The Secret Diary

Two women. One house. And a secret that spans decades…

The past merges with the present in an unforgettable, poignant story of love, loss and courage in this beautifully written story set between World War Two and the present day.

She steps into the room and it’s like going back in time.
Catapulting her right into the heart of the 1940s.

The spindle of the record player frozen and ready to play. The flowery wallpaper faded but intact. A soldier’s uniform pressed and hung on a door, coal still in the fireplace.

A floorboard creaks beneath her and she notices a small desk in the corner of the room. She opens the top drawer and runs her hands along the edges, something catching at her fingertips. A hidden compartment. And behind it, the soft edges of a book.

As she dusts it off, she can see it has a red leather covering, the pages yellowing with age. She realises it’s a diary. Some of the pages have been torn out. The first entry has 16th June 1945 printed in neat little letters at the top. Below it, in hurried, untidy script are the words:

‘My name is Nancy Jones. And I have a secret…’

Fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Alice Network, and Lilac Girls will love this incredible tale of the amazing bravery and inspiring friendships of everyday women during World War Two that had the power to change history.

What Goodreads readers are saying:

' A great book that will take you on a wild heart-warming story of friendship and moving on.'

'The Secret Diary by Anna Stuart is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction novel that weaves a tale that kept me entertained from beginning to end.'

'The character cast is excellent, pacing is perfect, and I just loved how it all rolled out. I liked each story equally, and that says a lot. I highly recommend this historical fiction.'

'I love dual time line stories and this one was wonderful!! Sometimes it takes a long time to set up the present story before the past one begins but not here. The author was straight in with both stories and this is what I like best.'

'This historical tale has a unique story to tell and Anna Stuart has captured it beautifully, weaving the two eras together seamlessly from present day to post-war Norfolk through the secret diary.'

'A hugely enjoyable read, The Secret Diary is the post-war tale of one woman trying to transition to civilian life and another endeavouring to find the strength to move on in the wake of tragic loss. I loved it so entirely that I didn't want to leave Nancy behind or the characters I had come to know and love.'

'I loved reading about these strong, formidable women whose very presence triggered significant cultural and social change.'

'A very enjoyable, interesting read. Of the war and contemporary life, of tragedy and love and how you can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places and situations.'

'A story rich in history, written with great care and empathy. I am a massive fan of this author and once again have loved devouring this story and learning more about the gunner girls and the importance of the role they fulfilled when so many men had been sent to war and they needed brave women to step up and join the ranks to help protect the country.'

'This is a well written, well researched story and this reader recommends the author’s notes at the end not be missed.'