Jacqueline Winspear
Jacqueline Winspear

A Lesson in Secrets

Hello Everyone!

Time is marching on towards publication of A Lesson In Secrets, the new novel featuring psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobbs. Books will be in the stores on March 21st, so be sure to reserve your copy early. In addition, I know many of you are waiting for the paperback of The Mapping of Love & Death, to be published on February 22nd—not long to go now!

The problem with a book entitled A Lesson In Secrets, is that you can't really say much about it before it's published—the story is, after all, a secret. However, let me tell you where my fascination with secrets began.

When I was a child we lived on the edge of a massive area of forest in which there were several farms, all leased to the farmers by the Crown, for the forest and any properties therein belonged to the Monarchy. I remember walking with my mother one day, and along the road we passed a woman—probably in her forties—who was bundled up in a raincoat and wore a hat pulled down over her eyes. She looked up only to say "Good morning" and to smile at us briefly. As we passed, my mother told me that she didn't know the woman's name, only that she lived in the large house set back from the road, and that it was a 'grace and favor" house. A grace and favor residence is one that is given to someone by the monarch, to live in for the rest of their days. It is given as a mark of gratitude for services rendered to Crown and country—the person resides there by grace of the monarch. My mother told me that it was generally known that the lady we'd just passed was, "One of those women who parachuted into France in the war. She was a spy—but that's supposed to be a secret."

I think I only ever saw the woman a couple of times, all told, but that seed of knowledge sent my imagination full steam ahead. Even today I am fascinated by the memory of her. This was a woman who lived with secrets, big secrets. She had lived under an assumed name, in a country occupied by the enemy. She had been completely dependent upon the ability of others to keep her identity a secret, otherwise she would have faced certain death. And after the war she had lived alone on the edge of a forest, a woman of secrets.

In A Lesson In Secrets, you will meet people who have lived with secrets for a long time and you will learn about events that were kept secret by others.

I'll share more in the next newsletter.

With warmest regards,

Jacqueline

P.S. My upcoming book tour will be listed on the Appearances page soon!

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