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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Veil of Secrets (Book Review)

When I had the chance to choose a new book from BookLook Bloggers, I was intrigued by the publisher's description of Veil of Secrets by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel.  I received an ebook of this title at no cost to me.

This is the description that caught my attention:
Can a mother face the secrets of her past in order to protect her daughter from the same mistakes?
Melanie and Will Connors seem like the perfect couple, but their marriage only looks good on the outside, having withered inside from a lack of intimacy.
The barriers Melanie faces to intimacy are hidden in her past—a misguided tryst with a trusted friend of her father's, a pattern of promiscuity as a teen, empty relationships in early adulthood. The only way Melanie sees to save herself from herself is to turn off her desires—even in her marriage.
Will insists they either work on the marriage—or work on the divorce. Their attempt at restoration occurs in the midst of a New Hampshire presidential primary that is rocked by violent protests and razor-sharp character assassinations. For the first time, their marriage begins to feel like a safe place.
As Melanie tries to sort through her own past, she sees her 16-year-old daughter's head turned by a charismatic older man on Will's campaign team. Can Melanie sift through her own rubble and find the voice to help guide her daughter—and possibly find the joy that God intended for her marriage?
After reading Veil of Secrets, I would summarize it a bit differently.  While Will and Melanie's marriage is the thread that ties everything together, the subplots are equally engaging.  The political campaign and Will's sister Carrie are significant parts of the story.

At first I wasn't caught up in the story.  I think that's because the authors quickly introduced so many characters, I couldn't keep them straight.  But by the time I was about ten percent into the book (I'm reading on my Kindle, so I see percentages instead of page numbers), I was interested.  By about twenty-five percent, I couldn't put the book (Kindle) down.

A major theme in Veil of Secrets is dealing with events long past that still affect us now.  I'd like to share two truths that I highlighted in the book:
  • "Everything you've experienced is still a part of you.  Sweeping it all under the rug and calling it 'the past' doesn't make it go away.  It just creates a bigger pile under the rug for you to trip over."
  • "You do not bury pain dead.  You bury it alive, and it must be fed every day."
The authors wrap up enough loose ends that the book concludes on a satisfying note.  However, they've also left enough openings to allow for a sequel.  I think maybe that's the best way for a book to end!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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