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The Secret of Lies

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  552 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
Propelled by an insurmountable sense of desperation, Stevie Burke is recklessly abandoning home, husband, and outwardly contented life under cover of night; at last resigned to defeat in her long battle against the tortured memories of her past.

Days later, lost and floundering in a dreary motel room without plan or destination, it is a long ago song playing on the radio th
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published (first published April 21st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Barbara Abate
Sep 30, 2010 Barbara Abate rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This is my debut novel, and of course I love it.
Dierdra Byrd
The author really could have done this whole story in about half the pages. she used every adverb and adjective in the dictionary and for me it felt like she was trying much to hard and at times it made it boring and hard to read.
The book was so slow in parts and made me want to fall asleep instead of reading more the first half of the book for me would have been better if it was shorter and you did not have to read 100 pages for something to finally happen and when it did you already knew what
May 03, 2012 Denise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I missed something in the reading, but I found this book to be disjointed and predictable. The first half of the book was about a life changing event and the second half was about how the character in the book lived her life afterwards. I didn't think that the author did a very good job of tying the two times together, it was almost like reading two different stories. I was impressed with the first half but I felt like the story fell apart after that.
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
When The Secret of Lies begins, we find Stevie Burke abandoning her home, husband and a contented life heading to nowhere specific - she hasn't figured that out yet. All she knows is that she has to address the demons of a past that is slowly but surely overwhelming her. A past that begins from when she was thirteen, and culminates to a horrible tragedy when she turns fifteen. Every summer until that tragic year, Stevie and her sister Eleanor would travel to her uncle and aunt's summer house in ...more
Sandra Stiles
I think one thing that made this such a great book was the ending came first. The story begins with Stevie, the main character leaving her husband.
We are taken back in time to the events that led up to Stevie running away.
Stevie and her sister Eleanor grew up on a farm. They spent their summers with their aunt and uncle on Long Island. They lived for this. This was the first place I could identify with the characters. It wasn’t Long Island for me but the weekends in town with my cousin was time
Patricia Kemp Blackmon
Stephanie and her sister Eleanor leaves their families farm for the summer to vacation at their Aunt and Uncle's beach house. This is something they look forward to every year. But recently the visits have become a little tense because of an under current between her Aunt Smyrna and Uncle Cal. Stevie just tries to overlook the tension and enjoy the summer. As the girls get into their teens they become more interested in boys than finding sea shells and swimming. Eleanor is the oldest so she woul ...more
Nov 30, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would say I judge a book by how long it takes me to read it - I got this in the mail yesterday around 4 - I am already 1/2 way done it, I can not put it down, at 1;30 this morning I was reading it, I was reading it in my bath this morning. I am just loving it. So very good. I love that it is written in two parts, one when my mother was a young woman 1957,and one in modern times (or it apears to be anyway) a easy, quick read with a bit of suspence, teenage tomfoolery and not sure what the uncle ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 04, 2017 Cynthia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book left me cold. I read it all the way through so I wouldn't say I hated it but it didn't really give me much to like about it either. I found a few details annoying false like someone learning sign language casually from a book and remembering it from year to year. I'm not even sure why there needed to be a deaf character. To me, that was just a distraction. I also don't understand why one would hang onto pointless dislike of a person and then up and marry them out of the blue. I don't u ...more
Book Synopsis

Propelled by an insurmountable sense of desperation, Stevie Burke is recklessly abandoning home, husband, and outwardly contented life under cover of night; at last resigned to defeat in her long battle against the tortured memories of her past.

Days later, lost and floundering in a dreary motel room without plan or destination, it is a long ago song playing on the radio that gently tugs Stevie back through the dust of remembrance. 1957 - The last summer spent at the ancient house
Jamie Kline
Dec 19, 2011 Jamie Kline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-review
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I was very intrigued by the synopsis and I thought it would definitely be worth my time to read it. The story starts out with Stevie, the main character, deciding to leave her husband. It's immediately apparent that she's dealing with some very personal demons, but they are not revealed right away. Instead, we are taken back 12 years to when the troubles began, which give a very clear (and at times disturbing) picture of some pivotal moments in St ...more
Kimberly ☕
Oct 23, 2011 Kimberly ☕ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret of Lies by Barbara Forte Abate has to be one of the best novels I have ever had the pleasure to read. I was shocked to learn this is Abate’s first published work. Her writing style brings to mind such authors as Harper Lee and John Steinbeck. She writes with such detail, bringing images to life with the stroke of her pen. In her debut novel, she delivers a touching tale about, love, innocence, betrayal, loss and lies.

