Review: The Secrets of Us by Lucinda Berry - .Red Wine & Books

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Review: The Secrets of Us by Lucinda Berry

 


Print Length: 271 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 1, 2021)

From Goodreads.com:  Foster sisters Krystal and Nichole have always been there for each other, so when Nichole is committed to a psychiatric hospital after trying to kill her husband, Krystal drops everything to defend her.

Scarred by a hard upbringing, Nichole and Krystal managed to construct comfortable lives for themselves. Krystal became a respected lawyer, and Nichole was happily married to an architect—until Nichole starts raving that her husband isn’t her husband, believing that he’s an imposter.

Driven by fierce loyalty, Krystal starts asking questions, but she’s not sure she can bear the answers. Her investigation leads to the sisters’ dark shared past…to a horrible tragedy and a well-guarded lie that cemented their sisterly bond.

But that lie can’t kill the truth—the battered, gasping, clawing truth that’s coming for them both. Now Krystal and Nichole must both fight for the lives they’ve built before they’re consumed by the one they left behind.
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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This was the second book I have read from this author recently, and after reading it, I think I am going to have to take a break from them for awhile. 

Don't get me wrong, I definitely feel like this is more of a me, not them, issue. The writing is solid, with enough twists and turns that make the story interesting and keep the reader invested. 

The problem is, this feeling, at least for me, doesn't last. Throughout the book we get glimpses of their childhood as told by Nichole, and of the present as told by Krystal. I am assuming that the glimpses into their childhood was to show the trauma, but I never really bought into it. This is in part because of the fact that Mrs.Wheeler and her daughter Veronica simply ARE. There is nothing to explain why they treat the kids the way they do, and no mention of the case workers that would have been required to meet with the foster children (and potentially notice the so called abuse they suffered). Yes, Veronica was shown to be a vindictive and nasty piece of work, but we were never told WHY. Did she have her own trauma at the hands of her father before he died as I can't imagine Mrs.Wheeler hurting her beloved child. 

Even the "secrets" were horribly underwhelming, to the point I'm surprised the detective assigned to Alice's case didn't figure out the truth in a way he could prove almost immediately. And while I'm on the subject of Alice and what happened to her - there is no way Krystal and Nichole as minors would have been allowed to be interviewed without a representative even if Mrs.Wheeler was unwilling to act the part. 

The build-up was good, casting doubt on both parties, until it seemed like the author just got bored and rushed through the ending. An ending that I am sad to say was so obvious that it was almost laughable. However, this was also an ending that seemed rather abrupt? Honestly, I would liken it to being in a car speeding down a highway, everything passing in a blur, when you're suddenly slammed into a concrete wall that came out of nowhere. 

All things considered, the fact that I am glued to the pages is enough to make me give this author another chance, but as I said above, it will be after a break from their work.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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                                                                      The Secrets of Us is available from Amazon.com
                                                                    (for free if your subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)


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