Dawes is distraught over both her brother and a close male friend (that she secretly loves) headed to the Western Front in World War I. She sees this as an opportunity and without telling her family, leaves home and enlists in the VAD to work as a nurse in France. She fled home to avoid marrying Rhys to whom her parents have pledged her. When she meets Isaac, In her work as a nurse she is grateful for the opportunity to learn and the freedom and independence she feels in her new surroundings, despite the horrors of the war. When a familiar face shows up in one of the hospital beds, it changes everything for Emily. In the current timeframe, Audrey is determined to unravel her grandmother’s past and discover how she came to own the delightful yet abandoned stone cottage she has left to Audrey. All Audrey knows is that her grandmother immigrated to America as a teenager, and that she had some type of nobility in her family’s past. When she arrives at Sparrow Cottage, she discovers it was literally left unchanged as well as learns more about grandmother through the items left behind: A VAD nurse uniform, a medal and a letter. Her first instincts were to sell the cottage, but now she yearns to know more. The book is delightful, and the reader runs the gamut of emotions from happy to sad to concerned and finally as the author did an excellent job of tying the two stories together, I felt comfort with what I learned as I read. Highly recommend.

  13. 5 out of 5

    LA

    I’d love to visit Sparrow Cottage. The scenery is so well-described in this book that readers are treated to the sights, sounds and even the smells of a cottage shut up for decades, and the Great War that claimed so many lives. There are a lot of questions and mystery that surround Audrey’s life, least of all the questions about her Gran’s stories. Readers can empathize with Audrey’s pain as she grieves the loss of the only person who ever believed in her. Of the woman who took her in when the res I’d love to visit Sparrow Cottage. The scenery is so well-described in this book that readers are treated to the sights, sounds and even the smells of a cottage shut up for decades, and the Great War that claimed so many lives. There are a lot of questions and mystery that surround Audrey’s life, least of all the questions about her Gran’s stories. Readers can empathize with Audrey’s pain as she grieves the loss of the only person who ever believed in her. Of the woman who took her in when the rest of her family gave up on her. Audrey messed up - big time. But there’s a redeeming quality in her Gran’s will. Gran leaves a virtually unknown property to Audrey, which is a treasure trove of answers to Gran’s past. Readers will ask some of the same questions that Audrey does. Though some of the story is predictable, there are delightful surprises along the way. The story moves between the past - showing readers the life that Gran keeps hidden from her future children, and Audrey’s mission to uncover the secrets. There are some interesting characters who add life and colour to the journey. I found it difficult to connect with Gran, in that she made a really stupid decision, impulsive, and one that had disastrous consequences. She, was a spoiled rich girl who didn’t appreciate what she had until she did the stupid thing. The men from the historical line weren’t exactly endearing either. However, the present story more than makes up for it in Audrey and the rest of the characters in modern day North Yorkshire. The pace of the story is slow, as the author lays the foundation in the past for the present story. Details easily fall into place as the story progresses, aiding readers in answering the questions Audrey has. An enjoyable read. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Reading Ladies)

