Oct 07, 11
Read on October 06, 2011
I'm having the hardest time putting into words how great this book was. To be totally honest, I wasn't sure what to expect after looking at the front cover and being less than impressed. However, Tracie Peterson has always written excellent contemporary novels, and I should've never doubted that this novel would be equally as good.
This was the second time this year that I've read a Christian book that dealt with mental illness. The family in House of Secrets has lived their lives based on years and years of secrets that were all rooted in the mother's illness of paranoid schizophrenia. And truly, no one felt the weight of those secrets more than Bailee, the main character. To be told as a child that you're responsible for your two sisters, and then on the flip side, to be told that it's your fault if anything happens to them was heartbreaking to read. As a result, Bailee's childhood was so far from normal, it wasn't even funny.
The emotions were all over the place, too. Fear, hurt, regret, and anger were all portrayed so realistically that I felt like I was part of the story. Mind you, I've got enough drama in my own life that I don't need to borrow these folks', but I couldn't help but wonder how I would react if faced with a situation like this. Would I be like the church members whose reacted with disdain and judgment, or would I be more like Mark--unafraid to step in to be a rock for Bailee in her time of need?
Trying to describe this book has been so hard to do. That's why I said in the beginning that I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts into words. Sometimes, books come along that are so broad and meaningful, there's really nothing left to say except it was a great book. I can't wrap up years of lies, secrets, and omissions in a nice box with a pretty little bow through a review. It's impossible. So, I'll close by saying if you're a fan of Tracie Peterson's contemporary novels, get your hands on this book. It will challenge your thinking through some difficult subjects that will make you wonder how you might respond if faced with the same situations. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read it.