My Review of “THE COTTINGLEY SECRET” BY Hazel Gaynor



The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. Now, in her newest novel, international bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story.

1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?


I enjoyed this enchanting and delightful novel “The Cottingley Secret” by Hazel Gaynor. The genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, and Fiction.
The timeline of this story vacillates from the past 1917 to the present. In 1917 during the war, which was a disturbing and distressing time, two young cousins  in Cottingley, Yorkshire convince the world that they see fairies in their garden. The girls use a camera and their ” imagination” and photograph the fairies. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writes about fairies and believes the girls’ photographs are real. Frances and her cousin Elise promise to keep a secret about the photographs.  Could this really be true?
One hundred years later Olivia Kavanagh, mourning her grandfather’s death, is in his Old Bookstore and discovers an old manuscript about the two young girls and photographs. Olivia is conflicted with secrets of her own, but something draws her to this manuscript.  What is there about this manuscript that makes Olivia question things she believes in?
I love the author’s descriptions of the breathtaking landscape, waterfalls and countryside.  I appreciate the author’s historical research and the way the author describes her characters and their story. The author talks about family, friends, love , faith and hope. I would highly recommend this magical and inspirational novel.  I received an Advanced Reading Copy from Great Thoughts Ninja Group for my honest opinion.

2 comments on “My Review of “THE COTTINGLEY SECRET” BY Hazel Gaynor”

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