1860 - In a small town on Lake Ontario, at a time when an affluent young girl is forbidden to have any ambition of her own, Sarah defies her social-climbing mother to marry Joe, the Scottish farmer she loves, convinced he is the only man willing to help her succeed.
Twelve years later, she is a mother of five boys, pregnant again, and trapped by Joe’s failure when she discovers a shocking deception. Before learning the truth, tragedy strikes. Defying her mother once again, Sarah struggles to survive in a life controlled by the men around her. With secrets haunting her, she must eventually decide how far she will go to get what she wants—for her children—and for herself.
The Last Secret reveals the dark underbelly of a genteel Victorian town and explores the insidious power of secrets.
"Well researched and beautifully written with engaging dialogue."
"The story is a page-turner, told in a vivid and accurate way."
"...Family secrets, and their devastating effects on the unfortunate upon their reveal, play a vital role in this novel. Royl’s choice of writing in Sarah’s first-person voice seems appropriate, for it brings us close to her feelings and makes withholding secrets seem plausible. The novel is an informative and pleasurable read. Highly recommended."
An excerpt from a review by Waheed Rabbani in The Historical Novel Society Review. Follow this link to read the full review. https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-last-secret/
"The Last Secret is a story about a young woman’s quest for freedom, her shrewd survival instincts and the difficult, sometimes heart-breaking, decisions she needs to make."
"When I first started reading it, I thought, 'This feels like a racy Jane Austen,' but it became something rather epic, not unlike Gone with the Wind. It was a real page turner."
"I couldn't put the Last Secret down!"
Published by Blue Denim Press