Sunday, April 16, 2023

Blog Tour: The Forgotten Palace by Alexandra Walsh

When Alice Webster is disgraced by indulging in an unwise love affair, her family decides that the best way to help is to remove her from the situation completely. Her aunt suggests a trip where Alice is tutor to her younger cousins travelling through Europe. On the train, they meet a family who spend some of their time in Crete, and in due course, they find themselves there, working on the archeological dig for Arthur Evans, who is excavating at the Temple of Knossos.

Fast forward a hundred years, and we meet new widow Eloise De'Ath at her husband's funeral. Having seen through the formalities, she sheds her jacket revealing a tight red dress and runs out the door leaving a shocked and disapproving congregation behind. She heads to the house in Crete that she inherited from her late father in law. Here, she can heal, not so much from the loss of her husband, but from physical and mental wounds from her marriage. There she is reunited with the Greek family who live next door who makes sure that she is fed and looking after herself, as well as providing insights into the history of the house and the objects in it.

As she settles into her new home, Eloise begins to sort through the belongings and she finds various artefacts, which all link to the Knossos dig. Most intriguingly she finds the dream diary that Alice used to keep, which record dreams that are disturbingly similar to the dreams that she has had since childhood.

The third story which threads through the book is the story of the Minotaur, half bull and half man, famous in ancient mythology.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought the information about the dig was really interesting and I was definitely left wanting to find out more about it. Maybe I should think about a trip to Crete to visit the museum? Having said that, there were times when I felt like every bit of research that the author had done had been crammed into the book. I am sure that wasn't the case but it felt like it.


Normally in a dual time line, it is the historical story that is the most interesting to me. I liked it this time too, but because of the archeological aspects, not so much because of Alice. Of  course I felt sorry for her and understood her heartbreak but it was self inflicted in a lot of ways. There was at least one moment in this book when I gasped out loud as something unexpected is revealed in Alice's story.

Eloise's story was interesting, especially the way that the author slowly revealed the truth of her marriage firstly to the reader, but also showing Eloise some truths about her own situation. One of her husband's friends turns up to the house in the Crete to check in on her, and she also has to reevaluate what she knows about him too.

This was my first book by this author, and I liked it a lot. I can see myself reading more of her books. I have seen this book to compared to Susanna Kearsley, who is one of my all time favourites. However, my comparison would be more to the books by M J Rose of ten years ago (which is the last time I read one of her books), where you have the dual times, plus an almost a dark spiritual connection.

This book counts for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.

Thanks to the publisher, Netgalley and Rachel's Random Resources for the review copy of this book.

Rating 4/5

Check out other reviews of the book at the following stops:

About the book

The Forgotten Palace

In an underground labyrinth a lost soul wanders, waiting for revenge, waiting for love…

London 1900

Alice Webster has made the worst decision of her life. When her Aunt Agatha offers her the chance to go on a Grand Tour she jumps at the opportunity to get away from the glare of scandal. Heading off to see the world as the century turns, Alice begins to believe her broken heart can be healed, and a chance encounter on a train bound for Paris changes everything. When their journey takes them to a Cretan house thick with history, and the world-famous dig at Knossos, stories from the past begin to echo through Alice’s life.

London Present Day

Eloise De’Ath is meant to be a grieving widow. But if people knew the truth about her late husband, they’d understand why she can’t even pretend. Needing to escape, Eloise heads to Crete and the house her father-in-law Quinn left her, and slowly Quinn’s home begins to reveal its mysteries. In his office Eloise discovers his life’s work: the study of the Victorian excavation to find the Minotaur’s labyrinth. Fascinated by the diaries of a young woman from the dig, Eloise is drawn into Alice’s tale of lost love and her growing obsession with Ariadne, the princess of the labyrinth.

Three women divided by time but connected by the long-hidden secrets of the past. As their stories join in a golden thread, a terrible injustice might finally be undone…

Purchase Link -

About the Author –

Alexandra Walsh is the bestselling author of dual timeline historical mysteries, previously published by Sapere. Her books range from the fifteenth century to the Victorian era and are inspired by the hidden voices of women that have been lost over the centuries. Formerly a journalist, writing for national newspapers, magazines and TV, her first book for Boldwood will be published in Spring 2023.

Social Media Links –




Bookbub profile:

1 comment:

  1. I like dual timelines but that 3rd story about the minotaur would not interest me at all. Thanks for your review and the heads up about the mythology aspect of the story.