Featured: Secrets and Lies by HM Holten
Review: “It mostly takes place in the years prior to, during, and shortly after events of WW2. I found it a captivating.”
We grow up trusting that our parents and teachers have the right answers.
What if that belief brings us to fall?
What happens to persons who put their fate on one card?
Win or lose, the risks can be unsurmountable.
Britta is a naïve and trusting child.
Her father knows best.
Will she find out that not everything is as she thinks?
Will she be able to deal with the consequences of her faith?
Meet HM Holten:
Born in Denmark, I grew up in a scholastic family with Croatian, Swedish, and German ties.
My family took a large interest in literature and music. Academia didn’t attract me, but I learned to read and played several instruments before I started school.
I‘ve worked in all wakes of life, starting as a ground hostess in the Copenhagen Airport. In London I took on Pizza Hut, as well as The Danish Embassy, as a cook. I also worked as an assistant dry cleaner and in a candle shop.
In between I took an education in Body Massage (ITEC).
I’ve designed costumes for several productions at a Children’s Opera, and managed more than one chamber music group.
After graduating as an opera singer, I alternatively performed, gave concerts, and taught people to sing.
A favourite pastime has always been painting and I had a showcase in Guildford. Performing and teaching gave me a keen eye for details and so has travelling and living abroad.
My reading habits are both inspiring and educational, something I regard as decisive when I started to write diaries, poetry, and other observations.
Eventually that sparked my interest in composing a full-scale novel. My family history presented the setting and influenced the story line of Snares and Delusions.
I moved to Germany a few years ago but preserve strong connections with the UK.
Review by Patricia Bunting:
Secrets and Lies is the third book of H.M. Holten’s wonderful Triptych series. It mostly takes place in the years prior to, during, and shortly after events of WW2. I found it a captivating and informative read.
The story focuses on Britta, a Danish girl whose father, uncle and two brothers are resolute supporters of Hitler and his Nazi regime – though her mother is not.
After a brief introduction to Britta and her family as her elder brother, Alex, is starting school, we jump a couple of years on to when Britta is seven and it is her first day at school. She befriends another young girl, Rachel, with dark hair and eyes in contrast to Britta’s blonde hair and blue eyes. For several years the two girls remain firm friends, but soon after Britta’s thirteenth birthday, Rachel stops coming to school.
Events move quickly and, wanting desperately to please her father and uncle, Britta joins the BDM, the female equivalent of the Hitler Youth organization for boys. Travelling to summer camp with her new party, she is surrounded by like-minded people and her swollen pride in herself and the Nazi cause, does her character no favours.
As the story continues to unfold, Britta becomes a person I really didn’t like, even more scathing of her mother, whom she sees as being weak, overly fussy and ineffectual. Britta is also guilty of great betrayal, an act that shows her desperation to become admired and approved of by Uncle Jens.
The story becomes very much one of ‘you made your bed, now you must lie on it’, and/or, ‘you reap what you sow’. I felt very little sympathy for Britta and the way her life turned out, and the unexpected ending was very fitting.
I can recommend this book to anyone interested in events of WW2, particularly the role of Denmark, a neutral country in which the loyalties of its population were divided. Secrets and Lies gave me a perspective of those years that I hadn’t previously considered.
The book would also interest readers seeking a well-plotted and interesting story.
Please click HERE to find Secrets and Lies on Amazon.