Tag Archives: Ink Drop Interviews and Reviews

The Deepest Secret… by Carla Buckley

Synopsis:

Twelve years ago, Eve Lattimore’s life changed forever. Her two-year-old son Tyler on her lap, her husband’s hand in hers, she waited for the child’s devastating diagnosis: XP, a rare genetic disease, a fatal sensitivity to sunlight. Eve remembers that day every morning as she hustles Tyler up the stairs from breakfast before the sun rises, locking her son in his room, curtains drawn, computer glowing, as he faces another day of virtual schooling, of virtual friendships. But every moment of vigilance is worth it. This is Eve’s job, to safeguard her boy against the light, to protect his fragile life each day, to keep him alive—maybe even long enough for a cure to be found.
Tonight, Eve’s life is about to change again, forever. It’s only an instant on a rainy road—just a quick text as she sits behind the wheel—and another mother’s child lies dead in Eve’s headlights. The choice she faces is impossible: confess and be taken from Tyler, or drive away and start to lie like she’s never lied before.

Review:

Buckley uses every element of writing to her advantage in her suspenseful family drama, The Deepest Secret.

My biggest compliment to the author is that she executed her plot so well, other than whether Eve would do the right thing, the story was not predictable.

The Deepest Secret

The Deepest Secret

*Spoilers:

I thought David was going to have an affair with Renee. He didn’t.

When Melissa took her father’s car, I thought it was either foreshadowing of what really happened the night of the accident (she was the car in front of her mother) and she saw what her mother did, or that it was a red herring to throw the reader off)

I thought that (possibly) Tyler would pay the ultimate price to protect his mother. He didn’t. (The UV rays/disease hook was always somewhere between the background and the foreground, making me think it might have more to do with the story)

It kept me guessing on many levels, which is the mark of any good novel.

The author added just enough ‘extras’, or non-essential details, to bring realism to the tale without making me feel as though she were bloating it for length. The phrasing was fresh, the characters well developed (likable, but not cliché perfect), description enough, but not too much. It was well crafted story, from the minute details such as which way she turned out of the driveway, to the use of Tyler’s camera (and love for his sister) to plant evidence, the author was thorough.

The only area of the book I felt didn’t quite fit the tone of the rest of it, was the scene outside when Sophie was having/had giant lights put up. I understand she was afraid of the peeping Tom and I understand Eve’s reaction, but the everybody-talking-at-the-same-time scene was a little unrealistic. Fortunately, coming in at 420+ pages, that one scene didn’t take away from the read.

Worth a mention, but not specifically about the writing – I’ve read books where a child dies and somehow, it almost always brings a tear to my eye. I was surprised at the fact that this book did not. I can’t say what was missing in the writing that it didn’t induce that emotion in me, but there were no ‘Oh my God’ moments, or ‘that’s so sad’ scenes, even though the subject matter was sad, somehow, the author was not able to pull that emotion from me.

Still, a worthy read I would recommend. As a parent, it will make you think, ‘how far would I go to protect my child?’

Kathy Reinhart is the award-winning author of Lily White Lies, among other titles.
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Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League… by Jonathan Odell

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a penchant for southern stories by southern writers. It’s not that I find their writing better than anyone else’s, but southerners and storytelling go hand-in-hand like catfish and cornbread.

The author of the book I’m reviewing today has secured a place at the top of my list of favorite authors.

Jonathan Odell may live in Minnesota now, but he was born and raised in Mississippi, which makes him a southerner by birthright in my book. 

Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League

Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League

Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League was originally titled The View From Delphi. It is the story of not only racism in the deep south, but of the prejudices that run parallel. It’s a story of loathing (white attitudes toward colored) and unspoken love and loyalty (the (white) Senator and Miss Pearl’s affections toward their (colored) childhood friend, Levi)

Racism is a topic that weaves its way through conversations to this day. But what about prejudice? In Odell’s novel, he also explores the prejudices that still exist in every corner of the country: the rich and powerful (begrudgingly accepting) the ‘hicks’ although white, the Grahams, the attitude toward Billy Dean from his own in-laws. (This isn’t about race because these people are all white.)

Odell also explores the unlikely bond that transcends racism when two women who initially hate each other find their common ground.

Odell paints the perfect picture of 1940’s-1950’s south. The characters are real and draw on our sympathies. Even the youngest, Johnnie, is well developed and lends to the authenticity of the story.

I’m not going to go into too many details and possibly ruin what might be the best book you read this year, but I will say, you won’t be disappointed with the style, the story, or the feelings that linger once you’ve finished. Move over O’Connor, Capote, Stockett, and Flagg…Make room for Odell.

K.E Garvey is the award-winning author of Lily White Lies, The Red Strokes, and Missouri in a Suitcase, the former written under the pen name Nova Scott. To learn more about her and her work, follow the links listed below. Have you read Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League? Share your thoughts!

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