Imatge de l'autor
20+ obres 4,212 Membres 294 Ressenyes 7 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Patti Callahan Henry grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Auburn University with a degree in nursing, and from Georgia State with a Master¿s degree in Child Health. She left nursing after having her family and began writing stories. She had always wanted to be a writer. Her enthusiasm for mostra'n més writing lead to publishing ten novels. They include Losing the Moon, Where the River Runs, When Light Breaks, Between the Tides, The Art of Keeping Secrets, and Driftwood Summer. Her title The Stories We Tell was released in June 2014 and made the hot Book Club List for 2014. Patti Callahan Henry has also appeared in several magazines including Good Housekeeping, Skirt Magazine, and Southern Living. Two of her novels were Okra Picks and Coming up For Air was selected for the August 2011 Indie Next List. She is a frequent speaker at fundraisers, library events and book festivals. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys

Obres de Patti Callahan Henry

The Secret Book of Flora Lea (2023) 393 exemplars
Once Upon a Wardrobe (2021) 341 exemplars
Surviving Savannah (2021) 326 exemplars
Between The Tides (2007) 294 exemplars
The Bookshop at Water's End (2017) 255 exemplars
When Light Breaks (2006) 209 exemplars
Coming Up for Air (2011) 208 exemplars
Driftwood Summer (2009) 201 exemplars
The Art of Keeping Secrets (2008) 194 exemplars
And Then I Found You (2013) 177 exemplars
Losing the Moon (2004) 174 exemplars
Where the River Runs (2005) 141 exemplars
The Stories We Tell (2014) 122 exemplars
The Idea of Love (2015) 99 exemplars
The Favorite Daughter (2019) 96 exemplars
Friend Request (2013) 18 exemplars

Obres associades

Reunion Beach: Stories Inspired by Dorothea Benton Frank (2021) — Col·laborador — 96 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
20th century
Llocs de residència
Mountain Brook, Alabama, USA



There's something so enchanting about imagined worlds inhabited in childhood. The Hundred Acre Wood. Calvin and Hobbes. Narnia. Anne Shirley's fanciful stories about the landscape around her. These invented places are a comforting and happy place to be and a safe refuge when the world is too much. Patti Callahan Henry obviously understands the importance and charm of these worlds in her latest novel, The Secret Book of Flora Lea.

1939. Operation Pied Piper. Hazel is 14 and her little sister Flora is 5. Their father has been killed in the war so despite their grieving mother's despair at letting her children leave, she sends them away from London, away from the bombs, to rural England. Hazel and Flora end up being taken in by Bridie Aberdeen, a warm and loving woman who has a son Harry, who is the same age as Hazel. Much of their time in the countryside is idyllic aside from the backdrop of war and missing their mother. When the sisters need to escape even this cozy life with the Aberdeens, Hazel tells Flora their own special, made-up, private fairy tale set in the magical land of Whisperwood to help them cope with the uncertainty in their world.

1960. Years after the war, Hazel is working for Hogan's Rare Book Shoppe in Bloomsbury. It's her last day on the job before moving over to Sotheby's when she finds a manuscript written by American author Peggy Andrews titled Whisperwood and the River of Stars. It is the story she always told little Flora, who went missing, presumed drowned, while they were billeted in the country. But neither she nor Flora ever told anyone else the story so she can't understand how this American author could possibly know it. Impulsively Hazel takes the valuable manuscript when she leaves Hogan's, and sets out on a quest to finally answer what happened to her little sister.

This story is an delightful look at imagination and the power of stories through the lens of the very real Operation Pied Piper and the specter of the "lost children" (those who were evacuated but never returned home) from that time. Hazel is a sympathetic character, trying to live her life but really still stuck back in 1939, feeling guilt and grief over Flora's disappearance. The manuscript is so similar to the story she used to tell her sister that it makes hope bloom in her, pushing her to uncover what happened back then. The book spills over with the enchantment of stories and shines with enduring love for family. Readers will themselves want to be invited into Bridie's welcoming country home and work in the back room of the rare book shop. Hazel seems to be a sweet, intelligent, fairly modern young woman and the reader winces when people around her encourage her to let go of her quest, cheering her at every turn as she continues on regardless. The end was the weakest part of the story as it was telegraphed with flares and predictable, but there were a few welcome twists and turns to get there, which helped make it less frustrating in the end. Obviously this is a WWII book but it's really more about the homefront than it is about the war. The mystery pacing starts off slowly and picks up speed as things start to come together for Hazel and the alternating time line helps to build anticipation. This is a endearing read, especially for those who spent a lot of time in books or other imagined worlds when they were young.

This book is one of the 2023 Women's National Book Association's Great Group Reads.
… (més)
whitreidtan | Hi ha 26 ressenyes més | Nov 30, 2023 |
A historical mystery that will remind you of childhood fantasy novels while explaining the reason a specific trope of them exists.
bookwyrmm | Hi ha 26 ressenyes més | Nov 29, 2023 |
This book is beautifully written and crafted. The language, the characters and the various settings of the book just pop out. as you read Patti Callahan is a skilled craftsman. Unfortunately, the plot of the book fell down a bit for me. I found it disjointed as it slipped back and forth out of 4 or 5 time zones. I also found the end rather rushed, and a few more coincidences than I wanted to accept. The story begins from a little-known era of WWII in England. In 1939, and during The Blitz, many children were sent out of London to the county in order to get them safely out of harm's way. Unfortunately not much research or time was taken with the placements for these displaced children. Some lucked out and lived in loving and caring homes, others were placed with less than acceptable people who used them as unpaid labour. Others were lost either through carelessness or neglect, or from wandering away, or some even at the bottom of the ocean when they were sent to America. Fourteen-year-old Hazel and five-year-old Flora were lucky because they were placed in a loving home with a caring mother and her son. Then tragedy strikes and Flora goes missing in the fall of 1940. Hazel and her mother spend years and years trying to find out what happened to Flora. Hazel appears to get some help in her search from a book, written about an imaginary world that she created and that no one but her and her sister knew about. This book sets in motion a search to find Flora twenty years after her disappearance. Hazel has to face some truths and residual guilt from what she thinks was her fault. This book will be enjoyed by those who love fairy tales and quiet, reflective stories. I did enjoy the book because of the beautiful language, but I felt it fell short in the plot and in the completion of the story..… (més)
Romonko | Hi ha 26 ressenyes més | Nov 20, 2023 |
I really wanted to like this book. Interesting topic, interesting people, etc- but I had to put it down in the end because it was badly written. Confusing location changes, inappropriate references (like a “queen-size bed”), etc that made me doubt the truth of anything that was written.
Actually came here researching the author because I was finding it so troubling.
Needs editing, needs fact-checking, and despite my interest in the subject, I just can’t continue.
Dabble58 | Hi ha 52 ressenyes més | Nov 11, 2023 |



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