The Deepest Secret: Book summary and reviews of The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

The Deepest Secret

By Carla Buckley

The Deepest Secret
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2014,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

For fans of Jodi Picoult, Kim Edwards, and William Landay, The Deepest Secret is part intimate family drama, part gripping page-turner, exploring the profound power of the truths we're scared to face ... about our marriages, our children, and ourselves.

Eve Lattimore's family is like every other on their suburban street, with one exception. Her son Tyler has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means heavy curtains and deadlocked doors protect him during the day and he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world.

Until the night the unthinkable happens. When tragedy strikes, it becomes clear that this family is not the only one on the quiet cul-de-sac that is more complicated than it appears. And as Eve is forced to shield her family from harm, there are some crises she cannot control - and some secrets that not even love can conceal.

Deeply moving and stunningly suspenseful, The Deepest Secret is a novel of rare power - a story about hope and forgiveness, about the terrifying ways our lives can spin out of control and the unexpected sacrifices that may save us.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In Buckley's (Invisible) superb third novel, ordinary human nature and extraordinary circumstances collide to powerful effect." - Publishers Weekly

"This latest title from Buckley (The Things That Keep Us Here) intertwines many different stories, creating a mix of a family drama and thriller. However, there are too many story lines to follow." - Library Journal

"Despite its high concept, the plot never rises to a temperature above lukewarm." - Kirkus

"Every family is vulnerable, and every parent knows it...A memorable novel about how far a parent will go for her child, The Deepest Secret will make you count your blessings." - William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob

"An electrifying and sensitive portrait of an ordinary family struggling with tragic circumstances ... Every page aches with searing emotions that build to a heart-healing conclusion." - Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Always Watching

"The Deepest Secret is a mesmerizing page-turner for the era of Big Brother and constant surveillance: Who is guilty and who is innocent?" - Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife

The information about The Deepest Secret shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD)
The Deepest Secret
We all have secrets. What would happen when yours come out for others to see? That is the premise of this book. The writing reminds me of both Jodi Piccoult and Harlan Coben. Like Piccoult, Buckley deals with a family issue, XP, which affects the entire family. Like Coben, I had a hard time putting the book down; and just when I thought I know where the story was going, it took a turn I didn't see coming. A very interesting read, I would recommend to anyone who likes a compelling read.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Mary Margaret F. (North Venice, FL)
The Deepest Secret
Eve Lattimore worked so hard to keep her family together and one rainy night's tragic occurrence illuminated the reality that each family member was an island harboring secrets against the backdrop of a medical condition that impacted each of their lives.

I enjoyed this engaging novel which would foster great discussion for book clubs. How well do you really know the ones you love? How far would you go to protect your family?

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Kathryn M. (Bethel, CT)
Rear Window meets Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
Due to health issues 14-year old Tyler can only go out when the sun goes down. Unbeknown to his cul-de-sac neighbors, Tyler uses his camera to capture moments (and secrets) of their lives.

It doesn't take too long to become involved with the main characters and storyline of the book. There are layers of secrets involving the main characters, as well as the neighbors.

A thought I took away from this book is there are neighbors you don't know, but really do, and neighbors you think you know, but really don't.

I do think the pace of the book is a bit slow and in a few places it's bogged down with "nature" descriptions that I don't find relevant to the story.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, found it to be page-turner, and think it would work well as a book club selection.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Wendy R. (Riverside, CA)
Engrossing and Thought Provoking
I did not know much about Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) going into this novel, nor how limiting survival with this genetic defect could be. Not only does Tyler have to stay indoors during the daylight hours, but certain types of light, including from car headlights, can be detrimental to his health. Extreme care must be taken for Tyler to get to doctor's appointments and the like. His mother, Eve, has gone out of her way to make life as comfortable and safe for her son as possible. She's gotten most of the neighbors on their cul de sac to avoid halogen bulbs and advocated to get the street lights in their vicinity turned off. She will take no chances at keeping her son safe--and alive.

The Deepest Secret is an engrossing novel that takes the reader into the life of Tyler's family. Tyler dreams of being a photographer, and often ventures out into the night without his family's knowledge to capture photographs of nature and life. He peeks into the windows of his neighbors, and probably knows more about what goes on behind closed doors than anyone else. His older sister, Melissa, is the "perfect" child. The one without the genetic defect. Her own life has begun to spiral out of control, something her mother doesn't at first realize. Eve's attention and concern has always mostly fallen on Tyler. She's had to play the role of father more often than not too, her husband living and working in another city, only coming home on the weekends or when he can.

The author takes her time setting up the story, making sure the reader has a clear and in-depth picture of the players involved. As a result, The Deepest Secret is not a fast paced novel. However, it was difficult to put down. I became so invested in the characters, in their lives, and in their fate. I felt for Eve's friend whose daughter was missing, and I felt for Eve and her family, who seemed to be at the center of it all.

This is one of those books I am having difficulty reviewing for risk of spoiling any part of it. It's such a good book on many levels, one I enjoyed thoroughly--and one that left me wondering what I would have done in the same situation. Or, at least, understanding why certain choices were made, even if I did not quite agree with them.

Recommendation: Read it!

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Kenan R. (Liberty, MO)
Couldn't put it down.
I read The Deepest Secret voraciously. Buckley knows how to draw characters who feel authentic. They are flawed human beings who remain sympathetic. The Cul-de-sac becomes a microcosm of society and a mirror that reminds us how very little we know about the inner lives of our friends and neighbors. A mother is forced to choose between what is morally right and what is best for her child. The fallout from her decision is a gripping narrative of the price that love exacts from all of us, and the compromises we must make. I have read Buckley's other 2 books and with this - her 3rd novel - I am a fan.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Ruth O. (Downingtown, PA)
Dark and Deep Secrets
A child has a rare genetic condition and must be protected from ultraviolet rays. This is the underlying fabric of this story about a seemingly normal family in a quiet, friendly neighborhood. However, to paraphrase a sentence in the book: 'All the ways in which they've worked to protect this house from the sun had only allowed the darkness to creep inside'. This sums up the story in which no person is exactly who they appear to be on the surface, and all keep dark secrets.

A tragedy occurs early on in the book which develops the story of secrets. I found it difficult to understand the thought processes that the main character, Eve, was going through, although I realize she was trying to protect her son, the child with the genetic condition. Her lies and omissions aggravated me, and I did not feel much empathy for any of the characters, although overall the book was interesting enough to keep my attention.

This book reminded me overall of a Jody Picoult novel but without quite as much depth. It would be a good book club read to discuss emotions and decision-making in the face of a tragedy such as the one presented here.

...15 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Carla Buckley Author Biography

Carla Buckley was born in Washington, D.C. She has worked as an assistant press secretary for a U.S. senator, an analyst with the Smithsonian Institution, and a technical writer for a defense contractor. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, an environmental scientist, and their three children. She is the author of Invisible and The Things That Keep Us Here, which was nominated for a Thriller Award as a best first novel and the Ohioana Book Award for fiction. She is currently at work on her next novel, which Bantam will publish.

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