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02 August 2021

Book Review: Her Previous Self by Anne Allen *AD Gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Her Previous Self by Anne Allen ahead of the blog tour.

I can't believe I had never heard of this series before, because now they have all magically ended up on my kindle. Despite being book eight of The Guernsey Novels, Her Previous Self can absolutely easily be read on its own. And it's unputdownable, with an addictive mystery and gorgeous writing.

Her Previous Self by Anne Allen book cover

Two women, living two hundred years apart but closer than sisters.

Mary, miserable in her  marriage to Thomas Carre, a merchant and privateer and living in the newly-built family mansion in Georgian Guernsey.

Lucy, separated from her husband after a tragic loss and now acting as an unwilling sitter for her elderly grandfather, Gregory Carre, who has inherited the same mansion.

Lucy is haunted by Mary’s continued presence in the house and finds herself being pulled more and more back in time. How is it possible for her to live as Mary? To experience scenes from her tragic life? Lucy is forced to come to terms with Mary’s grief as well as her own. 

The more enmeshed she becomes the more anxious Lucy is to discover the truth. Why is Mary still restless? What caused her mysterious disappearance two hundred years ago? 

And can Lucy move on from her own loss to find happiness again?

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

Content warning: Infant death, death of a grandparent, grief.

5 Word Review: Family, grief, mystery, friendship, love.

I don't think any other book has had me craving a full English breakfast as much as Her Previous Self, with a massive cup of coffee to wash it down. Pick this book up on a Sunday with breakfast and spend the whole day with it, you won't regret it.

Although Her Previous Self is book eight in The Guernsey Novels series, it definitely does not feel like it. It can absolutely easily be read as a standalone and you won't be missing out. I'll definitely be checking out the other books to learn more about side characters and the community, but this book is whole on its own.

Lucy is torn apart by grief and anger, and trying to rebuild her life and find herself again. This is pretty much a story of her piecing herself back together, and I loved to see her come out of her shell.

Mary is a romantic, and her story was heart-breaking from the very beginning. Definitely have some tissues to hand when you read her parts. I think seeing Mary's story helped Lucy a lot in coming to terms with what life had thrown at her.

I thought that the scenes where Lucy was pulled back into Mary's life were fascinating. I love the little details that brought the past to life, from the feel of silk stockings to the scent of lily of the valley perfume. It was obviously well researched and I liked the contrast between past and present.

I loved the blend of past and present, all tied together by one family and their house. I liked how it prompted Lucy's exploration of the family home, and strengthened her relationship with her grandfather. The link was fascinating, and how it was explored was done really well. I liked the slow unravelling of the mystery.

Her Previous Self is a story about grief and finding yourself, about heartache and love. For every scene that brings you to tears, there will be another that fills your heart with warmth and makes you smile.

I will absolutely be reading more of The Guernsey Novels, they seem like they'll be a mysterious balm for the soul.

Her Previous Self by Anne Allen blog tour banner

Anne Allen lives in Devon but originates from Rugby. Finding early on in life that she loved the sea she spent most of her adult years moving from one coast to another. Her happiest time was spent in Guernsey where she lived for nearly 14 years and her books are all set on that beautiful island. Until recently Anne was a psychotherapist but has now retired to write full time. So far she has published Dangerous Waters, Finding Mother, Guernsey Retreat, The Family Divided, Echoes of Time, The Betrayal, The Inheritance and Her Previous Self, forming the Guernsey Novels series. The books focus on love, mystery, drama and relationships. In her spare time she dabbles in art and very occasionally housework.

Giveaway to Win 1 x Paperback Copy of Her Previous Self (UK winner) or e-copy for an international winner

*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


  1. Hi Cora, thanks so much for reading and reviewing my latest book. And what a lovely review it is! So glad you enjoyed it and are tempted to read the others in the series. Best wishes, Annex

  2. Ruth| Ruthiee loves Glamour3 August 2021 at 09:58

    Wow! This is the first time I am hearing of this book. The plot summary sounds fab! I will check this book out! Thank you for sharing

  3. OH, how interesting! Views from people 200 years apart! Such a powerful story. Thanks for sharing, Cora x

    Lynn |


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