Our new segment the Argus Book Club launches this week. We are asking book clubs from around Gwent to take part and tell us about the books they are reading. This week’s review is from Pamela Netherway, from the book club at Barnabus Arts House, Newport.

The club who have nine members meet on the last Saturday of every month from 11am until 12.30pm. This month’s book was Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson.

Patricia Wilson lived in the village of Amiras in Crete, where much of her book is set.

Ms Wilson was inspired to write the novel when a machine gun was unearthed in her garden. The novel switches in time from present day to the 1940’s. It is the story of a modern girl’s journey of discovery into the past.

What is the secret that Poppy has kept hidden from her daughter Angelika for almost 40 years? Having recently lost her job in publishing due to redundancy and sensitive to her mother’s anguish, Angie makes the decision that before her forthcoming marriage to make a pilgrimage her mother’s homeland, Crete to seek out and meet her Greek relatives and maybe understand all her mother’s troubles and help bring peace into Poppy’s deeply troubled existence.

Leaving behind her fiance, Nick, Angie boards the plane to Crete resolving to find the answers and unite the estranged family. As Angie slowly discovers all that has tormented her mother for so long, the reader too is also able to learn of the unspeakable horrors of the time in history that betook Europe during the conflict of 1939 – 1945. It’s the story of the German occupation of Crete during the Second World War, a story of horror and courage, and the dreadful secrets that broke a family apart. This is the dramatic story of one of the darkest chapters in human history.

This is the author’s debut novel. It is a very dramatic novel, one you cannot put down and a hugely enjoyable read.

If your book club want to get involved then email carys.thomas@gwent-wales.co.uk or call 01633 777231.