The Cottingley Secret: A Novel by Hazel GaynorThe Cottingley Secret: A Novel by Hazel Gaynor

The Cottingley Secret: A Novel

byHazel Gaynor

Paperback | August 1, 2017

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“The Cottingley Secret tells the tale of two girls who somehow convince the world that magic exists. An artful weaving of old legends with new realities, this tale invites the reader to wonder: could it be true?” — Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker

One of BookBub's Most-Anticipated Books of Summer 2017! 

The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. Now, in her newest novel, international bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story.

1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?


Hazel Gaynor’s debut novel The Girl Who Came Home—A Novel of the Titanic—was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. And her second novel A Memory of Violets also hit the New York Times bestseller list. She was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers and was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big ...
Title:The Cottingley Secret: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.94 inPublished:August 1, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006249984X

ISBN - 13:9780062499844

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Have you ever seen that really old picture of a young girl in a forest, surrounded by fairies? When it was taken, the entire world debated if it was real. The Cottingley Secret is a really sweet contemporary novel that revisits the story behind the photo with a unique, time-jumping plot. There are two different stories in this novel - Frances in 1917 and Olivia in 2017; they share a unique link that ties them together. Time-jumping in a novel can be problematic if not done well, but in this case Gaynor pulled it off. It's a nice, light book with an absolutely gorgeous setting - that bookshop is my dream! And the bit of forest that Frances explores sounds heavenly. Most of the characters were pretty solid, although Olivia's fiancé was a bit flat. I suppose that was to be expected - he wasn't supposed to be likable. But I think it went a bit too far and made him into a caricature. One bit that really hit me hard was the Alzheimer's subplot. Gaynor's approach was really well done. Her insightfulness and sensitivity make me want to check out her other titles. 4/5
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This is the first novel I have read from Hazel Gaynor and I must say it was very interesting and well written. It was engaging and I look forward to reading more by this author.
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from now i'm sure plugged thru, absolutely loved it! I do believe in fairies :)
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from still not sure I'm only 80 pages in, started it about 2 weeks ago, it still hasn't gripped me yet, I hope to plug on thru
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! I've been intrigued by the story of the Cottingley fairies since I was child, and reading this wonderfully-written novel truly revitalized my fascination and enchantment. Can't recommend it enough!
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Based on a true story involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this follows two girls who claim to have photographed fairies during the Second World War.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely and magical Based on a true story involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this follows two girls who claim to have photographed fairies during the Second World War.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this story!! Loosely based on a true story involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this magical story delighted me so much that I must have a copy for my home library as it's worth reading again.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightful and Wonderful!! Oh my gosh, how to describe this book, it was delightful and wonderful. I loved the writing and the way the stories were told. I loved all the characters and each had their role in creating such great stories. I loved it, can't wait for the release of this author's next book.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it This is a very well written book, and although fairly well paced I enjoyed taking my time and delving into the plot and characters
Date published: 2017-09-13

Editorial Reviews

“Hazel Gaynor brings the mystery of the Cottingley Fairies thrillingly to life…A mystery, a love story, and an enchanting and surprising journey of self-discovery, The Cottingley Secret unwraps the true story behind one of the great hoaxes of the 19th century while still allowing the possibility of the magical.”