Review: This Secret Thing by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Title: This Secret Thing
Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Published: October 2020, Lake Union Publishing
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher

Out of love. Out of protection. Out of fear. Everyone has a reason to lie.

in Raleigh, North Carolina, is talking about Norah Ramsey, the single
mother accused of being a suburban madam. But Norah’s not the only one
keeping secrets.

After her mother’s arrest, Norah’s teenage
daughter, Violet, is devastated and alone. She has no one to turn to
until her grandmother Polly arrives. Polly, long estranged from Norah,
is running from her own troubles. Down the street, Bess, once Norah’s
best friend, desperately tries to hide secrets while Casey, Bess’s
daughter, flees college after a traumatic event, only to find that home
isn’t the safe haven she expected. And Nico, the detective who has
doggedly pursued Norah Ramsey in hopes that she will lead him to his
missing brother, is drawn further into these women’s lives while facing
his own domestic disturbance.

Scandal has brought each of them to
a crossroads. Now, as they delve into Norah’s secrets, they must come
to terms with secrets of their own—ones that still have the power to
hurt or to heal.

My thoughts: I was so excited to receive a copy of Marybeth Mayhew Whalen’s latest book. She has become a favorite author in the last few years and I just love how she creates that small-town life with characters that come alive on the page.

I’m always a sucker for a family drama and this one kept me glued to the pages right from the start. I had no idea where it was headed or how all the characters would be intertwined and I loved that. I loved that there are so many layers here, and while some of the characters frustrated me at times, I was still completely invested in this story…I needed to see this one to it’s resolution and I’m happy to say that those characters that frustrated me did end up redeeming themselves in the end to a degree.

I love a book that makes you wonder what you would do. Would you make the same choices, would you allow certain things to go on. That’s what I found myself doing as I was reading. But we don’t really know the whole situation so it’s hard to understand why people make the choices they do. 

This is not a fast-paced book by any means, but rather a slow-burn that comes together at just the right moments. I wondered how everything would come together, and while I started to suspect some things, I was quite shocked at others.

Once again, Marybeth Mayhew Whalen has given a story of small-town life that is captivating and compelling. I cannot wait to see what she writes next!


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