Review: The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

March 24, 2014 Bantam, General Fiction, Review 3

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (February 4, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0345535243
  • Source: Publisher

Eve Lattimore and her family live on a quiet, suburban street. From the outside, it seems as though they live a relatively normal life. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Her fourteen-year-old son, Tyler, lives with a rare disease that prevents him from going outside during the day. One stray ray of sun can cause his skin to breakout into painful blisters. Eve has spent Tyler’s entire live worrying about and caring for him. During the day, he’s held captive his disease, forced to live like a prisoner in his second-floor bedroom. He can’t attend school, for that would mean he would have to go outside during daylight hours.  Instead, he Skypes into his classrooms and participates remotely. The twilight hours are his salvation; it is the only time he is able to leave the confines of his home and venture outdoors.

Taking care of a child in this condition is far from easy. Her teen daughter, Melissa, is struggling. A teen herself, she is struggling with many of the things typical girls her age face. Unfortunately, as most of her parents’ attention is focused on her brother, she feels lost and alone in the world, often wishing that she had Tyler’s disease. Eve’s husband, David, works hundreds of miles away in DC, returning home only for the weekend.   It is on one rainy night, as Eve is driving to the airport to pick up her husband, that the unthinkable happens.  Eve looks down at a text and she hits something. She assumes it is a deer but when she ventures out into the rain she discovers the unthinkable.

Fearful of what will happen to her family if something happens to her, Eve keeps the incident a secret. What she has done hits close to home; her best friend Charlotte is the most affected.  Eve is so worried about protecting her family that she doesn’t seem to realize it is crumbling before her.

You know those perfect suburban neighborhoods that seem to perfect to be true? This is most definitely one of them.  During Tyler’s nighttime adventures, he is able to see the real, hidden side of his neighbors.  It is as if his neighbors think the darkness of night shadows their true behavior. As Tyler sees his world crumbling around him, he too takes actions to protect his family, actions that are only a temporary fix to the real damage that lies beneath.

I was in a bit of a reading funk before I starting reading The Deepest Secret. I began reading it on Sunday morning and the next thing I know, two hours had passed.  From page one, I was captivated by the storyline, completely mesmerized by the characters.  While this novel is over 400 pages, it certainly didn’t feel like it. I was transfixed; unable to tear myself away for even the briefest of moments.

The characters that Buckley creates are so real, so genuine, that readers will instantly connect with them. Those of us with children, with or without disabilities, will cling to Eve as she faces the unthinkable.  That’s not to say that I didn’t have some issues with Eve; she did make quite a few decisions that made me question her motives. Things would have gone a completely different direction had she been honest up front, but as a mother myself, I constantly found myself questioning if I would have done any different in Eve’s place.

The only issue I had with this novel is that it seemed to wrap up too quickly for me. It isn’t until the very end that the truth is revealed; the rest of the novel is spent following Eve as she evades the truth.  I would have preferred that more attention be given to the “after,” and I think many others would agree. I’d grown so close to the characters that the ending just wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more; I needed closure and to know what happened to the family.

All this said, I still do highly recommend this novel. It would be perfect for a book club discussion as it attacks quite a few themes that would generate a great deal of discussion.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to review this title. Be sure to check out the other stops in this tour!

Visit Carla’s website or Facebook for more information.


3 Responses to “Review: The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley”

  1. Becky
    Twitter: BeckyLeJeune

    Yes! The perfect book for being in a slump. It moves along so quickly and the characters are so engaging! I loved that it had the feel of a thriller while not actually being one 100% I think it makes it appealing to a wide range.

    You’re right, too. The wrap up was a bit abrupt and it would have been nice to have more of the “after” included.