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The Secret of Lies

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  458 ratings  ·  106 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
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Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published (first published April 21st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,181)
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Barbara Abate
Sep 30, 2010 Barbara Abate rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (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
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Denise
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
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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
Tracy
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
Romancing the Book
Reviewed by Angie
Book provided by Booklending.com
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

The Secret of Lies is one of those books that you either read all at once if you have an entire day to devote to reading or have to break up over a few days as the emotional pull of it can get to be too much. Not that it’s a bad book, quite the opposite actually, it’s just emotionally draining at times.

While you can pretty much figure out where some parts of the storyline are going, there are other sec
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Judi
Such a testament to how lies can cause harm to those around us as well as drawing us down into a well we cannot crawl out of. In this particular case it was not only lies but the failure to speak up when it would have been the best thing to do in the first place. In some respects, this book took me back to my own childhood with my own sister. I was the older she the younger (by 5 years) and it was difficult for each of us to see where the other one was coming from and why they were changing. We ...more
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
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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
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Karen Fowler
I've been reading a lot of genre fiction lately and it was nice to nibble on a novel with literary flavorings for a change. I couldn't have picked a better book than The Secret Of Lies to satisfy my craving for lyrical writing, finely-crafted prose and a compelling, intricate plot.


I'll spare you the plotting, because in my opinion that is what blurbs are for. I will say that the tale spans several years- from the innocence of adolescence to the reality of adulthood. The natural progression of t
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Amanda
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
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Elaine
Mystery, Romance, Coming-of-Age

Haunted by the final summer she and her sister spent at her aunt’s beach house, Stephanie is drawn back to the place one final time, trying to make some sense of it and come to grips with her own guilt.

I found the first half of the story intriguing, where she and her older sister Eleanor spent their teen summers on the shore, Eleanor primping in hopes of catching the latest guy’s eye while Stephanie was more interested in merely enjoying her vacation.

As the girls
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Jencey/
I am excited to read and share this book with you all.


Synopsis:


Eleanor and Stephanie spend every summer at their Aunt Smyrna and Uncle Cal’s beach house in New York. The girls are from Callicoon Wisconsin so the beach is the ultimate vacation away from the parents. The summers are great and Stephanie and Eleanor look forward to going every year. The year of 1957 changes everything for both Stephanie and Eleanor. A tragedy occurs that Aunt Smyrna and Stephanie attempt to cover up. Will Stephanie
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Kristin  Aragon
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
Vicky (Books, Biscuits, and Tea)
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
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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
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Kristi
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
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Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
A story that poignantly centers around two sisters who spend each summer at their aunt and uncle's idyllic beach house that is mere steps away from a beach paradise. They meet many people during the summer that in each way help them grow into young women until one summer where scandal and tragedy strike. As I am not a spoiler of good books, you will have to read this one to see what tragedy these girls endure during one fateful summer.

What starts with a prologue full of wordiness, continues to a
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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).
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JC Andrew
Jul 28, 2010 JC 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
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Books-treasureortrash
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
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Jamie Kline
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
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
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Jeannie
It was very hard to put down. I love a book that just grabs you. It was only when the back story began that I felt it really began. I'm not one to be patient with desperate agony right off. I upgraded it to five stars because it is probably a book I will read again. I don't think one can absorb it all the first time around.

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I was very uncomfortable with the side story of Stevie and Ash. I don't like how the relationship developed. I felt like telling Stevie to
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Jackie Miller
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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Annette Bagley-martin
A novel by Barbara Forte Abate

The Secret of Lies is a powerful novel set on the Atlantic coast in 1957. Stevie Burke, a young teenage girl, is faced with the ugly truth that people are not always who they seem to be, even though you may have spent your entire life around them.

The memories of the summer of ’57, the year her life changed forever, dog Stevie’s heels like a shadow. Years later, in an attempt to outrun them, she finds herself miles from home and at a loss for words when the urge to c
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Robin
I can't stop thinking about this story and it's characters. The writing was beautiful. This was Stevie's story and you really get to know her, first at the beach during summer vacations. I loved the scenery and was envious of the summers the two sisters shared with sunburns, salty skin, lazy days walking on the surf, and building of memories. I loved the sisters friendship and realistic griping. I adored Jake. And Jake and Stevie. So when the "dark" event happened, I felt such compassion for Ste ...more
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
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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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