The Secret Between Us Mass Market Paperback – Jul 28 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Relationships are brought to the limit in Delinsky's splendid latest exploration of family dynamics. On a rainy night, Deborah Monroe and her teenage daughter, Grace, are driving home when their car hits a man. The victim, who turns out to be Grace's history teacher, is unconscious but alive. Although Grace was driving, Deborah sends her home and takes responsibility for the accident when the cops show up. Deborah is juggling a lot: as a family doctor, she is in private practice with her über-demanding widower father, who is trying to hide a drinking problem; her son, Dylan, is vision impaired; her mother's death continues to affect the family; Deborah is still dealing with her ex-husband's new, separate life; and her unmarried sister, Jill, has just announced she's pregnant. Grace's guilt about not taking responsibility for the accident makes her withdraw from friends and family, and the accident victim turns out to have a more complex private life than anyone imagined. The author seamlessly resolves relationship issues without sentiment, throws in a promising romance for Deborah and offers a redemptive scene between Grace and her grandfather. Delinsky combines her understanding of human nature with absorbing, unpredictable storytelling—a winning combination. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“One of her best.”
—The Boston Globe
“Provocative…. Delinsky is interested in how the lies we tell for love can destroy us instead—and she lays out this particular deception so painstakingly that even the most honest reader will sympathize.”
“One of her best…. Delinsky is a first-rate storyteller who creates believeable, sympathetic characters who seem as familiar as your neighbors.”
—The Boston Globe
“Delinsky treads the same domestic themes as fellow best-seller Jodi Picoult.”
“Delinsky may be as adept at chronicling contemporary life in New England as any writer this side of John Updike.”
—Times Union (Albany)
“Delinsky delves deeper into the human heart and spirit with each new novel."
“Delinsky uses nuance and detail to draw realistic characters and ensure that emotion is genuine.”
—The Providence Journal
“Delinsky is out there with the Anita Shreves and Elizabeth Bergs, perpetually bestselling authors who wrestle with bigger themes.”
“Splendid...combines her understanding of human nature with absorbing, unpredictable storytelling-a winning combination.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Delinsky's latest page-turner...deftly and realistically addresses family issues.... Immensely readable...thought-provoking.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Deborah Monroe is mom, daughter, sister, ex-wife, and prominent town doctor to a quiet little town in New England. Highly respected and loved, independent, honest to a fault has her life upturned by one little incident. Oh, is it little or bigger than she thinks.
Grace Monroe is a loving, athletic, brilliant, devoted teen who knows right from wrong but the one little unfortunate incident throws her into such an emotional turmoil that you sit and wonder how your own child would react to the same thing happening to her. The entire town knows this teen as truthfully honest and reliable almost to perfection which sets Grace up for emotional pain that is unimaginable.
The story brings into question what lengths we would go to as a parent in order to protect our children. It also questions our ability to handle one crisis following another as an adult especially in a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone. Can secrets truly be hidden in such a small community. Will one little deception tear a family apart not only from themselves but from all prying eyes. Can one selfish person willing cause so much emotional pain and break the trust that has been here for generations. So many questions with too few answers.
The author is brilliant with the actual storyline. With living in Massachusetts myself I can actually visualize all the areas that the author takes us to. Even though this is fiction it could also be someone's real life story. It's something we say can't possibly happen to us but in all reality, "It only takes one time", and it could very well come to pass.
There are the issues of teens drinking and driving, the overwhelming issue of a parent trying to protect or perhaps over-protect her child, the trauma of divorce on the entire family, the guilt over your life's decisions, the keeping of secrets, the telling of lies that affect everyone you love,painful loss of a loved one, expectations that aren't fulfilled. The list goes on and on. There is so much in this story that it's at times painful to digest.
Deborah regrets her divorce and what it did to her family. But she lies by omission causing more pain and trauma to her children. There's also the piece that shows a softening of the relationship with everyone she loves--including the ex-husband. And then there's the promise of a new love in the future----perhaps she learned from her past mistakes.
How can you not love the story? Perhaps the writing isn't done in the depth of other writers but the story has a huge impact on life and all its issues of living. I couldn't put it down, lost some sleep and pushed work aside to finish this book. To me, that's the kind of book that gets a "5 star" rating.
The person the mother ends up with. I mean, come on...REALLY? I'll not get into that so I won't ruin the ending for anyone else.
What kind of ethics and morals is this mother teaching the daughter? Mama will always cover up her mistakes and take the blame for her wrong doings? Where is responsibility? The daughter wants to grow up, so teach her the consequences!
If this were my kid, she would NOT be still able to go hang with her friends! She would be grounded! Where's the getting in trouble for underage drinking? What about an attempt at shoplifting? Where is this kid getting in trouble for anything that she's done?
I feel bad for the poor schmuck who died, he's almost forgotton...and not much is said for the widow either.
The brother and his whole storyline is so unrealistic.
The chief of police just turns a blind eye to the whole situation because the mom's such a great person in the community....PUHLEASE!
THIS IS SO UNREALISTIC! THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD.
I thought this novel had a little bit of everything. Great discussion book. Lots of emotion - the scenario a young girl and her mother arguing while driving in the rain, and how in a split second something tragic can happen to change everyone's lives. The characters are likeable and believable, the accident one we can picture easily happening to anyone. The side stories contributed a lot to the enjoyment of the read: the boy with the eye disease/his feelings about playing baseball/his relationship with his dad and grandfather. I enjoyed the sister of the main character with her bakery venture, her choice for single parent pregnancy, and the small town scenario of everyone knowing everyone. The police chief being in the job forever makes the ending plausible, although doubtful in big city real-life.
The only reason I rate this a 4 instead of 5 is because there was one area that I found far-fetched, and that was about the victim in the accident, how he happened to be where he was at the time of the accident. Without giving anything away, I guess Delinsky needed to go that way to give us a satisfactory ending, and she did wrap it up nicely. I also felt it would have added a lot more to the novel to have a bit more character development about the victim and his family. Suffice it to say it didn't make me enjoy the book any less.
If you are in a book club, this is an excellent choice, as there is much to discuss. One thing to address if you are in a club:
1) Would you cover for your child if this happened to you in this way?
2) Is the teen driver here typical of young-girl-driver's today (guilt or relief)?