    4.5 Stars Thank you #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #TheForgottenCottage upon my request. All opinions are my own. A grandmother has secrets! In The Forgotten Cottage, dual timelines (1914 and 2019) follow two young women (a great-granddaughter and great-grandmother) who work as nurses and find their way in life and love. Emilie (1914) leaves home to find independence from her life of privilege and expectations (such as whom she will 4.5 Stars Thank you #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #TheForgottenCottage upon my request. All opinions are my own. A grandmother has secrets! In The Forgotten Cottage, dual timelines (1914 and 2019) follow two young women (a great-granddaughter and great-grandmother) who work as nurses and find their way in life and love. Emilie (1914) leaves home to find independence from her life of privilege and expectations (such as whom she will marry) and joins the VAD (Voluntary Aide Detachment) on the Western Front. Audrey (2019) leaves home (in America) to reevaluate her life after she loses her nursing privileges due to her alcohol use. Upon her grandmother’s death, she Inherits a home in England. This offers Audrey the perfect excuse for a time away and space to grieve. Expecting something grander in North Yorkshire, she discovers she’s inherited a run-down cottage. As she works to uncover her grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s secrets, the locals help her fix up the cottage. It seems that a grandmother’s secret that a granddaughter must discover is quite popular in recent historical fiction. Even though a tried and true trope, it works well in this story. From page one, I was invested in the mystery and the connections that would be made. Truly, I enjoyed both storylines in The Forgotten Cottage, was curious about how they would converge, and felt invested in both main characters. If I had to choose a favorite timeline, I think the present-day timeline was most engaging for me. Although the past timeline provides interesting details about nursing during WW1. Emilie and Audrey are both independent and ambitious in their search for a meaningful life. In different ways, both are looking for an escape. Emilie rebels against societal expectations in England during 1914, rejects her marriage to her childhood friend, wants more meaning in her life, and escapes to London to begin nurses training to aid in the war effort. In 2019, Audrey lives in America and is a nurse, but she is on probation because of problems with alcohol abuse. She is grieving the loss of her 100-year-old grandmother, and upon hearing the news that her grandmother has left her a cottage in North Yorkshire, Audrey seizes this opportunity to escape/reevaluate her work situation and find out more about her grandmother. Both Emilie and Audrey face challenges and complications, but the author infuses the story with hope. Throughout my reading experience, I appreciated the author’s vivid descriptive details of WW1 and life at the time, the abandoned and rundown stone cottage, and the small remote village and its colorful characters. Poignant and compelling themes in this engaging story include friendship, loyalty, family dynamics, sacrifice, taking a risk, starting over, second chances, grief, and romance. I wholeheartedly recommend The Forgotten Cottage for fans of engaging, dual timeline histfic with gentle sides of mystery and romance, for readers who love the WW1 subgenre, for those who appreciate reading stories featuring strong and independent women, and for book clubs. For more reviews visit my blog www.readingladies.com where this review was first published.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Audrey has made a mess of her life. Her nursing career may be off the page unless she can get her drinking under control. She is caring for Gran, who at almost 100 years old, dies. Audrey is bereft. Discovering that Gran has left her a cottage in Yorkshire, England, she jumps on a plane and arrives with no thought of what she will do after she gets there. She discovers Sparrow Cottage, filled with things from the 1940s, and her plans to immediately sell the cottage are put on the back burner as Audrey has made a mess of her life. Her nursing career may be off the page unless she can get her drinking under control. She is caring for Gran, who at almost 100 years old, dies. Audrey is bereft. Discovering that Gran has left her a cottage in Yorkshire, England, she jumps on a plane and arrives with no thought of what she will do after she gets there. She discovers Sparrow Cottage, filled with things from the 1940s, and her plans to immediately sell the cottage are put on the back burner as she feels a drive to sort through these items and learn more about Gran's secretive life. She finds a VAD nursing uniform, a medal and a letter. We then find out more about Emilie, another relative, who lived through World War I. Emilie has goals and aspirations for her life that her family believes to be totally unsuitable for a woman of her position. Should she marry the man they have picked out for her or should she break with her family and strike out on her own? Then she meets Isaac and her path takes a few more turns. Gran always told her family she was descended from royalty. Now it is up to Audrey to find out if this is true or not. I received an e-ARC from the Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley, in exchange for a review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    K. M.