Secret of Lies reflects back on events that occurred off the Atlant
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
The Secret of Lies opens with Stevie (Stephanie) running from her home on the farm and her new husband; believing it's too late to turn back. Stevie's on the road and staying at a motel, when she begins to think about the past.

The dreary surrounds of the motel fades away and the reader is transported to Stevie's teenage years in the mid '50s with her older sister Eleanor. Each summer Eleanor and Stevie stayed with their Aunt Smyrna and Uncle Calvin in their beach house on the coast.

I enjoyed rea
Jenn Andrew
Jul 28, 2010 Jenn Andrew added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes to read
The Secret of Lies is a character driven novel, which gave the reader insight into the internal struggle of the main character. Stephanie Burke, was trying to regain some happiness in her life after being dragged through the lies of her family. This young woman, who had been forced to grow up in a web of lies, was attempting to make a life for herself.

The novel began with a prologue before the first chapter. The reader is drawn into the feelings of the main character. You realize her state of m
Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures)
The Secret of Lies has to be one of the best stories I've read this year, without a doubt. The writing style is brilliant in itself - Abate writes with such elegance and sophistication that you cannot help being drawn to the story and the characters.

What I loved about the set up is that the prologue starts with the end of the story. We know from the start that Stevie runs away from home, we know the consequences - but we don't know how it all happened. Abate keeps you in agonising suspense from
Courtney (Fuzzy.Coffee.Books)

The Secret of Lies is a bit outside my wheelhouse when it comes to the genres that I read. But I decided to read it because the plot sounded interesting, and I thought the writing style was lovely.

What I Liked: 1) I really loved the writing style. Because I spend so much of my reading time in paranormal words with modern teenagers as the main characters, it seems like I get my fair share of teenspeak. But this one was written with an air of elegance that I really enjoyed. 2) Stevie (Stephanie).
May 11, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok
It's probably more of a 2.25 star book...

Before choosing to download this book I checked reviews on goodreads and on amazon. The reviewers were generally quite positive, so I went for it.

After reading the prologue I almost gave up on the book altogether. The prologue is TERRIBLY written. It's a mess of mixed metaphors and a bunch of other words that don't belong together. Remembering all those positive reviews though, I kept at it.

The first half of the story became far more tolerable. I thought
Dec 04, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those coming-of-age books that brings you back to your teenage years and fills you with hope and sorrow at the same time. The setting of the story sounds perfect; 1950's summers spent in Long Island away from their family at their Pennsylvania farm. Stevie meets and falls for a boy at the beach and it seems her teenage days are to be spent like any other girl's; until a shocking discovery leads to tragedy and the beginning of her changed life.

You never expect the twist when it co
Sep 29, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was immediately drawn to this book. It is an emotionally dark and intense novel about coming of age, lies, betrayal, guilt, and hopefully acceptance. The characters pull at your heartstrings. The writing is so rich you feel as if you personally know these people. Some you will love, some you will pity, and some you will abhor. The main character is Stephanie Burke. She is an incredible person. She has a story that must be told. Ms Forte Abate does a masterful job telling Stevie's tale.

It was
Kristin (These Pretty Words)
Originally reviewed on These Pretty Words.

This review is a really tough one for me. I should warn you readers in advance – my feelings about this book run the gamut, so you'll need to grant me a bit of leeway here.

The Secret of Lies starts out with the main character, Stevie, leaving her husband in an emotional mess. The summary is clear on this; she leaves and ends up in a hotel remembering a summer from her youth. That much I got through and enjoyed.

As soon as we readers were brought back in t
Annette M Guerriero Nishimoto
Today's Review is on The Secret of Lies by Barbara Forte Abate

The Secret of Lies is an absolutely fantastic book! An impressive and detailed story of love, loss, and betrayal. From the very beginning I felt my heart reach out to Stephanie, and it stayed there wrapped in her life story even hours after I had finished reading.

