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Her Mother’s Secret

Published Date: March 13, 2020

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A wonderful new debut!
Out now!

320 pages


The Summer of  ’69

It’s 1969 and free-spirited artist Elin Morgan has left Wales for a sun-drenched Greek island. As she makes new friends and enjoys the laidback lifestyle, she writes all about it in her diary. But Elin’s carefree summer of love doesn’t last long, and her island experience ultimately leaves her with a shocking secret …

Twenty-two years later, Elin’s daughter Alexandra has inherited the diary and is reeling from its revelations. The discovery compels Alexandra to make her own journey to the same island, following in her mother’s footsteps. Once there, she sets about uncovering what really happened to Elin in that summer of ’69.

Available as an eBook and audiobook on all platforms.  Paperback available from Amazon. 

Jan BaynhamJan Baynham

After retiring from a career in teaching and advisory education, Jan joined a small writing group in a local library where she wrote her first piece of fiction and from then on, she was hooked! She soon went on to take a writing class at the local university and began to submit short stories for publication to a wider audience. Her stories and flash fiction pieces have been longlisted and shortlisted in competitions and several appear in anthologies both online and in print. In October 2019, her first collection of stories was published. Her stories started getting longer and longer so that, following a novel writing course, she began to write her first full-length novel. She loves being able to explore her characters in further depth and delve into their stories.
Originally from mid-Wales, Jan lives in Cardiff with her husband. They have three grown up children and four grandchildren, with another little one expected in the summer. Having joined the Romantic Novelists Association in 2016, she values the friendship and support from other members and regularly attends conferences, workshops, talks and get togethers. Jan is co-organiser of her local RNA Chapter.

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Reviews (8)


  1. Ruth
    Ruth April 20, 2020 at 10:01 am .

    Be transported to a summer on a Greek island.

    In 1969 Elin spends the summer on a small Greek island where she has enrolled in a class to study art tutored by a famous artist.

    Two decades later and shortly after Elin’s death, her daughter Alexandra unexpectedly acquires her mother’s diary. As Alexandra reads the diary she realises it contains an account of the time her mother spent in Greece. The journal ends abruptly when Elin suddenly returns to England, leading Alexandra to suspect there was a mystery involved in Elin’s early return.

    On an impulse Alexandra travels to the same Greek island wondering if she can discover what really happened all those years ago.

    The secrets of her mother’s summer are slowly revealed as Alexandra becomes immersed into Greek life.

    Alexandra eventually uncovers a 20-year old mystery that is more than she and her new friends ever expected.

    Delightful and full of colourful Greek atmosphere.

  2. Yvonne Greene
    Yvonne Greene April 21, 2020 at 1:49 pm .

    Wonderful read. Escape from everything to a sunny Greek island where you can share the adventures, love and traumas of Elin and her daughter Alexandra. I was worried it might be a copy of Mama Mia or Shirley Valentine but it definitely was not – a very original story with twists and turns. Elin and Alexandra are both totally believable women who experience unusual circumstances far from home. I loved my journey with them as they learnt about themselves, their dreams and reality. Couldn’t put the book down! The book is so well written and You really feel like you are there and getting to know every character with Elin and Alexandra. Loved this book and highly recommend it!

  3. Donna Morgan
    Donna Morgan April 21, 2020 at 5:12 pm .

    I really enjoyed reading the story of Lexi who is mourning the recent loss of her mother Elin. With the help of her Nan (and the family solicitor) she discovers a hidden side to Elin’s life. After reading her mother’s diary, Lexi travels to Greece to find out more about that fateful summer. The scenic descriptions make you feel like you are in sunny Greece and, coupled with the gripping storyline, is a blissful distraction from current times.

  4. Barbara p
    Barbara p April 21, 2020 at 7:07 pm .

    This is a great book. There are sad bits, mystery bits, travel bits, romantic bits, happy bits, artistic bits and more besides, something for everyone! I particularly liked the way the story was told, going between the diary entries and the full, realistic events. The book made you feel the sun of the island and see the views. I could really feel for all of the characters, it was like reading the story of things I had been part of, people who I’d known. The ending was well crafted, and again, so believable. Think that by these words you get the feeling I loved the book! Yes, you are right. Buy, read and lose yourself in it.

  5. Anne
    Anne April 21, 2020 at 8:30 pm .

    This is a time slip novel, we visit Greece in 1969 with Elin. Jan Baynham manages to create a great read. Who wouldn’t love the setting, the people Elin meets, including the gorgeous Stelios and enjoy the wonderful location that is beautifully described. It came across as so real, I felt like I was there with the art students. We then revisit the same area 22 years later with Elin’s daughter Alexandra who having found her mother’s diary goes looking to experience some of her mother’s 1969 experience. The whole novel oozes warmth and evokes that summer holiday feeling. Relax and enjoy – I did.

  6. Janine Nelson
    Janine Nelson April 22, 2020 at 9:14 am .

    A stunningly beautiful read first about Elin and her stay on a Greek island in the late 60’s which then moves on to her daughter, Alexandra, following in her foot steps after her death to feel closer to her mother and discover more about a life she didn’t know her mother had lived.

    The writing style is easy to read, completely absorbs you in the story and its surroundings, and makes you feel you are visiting the island with them. Its a long time since I’ve read a book I didn’t want to put down or end but i’m pleased to say this was one of those.

  7. Stacey Rinnert
    Stacey Rinnert April 23, 2020 at 2:12 am .

    Alexandra’s lost her mother and feels like an outsider in her own family. When she receives her mother’s diary detailing her adventures in Greece, Alexandra can’t help retracing her steps and discovering why her mother never spoke of her time there.

    This was a great book. So rich in details – the author does a great job describing the location, you feel like you are right there. I highly recommend this book!

  8. Debbie Southwell
    Debbie Southwell January 9, 2021 at 4:45 pm .

    When Alexandra’s Mother dies she leaves a secret that she had never told her Daughter, a secret that she feels Alexandra should now know.
    This takes Alexandra to Pefka in Greece, where her Mum Elin was in 1969, where she has enrolled in an Art school, something that Alexandra knew nothing about.
    The 1969 storyline is based on Erin’s diary and her life in Pefka, her painting, her friendships, and some criminal events that add to the intrigue.
    You can feel the love between Mum and Daughter as you read this book and the similarities between them.
    An engaging and warm book which brings the island into your living room, and you can imagine yourself at the taverna with the sun on your face.

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