    The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis This one almost needs two separate reviews… one for the “present day” sections of the book and another for the “flashback” sections. Present Day The setting, the characters, the ambiance, the writing style - I loved it all. I was immediately drawn into the mystery and the first few chapters flew by. Flashbacks Overall, the flashback sections are way weaker in both writing style and structure. I just didn’t feel as invested in this part of the storyline and it f The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis This one almost needs two separate reviews… one for the “present day” sections of the book and another for the “flashback” sections. Present Day The setting, the characters, the ambiance, the writing style - I loved it all. I was immediately drawn into the mystery and the first few chapters flew by. Flashbacks Overall, the flashback sections are way weaker in both writing style and structure. I just didn’t feel as invested in this part of the storyline and it felt like it went on FOREVER. Also, because it continues the flashback for many chapters, it’s easy to lose the thread of who the characters even are in relation to the “present day” storyline. I enjoyed the time period selected, leading up to WWI... very interesting, especially since I am burned out on WWII period books right now. But this section also features an awkward writing style (and not just because of the stylized period specific writing - I have read and loved many historical fiction pieces… this style just didn’t sit comfortably and needed further refinement). Overall, this could have been a 4 or 5 star book, but missed the mark with the writing and editing in the flashback chapters. 2.5 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    This was an absolutely lovely book! It is told in two timelines, and often with multiple timelines I find myself more attached to one then another. But in this book I was equally invested in both. Audrey inherits her grandmothers home in England, but is surprised to find that it’s only a little rundown cottage that has been left unattended since the 1940’s. I loved her storyline because she was real and relatable and flawed and loved her grandmother with her whole heart. In the other timeline we h This was an absolutely lovely book! It is told in two timelines, and often with multiple timelines I find myself more attached to one then another. But in this book I was equally invested in both. Audrey inherits her grandmothers home in England, but is surprised to find that it’s only a little rundown cottage that has been left unattended since the 1940’s. I loved her storyline because she was real and relatable and flawed and loved her grandmother with her whole heart. In the other timeline we have Emilie who is a headstrong young girl living in England’s high society in 1914. But she longs for more and to make a difference. Soon she is escaping to France to join the Voluntary Aid Detachments and work as a nurse in the war. There is just so much to love about these two women! Their strength and courage against the odds is something I love to see and read about. Thank you so much to the author Courtney Ellis for a copy of this beautiful book. These characters will be with me for a long time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    A heartbreaking, yet uplifting dual-era novel of love and survival set in both 2014 and WWI, a forgotten English cottage connects American Audrey Collins to her grandmother’s clandestine past. After her nursing license is suspended when she was found drunk on the job, Audrey battles alcoholism. When her beloved grandmother dies and leaves her a Yorkshire cottage—that no one knew she owned—Audrey heads to the UK to sell the property and perhaps learn why her grandmother concealed this part of her A heartbreaking, yet uplifting dual-era novel of love and survival set in both 2014 and WWI, a forgotten English cottage connects American Audrey Collins to her grandmother’s clandestine past. After her nursing license is suspended when she was found drunk on the job, Audrey battles alcoholism. When her beloved grandmother dies and leaves her a Yorkshire cottage—that no one knew she owned—Audrey heads to the UK to sell the property and perhaps learn why her grandmother concealed this part of her past. And if it was a secret, why keep the property and then will it to her? Yet Audrey finds more than she ever expected—a welcoming village, a kindred soul in a handsome contractor, and hidden Edwardian-era letters that reveal an impossible love story between her great-great grandmother Lady Emilie Dawes and an unsuitable writer-turned-soldier. A slow simmer as Audrey and Emilie learn to balance love and self, both narratives weave together seamlessly to find a satisfying happily-ever-after. If you love “Downton Abbey,” you don’t want to miss this. I love this kind of read. Well done. Easy to recommend “The Forgotten Cottage” by Courtney Ellis.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cathrine