Every summer Stephanie "Stevie" Burke and her sister Eleanor travel to Long Island and the summer home of their Aunt Smyrna and Uncle Cal. Nothing is out of the ordinary unti
Meg - A Bookish Affair
This is a story of how family secrets can change everything. Hiding those secrets can make things so much worse. This is exactly what happens to Stevie is this book. As a young teenager, she watches her sister, Eleanor, and the adults in her life make decisions that will change everything and hurt people. We see all of this through Stevie's eyes. She's still not an adult but understands enough that she knows the implications of everything that's going on.

I liked this book. The story is good and
From the first glance The Secret of Lies by Barbara Forte Abate Forte demands attention. The title alone implies so many things. If a person has a secret then they will lie to protect it, if a person is lying then they have a secret, and ultimately the secret of any lie is the truth itself.

Then there's all the famous quotes that spring to mind when considering secrets and lies. There's Walter Scott's "Oh what a tangled web we weave..." or the ever famous "The truth shall set you free." Both of
Jenny  (hades2) (Chocolate Chunky Munkie)
You can find the full review at Chocolate Chunky Munkie

I found this book to be very well written, there is an immense amount of detail to the writing. So I will warn you, this is not a fast and easy read, you just have to appreciate all the rich detail and soak it up. Sometimes I found myself taking a step back just to absorb every detail.

The story is told by the main protagonist Stevie; it starts off in the present day and then regresses back to a time in her childhood where something bad happ
Chapter by Chapter
I laughed, I cried, I loved this book...
The Secret Of Lies by Barbara Forte Abate is a beautiful story that you won't soon forget, the story of Stevie is one that is filled with innocence, lies, personal growth, and finding the strength to live her life
Barbara Forte Abate treats us with a story that simply takes your breath away. She has the ability to grab the readers attention from the beginning in such a way that you can't do anything but continue reading and see what happens in Stevie's jo
Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes

A horrendous event occurred in Stevie’s life when she was sixteen which continues to haunt her. The story starts when she abandons her loving husband, Ash, when she is in her late twenties. Her past won’t leave her alone. This is a tale of love, betrayal and secrets which continually tears at Stevie’s heart.

The Secret of Lies is Barbara Forte Abate's debut novel. This drama is told to us with a first person narrative using the voice and thoughts of the main protagoni
Kristin  Aragon
Oct 09, 2011 Kristin Aragon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Of Lies follows the life of Stevie as she encounters deceit, first love, death, and lies. As a young girl, she and her sister spend summers on the beach with her aunt and uncle. Each year their lives become increasingly complicated until things finally culminate in an explosive combination of death and lies. Told in the first person, The Secret of Lies brings you up close and personal with Stevie's heartache caused by the events that surrounded her sister's death. These catastrophes w ...more
Jessica Bronder
This story starts with Stevie leaving her husband to go fight the demons from her past. Then we jump to the summers of her youth. Stevie and her sister Eleanor live on a farm. But in the summer, they go visit their aunt and uncle on the beach. But when Eleanor is 17 and Stevie is 15 tragedy strikes and changes everything. Now Stevie is trying to face the demons from her past so she can get on with her life.

I have to say that I felt that the writing style was a touch jerky. We start out with Stev
Apr 13, 2012 Star rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In America, today is Thanksgiving. A holiday that has come to be a time to spend with family and friends. In The Secret of Lies, a family is torn apart by a scandalous secret. Stevie and her sister spent their summers with their aunt and uncle and everything was idyllic. Until there were undertones that Stevie, being the younger sister, struggled to figure out. She also had her own life going on and while observant, she didn't start worrying until it was, perhaps, too late for things to change. ...more
Jackie Miller
Nov 14, 2011 Jackie Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully told tale of a girl's journey down the twisted path of her life. In this book you get to see the good and the bad. All the things that shape a child into an adult.

You first meet Stevie as an adult, basically running from her own life. At this point it is unclear what the reason is, but you get the idea that she places the blame on herself. She hears a song on the radio that triggers the memories of her past. The story is truly about her journey from a teenager TO the lost a
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I grew up in a small town in Dutchess County, New York, the third of five children. Although I started my first novel in 4th grade, I didn't recognize what would eventually become a lifelong passion until several years later as I found my thoughts routinely wandering off to inhabit imagined places -- spinning elaborate tales curiously populated by ever-changing collections of strange and unique ch ...more
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