Thursday, April 6, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Secret Sister


The Secret Sister: A completely gripping and uplifting WW2 page-turner


Lizzie tried to put herself into her brother’s shoes, imagining how she might feel facing those same dangers he’d witnessed. Scared as anything, she thought. But if that was what was needed to win the war, she’d do it. As she looked at herself in the mirror, wearing her brother’s coat, she knew in that moment what she must do to protect him.

England, 1944:
 As Lizzie looks around her twin brother’s room, she’s in a state of shock. In the middle of the night Ed vanished, leaving no forwarding address. Lizzie knows that he was tormented daily by what he witnessed at Dunkirk four years before, helping his father steer their tiny boat to rescue thousands of injured soldiers. He was never the same after that.

Then, Ed’s call-up letter arrives. Instead of being assigned to one of the forces, he’s been told to report for work at a coal mine – one of fifty thousand ‘Bevin boys’ chosen to help produce the fuel to power the nation through the war. If he fails to turn up he will be arrested and tried as a deserter. Staring at his abandoned clothes and knowing how alike they are, Lizzie realises there is a way to save him.

Arriving for training, she meets a fellow Bevin boy named 
Peter and is instantly drawn to his quiet, thoughtful nature, so unlike the other men who share her dormitory. And as the two start to adapt to their new lives underground, they develop a strong bond.

Lizzie knows the risks she is taking to save her brother. If she grows too close to Peter her secret will almost certainly be revealed, and they will both be imprisoned. But with the war raging and her beloved country at risk, how much is Lizzie prepared to sacrifice to save those she loves the most?

A completely gripping and heart-breaking story of love, courage and a sister’s sacrifice which shines a light on the forgotten heroes of World War Two. Perfect for fans of The Alice NetworkThe Nightingale and anything by Rhys Bowen.



:   The Secret Sister
Author:  Liz Trenow
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   300
Date of Publication:   April 1, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars

As twins, Lizzie and Ed had always been very close. However, Ed experienced something when he was barely a young man that has made him make a decision that has a lasting impact on his entire family, but most notably, Lizzie. He has become a deserter, and the consequences for that decision are quite dire. Wanting to protect her twin, Lizzie makes the decision to act in his place, working in a coal mine. She disguises herself quite well, all the while hoping that Ed will return home, and that she can get back to her life. 

One thing young Lizzie never expected was to have her head turned by another coal miner named Peter. The two share an undeniable  bond, but Lizzie’s main concern is for her brother Ed. Where Lizzie is now a coal miner, shorn hair and all, she has now become a “Bevin Boy”.  Lizzie hopes to keep up the ruse, hoping to not only keep Ed out of trouble, but to keep their parents minds at ease. 

What an impactful story on more than one level. The results of the trauma Ed experienced earlier in his life played a big role in the path he chose. More than that, mandatory enlistment factored in when it came to beliefs, even to the point of trying to choose the right path in life, even if it meant harmful labels were attached to those involved. This powerful story of love and sacrifice was heartbreaking at times while delivering a powerful message. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Liz Trenow is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction.

She lives in East Anglia with her artist husband, and they have two grown up daughters and two beautiful grandchildren.

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