A Secret in the Family – ARC Book Review

Title:- A Secret In the Family

Author:- Leah Mercer

Date published:- will be published on September 9th 2022

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 248 pages

Genre:- Literary/Mystery


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

Rachel sat at the kitchen table, trying to take everything in. She still couldn’t believe what her father had done. Clutching a faded photograph and a necklace in her hands, all she knew was that in her mother’s final days, she would do anything to protect her.

The call came on a seemingly ordinary day. But as soon as Rachel heard the pain in her sister’s voice, she had to face the fact that life as she knew it was about to be shattered: “It’s mum. She’s not well. She doesn’t have much time.”

Though her heart breaks to leave her husband and children behind, Rachel knows the right thing is to return home to care for her mother Janet. Their relationship has been strained for years. This may be the last chance for them both to heal.

Walking up to the front gate of her childhood home, Rachel is overwhelmed with memories: of hazy summers playing with her sister, of laughter ringing through the house, of the accident which cost their father his life. After that day, Rachel’s relationship with her mother changed forever.

Rachel has never forgiven herself for what happened and it is clear Janet hasn’t either. Determined to make amends, Rachel begins to get her mother’s house in order. But hidden in the cellar, Rachel unearths a devastating secret. A faded photograph and a tarnished necklace are the only clues to unravelling a secret that should have remained hidden.

Can Rachel unravel the mystery when it has the power to destroy her family? And when she finally discovers the truth, will it destroy everything she has ever known?

Leah can’t remember a time when she didn’t love writing. From creating fake newspapers to writing letters to the editor, scribbling something was always on the agenda. Even the rejections she received after completing her first novel at age 13 didn’t dent her enthusiasm.

So it makes sense, then, that she pursued a career in anything but writing. Public relations, teaching, recruitment, editing medical journals — even a stint painting houses — until she finally succumbed once more to the lure of the blank page.

When she’s not being jumped on by her young son or burning supper while thinking of plot-lines, Leah can be found furiously tapping away on her laptop, trying not to check Twitter or Facebook.

Leah also writes romantic comedies under the name Talli Roland

Wow…..I actually enjoyed reading this book. From the start to finish, I was literally hooked into the book.

The story starts with Rachel Verma, who is happily married receives a call from her sister Victoria to help her to take care of their ailing mother. Rachel had an estranged relationship with her mother and was determined to rekindle her relationship with her mother. While cleaning up the cellar, Rachel comes across a faded photograph and a skeletal remains of a woman. Now Rachel realizes that her family had been hiding dark secrets.

The story divides between the present day in Rachel’s perspective and the past dated 1986 told in the form of a woman named Sam, who comes to the small village and meets a man named Sean and fall in love with him. As the story progresses, we find Rachel determine to protect her mother as she is trying to rebuild the relationship with her and the suspicion that Sam’s new boyfriend Sean might be married. The ending was what blew me away, although I kind of knew that it was going to happen. The author also has done a good job of drawing the reader into the story and making the reader feel like part of the story. I also like Rachel’s married life and her friendship with the policeman, Lucas.

Overall, if you like a family drama book packed with family secrets, then this book is one for you–quite unputdownable and emotional and heartbreaking as well. As this is the first time I am reading a book by this author, I am looking forward to read more. Worth five stars!

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