The Secrets of Rochester Place by Iris Costello- Book review/Blog tour

I loved this heart-warming fiction about family both found and real and a little-known historical event.

In the current time, there are moments when I feel the world has become a confusing and scary place but books like The Secrets of Rochester Place makes me feel a little happier and more optimistic.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

The story is told from three points of view- Corrine, a first responder in the present day, Theresa, a child evacuated to England from Spain in the 1930’s and 40’s and Mary, an Irish immigrant to England in the 1920’s (through her journal).

Theresa’s story was fascinating and highlights a little-known historical event from 1937- a number of children were evacuated from Spain at the height of the Civil War but their well-being depended on charities kindness and not the government. Theresa’s grief, bewilderment and the resilience of children is beautifully described, and I couldn’t help feeling moved by her story.

Mary, is an Irish immigrant trying to seek a better life for herself despite the prejudice of the times, her conflicted love for her homeland and the country she has built a new life in.

Corrine, the present-day narrator, also has her own battles to overcome in her relationship with Nidra, her wife who has to deal with present day racism. Corrine receives a call from Mary asking her to save Theresa at Rochester Place and she despatches services to help. But when they get there, Rochester Place doesn’t exist- leading to Corrine trying to find out the truth.

But these plot threads eventually come together in the most moving way and left me with that warm, fuzzy feeling you get with certain books.

This isn’t a very long book but it packs so much into it touching on many difficult topics without judgement or preaching but ultimately redeeming all but one of the nasty people. It was interesting to read about racism in the past compared to now- a note tied around a rock as opposed to anonymous people posting on twitter!

Content warning

Racism, descriptions of miscarriages, prejudice


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