Cecelia's Reviews > The Rhythm of Secrets

The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy
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's review
Apr 05, 2011

it was amazing
Read in April, 2011


The Rhythm Of Secrets by Patti Lacy

Since 1955, Sheila Franklin, a talented musician, has perfectly performed the role of devout pastor’s wife, locking away her past as Sheba Alexander and Sylvia Allen. Her carefully constructed façade crumbles with a single phone call from a young Marine named Samuel, the illegitimate son she secretly put up for adoption. Samuel begs Sheila to use her government contacts to get his fiancé, Mali, a Thai prostitute, into America. A dangerous mixture of love and guilt spurs her to help her only child even though it devastates her husband Edward and exposes her questionable past. After a quarrel with Edward, Sheila and Samuel board a C-130 for Thailand and then search Bangkok’s steamy streets for a Madonna-faced prostitute. The two whisk Mali from a brothel but are seized by a warlord who considers Mali his “number one girl.” In a teak “ghost house,” Sheila discovers God’s grace and gains the freedom she needs to find her own identity—Sheila, Sylvia, and Sheba. A framed story, this novel has roots in the bohemian 1940s New Orleans French Quarter and spans three decades, including the turbulent Vietnam era.
This was a powerful, enjoyable book that I highly recommend. Sheila has secrets - secrets that she's never exposed to her husband, a big-time pastor. He doesn't know about her mixed parentage, or parents' background, or about the fact that she has an illegitimate son with dark skin.

This book shows how one simple, single mistake can haunt you for years and years. I know we're supposed to accept God's grace for our sins, but, even when/if we do this, our sins and our bad choices can still affect our lives for a long time.

This novel also shows that it's best to tell the truth, especially to those that you love. Don't hide secrets, what if they come out to bite you later, causing turmoil in your current relationships?

This book also has a pretty deep inspirational message - showing that no matter how tough things get, even if it appears that we may lose our lives, it's best to call upon the Lord, our creator, during times of trouble.

I loved the way the author truthfully showed how judgmental we can be as Christians. You know, this book had me thinking about how some Christians are quick to punish, judge, make others feel unworthy, not following the example that Christ set forth for us in the Gospels. When Sheila, the main character in Rhythm of Secrets, loses her parents and goes to live with her grandmother Mimi, she's forced to suffer from Mimi's judgmental attitude towards her. This attitude partially stems from Sheila's parentage. Yet, Mimi is a Christian? Sadly, the church is filled with Mimis and it'd be great if, the next time we find ourselves judging others for their mistakes, then we should stop, and take a hard look at ourselves. What sins have we committed in our own lives?

I guarantee that this book will get a strong emotional response out of you. For me, the most emotional part happens when Sheila is forced to give up her baby, a baby that she loves fully and unconditionally. Her son's dark skin doesn't bother her, as her baby's complexion is a result of her mixed parentage.

Give this book a try. If you've read it, let me know what you thought about the story.

I'll top off this blog post with a question: Have you experienced a lot of judgmental Christians in your life? Did the judgmental actions affect your faith?

Many thanks to Kregel for providing me with a free review copy.

~Cecelia Dowdy~

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