What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Secret of Lies by Barbara Forte Abate

Summary from Goodreads: Propelled by an insurmountable sense of desperation, Stevie Burke is recklessly abandoning home, husband, and outwardly contented life under cover of night; at last resigned to defeat in her long battle against the tortured memories of her past.
Days later, lost and floundering in a dreary motel room without plan or destination, it is a long ago song playing on the radio that gently tugs Stevie back through the dust of remembrance. 1957 - The last summer spent at the ancient house overlooking the North Atlantic. A season which had unfolded with abundant promise, but then spiraled horribly out of control - torn apart by a shattering tragedy that remains splintered in fragments upon her soul. And it is only now, when Stevie at last lifts her eyes to stare deep into the heart of her long sequestered memories, that the long held secrets of past and future are at last unveiled.


The Secret of Lies is a bit outside my wheelhouse when it comes to the genres that I read. But I decided to read it because the plot sounded interesting, and I thought the writing style was lovely.

What I Liked: 1) I really loved the writing style. Because I spend so much of my reading time in paranormal words with modern teenagers as the main characters, it seems like I get my fair share of teenspeak. But this one was written with an air of elegance that I really enjoyed. 2) Stevie (Stephanie). As the main character, Stevie was one of the most relateable characters I've read in a long time. I don't know if that's because she and I had some things in common, or what, but I understood her emotions so clearly, that she became a very real person. 3) The setting. The story begins in the Summer of 1957 (pauses to sing 'Summer of '69'). I loved reading a story set in that time period. It really made the story unique. 4) The descriptions. This is part of the reason I enjoyed the setting so much. There were such vivid descriptions that I was able to sink into the story completely.

What I Didn't Like: 1) The beginning was a little off for me. I had a hard time getting involved with it. It wasn't until page 50 or so that I really just lost myself in what was happening. What was different about the first 50 pages? I think that Stevie was so young in the beginning that it threw me off a little. Once she aged up a bit, it was easier for me to understand her thinking. 2) Some of the events, or people that are a big part of Stevie's life, seem to disappear and then we never hear from them again. I was curious about those people (particularly Jake) when the book finished. What purpose did he serve in her life? (not really a dislike, more like a general pondering)

Overall thoughts: This was a good coming of age novel with a unique setting, a main character that is easy to relate to, and an interesting plot line. Sinking into this story is like wrapping a fuzzy blanket around yourself. Miz Abate has done an excellent job with The Secret of Lies, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

My rating: 3.5 shots

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