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.
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!
Virginia W. (Chapel Hill, NC)
The vast impact of secrets.
The Deepest Secret explores the many kinds and layers of secrets. It will make the reader stop and think about their own relationships (family and community) and how even small secrets can have big impact. As the story unfolds there are plenty of surprises for the reader and an ending that is sure to leave one thinking and revisiting the main themes for a long time. Strongly recommend and feel it would be an excellent book club selection.
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.
Nancy F. (Carmel, IN)
The great twist....
As a psychologist, I appreciated the author's ability to present an inter-woven snapshot of a family struggling to manage a chronic disease, and how one justifies moral decisions.
The characters are alive on the pages revealing a plot which grows in complexity as each perspective reveals itself.
I enjoyed the building suspense of the plot and characters! The final twist left me smiling as I did not have a clue.
A definite good read!
Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
Does everyone have a secret? As we meet Eve Lattimore, her family and neighbors, this is definitely the case. The secrets may be small and insignificant in nature or they may be life changing and devastating but each member of the cast has them. Carla Buckley weaves this tale of mystery and family drama in such a way that I could not stop reading it. The turmoil that each of the characters experiences throughout this two week period in which the novel is set is heart wrenching. Also interesting is the tendency for people to turn against each other in times of stress as well as defend and protect those close to them. A very well written book that I would recommend to anyone.
Eve A. (Henderson, NV)
The Deepest Secret
I really liked the writing in this story. It engaged me right away and kept my interest all the way to the end. This is a story of a family. On the surface, it is an average family except for the devastating illness of the son. His illness impacts each member of the family and the neighborhood they live in. Something happens that moves the story along in unexpected ways and reveals the secrets that each person has. I was satisfied with the way the story ended.