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From the wild beauty of the Australian bush to England's rugged south coast, this is a deeply moving story of heartbreak, heroism and homecoming by a beloved, multi-award-winning author.

Some family secrets are best set free.

When Lucy Hunter stumbles upon her grandfather's World War II memorabilia, she finds a faded photograph of a stunning young woman known simply as 'George' and a series of heartfelt letters. They are clues about the secret years, a period of Lucy's family history that has been kept a mystery ... until now.

How did a cattleman from north Queensland find forbidden love with the Honourable Georgina Lenton of London? And why are the effects of this encounter still reverberating in the lives of Lucy and her mother, Rose, all these years on?

From the wild beauty of the Australian bush to England's rugged south coast, this is a deeply moving story of heartbreak, heroism and homecoming by a beloved, multi-award-winning author.


It's a pleasure to follow an author who gets better with every book ... Terrifically romantic and full of surprises.

Apple iBooks, 'Best Books of the Month'

Bound to become a new favourite.

The Age

The Secret Years has every thing a romantic reader could want ... A brilliant piece of work.

Newcastle Herald

I absolutely loved The Secret Years by Aussie author Barbara Hannay ... Her best yet. Filled with heroism, love, loss and heartache, plus deeply moving memories of a past in the war years of New Guinea and Kokoda, this novel includes wonderful characters and magnificent word pictures of an untamed Australian outback ... Hannay is fast becoming one of my favourite 'go to' writers!


This book will hold you captive ... I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret Years and found myself fully absorbed in the intricacies of the well-formed characters and their relationships to each other. The story flowed smoothly between eras, with detailed and evocative descriptions of the beautiful, sultry Australian bush to the cold and rainswept charm of England's rugged Cornish coast.


The Secret Years by Barbara Hannay absolutely consumed me ... Just a remarkably breathtaking read. Once again, Barbara Hannay manages to knock this reader over with a feather.

Talking Books

The story takes us from Australia's coastline and outback to London during the Blitz, from the wild bluffs of Cornwall to the jungles of Papua New Guinea as the Japanese invade. Both the contemporary and wartime settings are vividly described, as are the characters' experiences of them. The Secret Years is well written with appealing characters and a moving story. Another winning romance.

Book'd Out

Barbara Hannay writes beautiful visuals of rural and remote Australia ... with so much information, travel and history packed in. This a remarkable book ... and sets new standards for the male love interest in rural romances.

Reading Writing and Riesling

This novel captivated me for the descriptions of the wild beauty of the Australian bush and the rugged and picturesque south coast of England ... I would recommend it to anyone who likes generational stories set in the Australian outback.


As the story moves between the present and the Second World War, we're introduced to a wonderful set of characters who engage and delight us ... Hannay is bound to become a new favourite.

Sunday Canberra Times

To say I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret Years is an understatement ... You cannot tie this book down to one genre. It ticks so many boxes – romance, war, historical fiction, contemporary family drama ... This is very well written with loads of appealing characters and a story that really moves along at a cracking pace ... The Secret Years had me chained to my Kindle and will stay with me for some time to come and with a classic ending to what truly is a classic read.

Good Reads

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 18, 2016


    416 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    August 26, 2015

    Penguin eBooks

    360 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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