Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Blog Tour/Publisher
Anna has been struggling to move on with her life, the death of her husband has left her with many questions. At times, she wonders if they were meant to marry. She loved him, loves him, but for months before his death they fought. They were opposites, and when he died of leukemia she couldn’t help but feel a small sense of relief that she no longer had to take care of him. When Anna’s estranged grandmother calls her up, and requests that she come to New York, Anna is reluctant but decides to go see what she wants. Goldie doesn’t hold back when it comes to Anna, and for years she told Anna that her husband wasn’t good enough. When Anna arrives in New York, Goldie asks Anna to take her on a cross-country road trip from New York to San Francisco. Goldie wants to return a collection of valuable Japanese art to a long lost friend. Anna agrees and hopes her grandmother, a window by twice, can help her move on and find happiness.
The Secrets of the Nightingale Palace was an interesting read, alternating between Goldie’s experience in the 1940’s and Anna’s perspective. Goldie is rough around the edges; she’s honest and overly opinionated. She hasn’t been entirely honest about the trip to San Francisco. Along the way, Goldie opens up to Anna about her past and her determination to rise about. Anna questions Goldie about her doubts in her marriage and why she never approved. Over the course of the trip, Anna and Goldie open up to each other and begin to sort through their differences. Anna mourns her late husband, and begins to realize that her life if not over.
The ending was really memorable, and not predictable in any way. I loved both Goldie and Anna, and enjoying their journey. Goldie is not a character that you forget; she’s strong and independent and doesn’t hold back. She honestly thinks she’s helping but it doesn’t always come across as such. Anna is vulnerable but still strong. She’s kept herself going but she begins to realize that she needs to focus on her wants and at this point in her life, she can do this.
The writing is beautiful, and learning about Goldie’s past was fascinating. It really gives readers and understanding of why she is the way she is. How she took care of herself, and did what she thought was best for her. I recommend this one for those who are looking for a good dual narrative story.