    The story of Audrey - present day who was left a cottage by her grandmother And Emilie - World War One era. Dorothy, the grandmother, is the daughter of Lady Emilie Dawes. Emilie does not wish to be given away by her parents in marriage, their choice was Lord Rhys her brother’s best friend, as was typical in that day and age. She wishes to be independent and be the ruler of her own life. When she is at a ball she meets and becomes intrigued by Isaac Thurston, the bastard son of a deceased local The story of Audrey - present day who was left a cottage by her grandmother And Emilie - World War One era. Dorothy, the grandmother, is the daughter of Lady Emilie Dawes. Emilie does not wish to be given away by her parents in marriage, their choice was Lord Rhys her brother’s best friend, as was typical in that day and age. She wishes to be independent and be the ruler of her own life. When she is at a ball she meets and becomes intrigued by Isaac Thurston, the bastard son of a deceased local lord. When all the men she is close to, Rhys, Isaac, and her brother Fletcher, sign up and go to war, Emilie finds a way to run away and become a volunteer medical aid in France. The book is told in alternating views of Audrey and Emilie, which I know some people don’t like. I enjoyed the book, and would read more b6 this author.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    A predictably cozy read with the added edge of a flawed heroine, Audrey, newly in England to inspect and sell the Yorkshire cottage left to her by her beloved Gran. Audrey is both grieving and a recovering alcoholic; she knows she should have her real estate broker sister deal with the cottage; she knows she needs to get her life back on track after the incident that cost her career; but something tells her to wait, and then there is gorgeous Leslie, divorce' and builder...meanwhile, we travel b A predictably cozy read with the added edge of a flawed heroine, Audrey, newly in England to inspect and sell the Yorkshire cottage left to her by her beloved Gran. Audrey is both grieving and a recovering alcoholic; she knows she should have her real estate broker sister deal with the cottage; she knows she needs to get her life back on track after the incident that cost her career; but something tells her to wait, and then there is gorgeous Leslie, divorce' and builder...meanwhile, we travel back in time to World War I and 1920 to learn Emilie's story, Emilie who was the mother of Gran. Quite a good plot line, likeable characters, and a sweet romance. For history mystery fans. Adult.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    A dual timeline novel, set in 1914 and 2019, the book tells the harrowing story a nurse during WWI. Emilie does not want to be married off for her family’s sake, and as the men in her life enlist, Emilie decides to join the VAD to assist the nurses. Facing the blood and stress of battle wounded men, Emilie finds herself between two, one she is supposed to marry, and one she loves. In 2019, Audrey loses her job and home as she fights alcoholism. When her grandmother dies and leaves her a house in A dual timeline novel, set in 1914 and 2019, the book tells the harrowing story a nurse during WWI. Emilie does not want to be married off for her family’s sake, and as the men in her life enlist, Emilie decides to join the VAD to assist the nurses. Facing the blood and stress of battle wounded men, Emilie finds herself between two, one she is supposed to marry, and one she loves. In 2019, Audrey loses her job and home as she fights alcoholism. When her grandmother dies and leaves her a house in Yorkshire, Audrey leaves the US to find answers as to why her grandmother left England and why she left Audrey the house. Both storylines held my interest, and there was much to learn about WWI and it’s impact on the soldiers. Recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gail Brosk

    This was a REALLY good story. Unfortunately, there are some things that distract from the story itself. First, either the author needs to take a crash course in English grammar, or she needs a better editor. The tendency to use plural pronouns referring to singular nouns is an irritating modern trend, but in the mouths of characters set in WW1, is downright jarring. People didn't speak like that then, and it takes the reader completely out of the story when it occurs. Second, the author lapses in This was a REALLY good story. Unfortunately, there are some things that distract from the story itself. First, either the author needs to take a crash course in English grammar, or she needs a better editor. The tendency to use plural pronouns referring to singular nouns is an irritating modern trend, but in the mouths of characters set in WW1, is downright jarring. People didn't speak like that then, and it takes the reader completely out of the story when it occurs. Second, the author lapses into sermonizing toward the end of the book, which also takes the reader out of the story. If you can overlook these drawbacks, this is an enjoyable read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Gore

    This book was so beautifully written! The author has an amazing way of putting you directly in the setting and I found myself desperately wanting to move to the English countryside! The two main characters in this book are both dynamic and strong in different ways and I loved both of their journeys. Emilie has so much courage and heart even with all the pain of her life during WW1. She is a person to look up to. One of my favorite things about Audrey’s timeline is her growing relationships with This book was so beautifully written! The author has an amazing way of putting you directly in the setting and I found myself desperately wanting to move to the English countryside! The two main characters in this book are both dynamic and strong in different ways and I loved both of their journeys. Emilie has so much courage and heart even with all the pain of her life during WW1. She is a person to look up to. One of my favorite things about Audrey’s timeline is her growing relationships with the other characters. She meets the most amazing people who seem to really care for their neighbors. Also, Sparrow Cottage is a dream! I wish it was a place I could visit!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bookoholiccafe

