Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: His Secret Family
Author: Ali Mercer
Published: September 11th
It’s a beautiful day for a wedding. White roses scent the air and the summer sunlight streams in. A spoon chimes against a champagne flute and the room falls silent. And there he is – my husband – getting to his feet to propose a toast. He’s still handsome. His new wife is next to him, gazing upwards, oblivious.
I’m not supposed to be here. All these years in the same town and I had no idea until I saw his name on the seating plan. He lived with me, once. Loved me. Small-town memories are long, but the people in this room don’t want to remember.
They say the healing is in letting go, but after what he did, he needs to know we haven’t gone away just because he’s shut his eyes.
So I take Daisy by the hand and step forward from the shadows. He notices us and his eyes widen. The champagne glass falls from his hand and smashes. Then he sags forward, making a terrible sound – a sort of strangled scream…
A powerfully emotional novel with a dark secret at its heart. This family drama will keep you hooked until the very last page. Perfect for fans of The Silent Wife, Kate Hewitt and Jodi Picoult.
The description of this story gives a glimpse into this emotional family drama, but only a glimpse. There’s so much more to the story! It is told throughout from the points of views of four different characters, making it easy to discover what each of them is thinking. There are plenty of shocks, surprises and revelations as the story progresses and so many twists and turns, too, to keep you guessing. It is a story of loves, past and present, of so many different secrets kept for different reasons. It is a story involving celebrations, drama, tragedy, growing up and family life. It starts with a wedding before going back to relate what led to it all. It is a journey filled with misunderstandings, one where relationships are the key and honesty is in question. It is a page turner and a story I didn’t want to put down until I’d discovered all those secrets . . . .
Most of the story revolves around Mark and the people he interacts with. He seems a really narcissistic character in so many ways and at times he endeavours to prove himself to be perfect by misrepresenting the actions and attitude of others, only facing up to his own flaws and mistakes at the end of the story. Attitudes to people with autism and mental health are also involved, including some discussions relating to treatments in less enlightened times.There’s also one character with psychic abilities but that seemed somewhat incidental and not really acknowledged by others which I felt was strange. It is a story with so many threads running through it and it is only towards the end that they are woven together to complete the picture. It is an intriguing and dramatic story of families, relationships, secrets, grief, honesty and facing up to reality.
I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Apple Books: https://apple.co/31EAfKM
Ali decided she wanted to be a writer early on and wrote her first novel when she was at primary school. She did an English degree and spent her early twenties working in various jobs in journalism, including as a reporter for the showbusiness newspaper The Stage. She started writing fiction in earnest after getting married, moving out of London to the Oxfordshire market town of Abingdon and starting a family. She has two children, a daughter and a son who is autistic and was diagnosed when he was four years old.
Ali is fascinated by families, their myths and secrets, and the forces that hold them together, split them up and (sometimes) bring them back together again. She always travels with tissues and a book and has been known to cry over a good story but is also a big fan of the hopeful ending.
Author Social Media Links:
For updates and pictures, follow Ali on Twitter (@AlisonLMercer) or Instagram (@alimercerwriter), or on her Facebook page (AliMercerwriter)
Many thanks to Bookouture for providing content for this post, organising the tour it is part of and giving me a copy of this book without obligation. The review is my honest opinion after choosing to read the book.