    This book made me question my love of big houses, not I want to live in a stone cottage up the hill with a gorgeous view. Which one do you prefer? Audrey inherited her grandmother’s home in North Yorkshire, the house wasn’t what she expected. She didn’t know much about her grandmother, other than the fact that she was from a novel family and immigrated to America when she was 17. To Audrey’s surprise, the house was an abandoned stone cottage full of long-buried family secrets she uncovers through This book made me question my love of big houses, not I want to live in a stone cottage up the hill with a gorgeous view. Which one do you prefer? Audrey inherited her grandmother’s home in North Yorkshire, the house wasn’t what she expected. She didn’t know much about her grandmother, other than the fact that she was from a novel family and immigrated to America when she was 17. To Audrey’s surprise, the house was an abandoned stone cottage full of long-buried family secrets she uncovers throughout the story. A descriptive, skillfully penned story. Mysterious historical fiction with rich Characters

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I always enjoy a dual timeline novel that has strong ties between the two narratives, and The Forgotton Cottage is no exception. The journeys of the two female MCs are powerful in their own right, yet also complementary, and both worlds are fully realized. I particularly liked spending extended amounts of time with each character, rather than alternating chapter by chapter; this structure choice allowed me to get deeper into each story. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for an ARC of this book i I always enjoy a dual timeline novel that has strong ties between the two narratives, and The Forgotton Cottage is no exception. The journeys of the two female MCs are powerful in their own right, yet also complementary, and both worlds are fully realized. I particularly liked spending extended amounts of time with each character, rather than alternating chapter by chapter; this structure choice allowed me to get deeper into each story. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    A solid 4.5 stars from me for this well-written dual timeline historical fiction novel. It is a bit of a romance novel, but it also takes a feminist approach which I enjoyed. I really appreciate the writing style of this author, and would recommend this book along with her debut novel At Summer's End. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. Thank you to Goodreads and Berkley Publishing for this copy I received from the Goodreads giveaway. A solid 4.5 stars from me for this well-written dual timeline historical fiction novel. It is a bit of a romance novel, but it also takes a feminist approach which I enjoyed. I really appreciate the writing style of this author, and would recommend this book along with her debut novel At Summer's End. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. Thank you to Goodreads and Berkley Publishing for this copy I received from the Goodreads giveaway.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Jensen

    heart rending WWI is a nice shift from some WWII books that are seeming all the same now, and I loved this one. A titled lady, the horrors of World War I, and her courage to go on with her nursing and her family life. I enjoyed her story very much, even with the prologue giving away the ending. And the modern counterpart added layers. I am looking for more from this author! Recommended.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Very predictable - was a pretty sweet story, but so.much.swooning. Could have been a great story about 2 women in different eras that demonstrated their strength to overcome challenges, but it just never panned out that way. The modern character was such a ninny I couldn’t hardly stand it. Good audible performance, was a reasonable way to pass the time on slow commutes to work.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I originally read At Summers End by this author and it is one of my all time favorites. This is her other novel and it too, is fabulous! Dual timeline story although I was totally drawn into Emilie and Isaac’s WWI love story more than the present day story. “The world is vast, dear girl. There is always a fresh stone to turn over.”

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna Huber

    I enjoyed this dual timeline story. I don't read a lot about WWI so it was interesting to see aspects of that war. Those chapters did remind me some of Downton Abby and Lady Emilie was a lot like Lady Sybil. I loved the characters of the present-day storyline and wished we had seen more of them. Read my full review at Girl Who Reads. I enjoyed this dual timeline story. I don't read a lot about WWI so it was interesting to see aspects of that war. Those chapters did remind me some of Downton Abby and Lady Emilie was a lot like Lady Sybil. I loved the characters of the present-day storyline and wished we had seen more of them. Read my full review at Girl Who Reads.

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