Reviewed by Emma Crowley
The Devlin sisters rely on each other - but some things are just too painful to share, even when your sisters are your best friends ...
Mum-of-four Julie thought that if her family had more money, life would be easier. But now that they've inherited a fortune, her problems are only starting.
Lawyer Louise is used to having life go exactly as she wants it to. So accepting that she cannot control everything in her world is beyond her.
And former model Sophie can just about cope with getting older - that's until her ex-husband finds a younger model.
All three women think that some battles are best fought alone. Maybe they need to think again...
“Once upon a time there were three sisters, and a brother who went to work naked’’ – and so begins another fabulous, funny and heart-warming novel from Sinead Moriarty. The Secrets Sisters Keep follows the three Devlin sisters in their early forties as they cope with all that life has to throw at them with a great supporting cast who provide plenty of laugh out loud moments. The scene where Mammy Devlin discovers where Gavin (the baby of the family) has been working was priceless and made me laugh out loud. Typical Irish Mammy reaction and also Irish Daddy saying ‘I’m staying out of it - I’ve heard that often myself over the years.
Several pages in something clicked and I realised we had met these characters before in ‘Me and My Sisters’ but it can be read as a stand-alone novel. Each chapter is told from a different sister’s point of view which was great as the reader got a unique insight as to what each sister was feeling and experiencing throughout the novel.
Each sister is at a different stage in their life and is trying to cope with various upheavals and issues within their own individual relationships. Julie is a stay at home mum to triplets – Luke, Leo and Liam and younger son Tom –who was just so sweet and adorable a real mummy’s boy. Julie’s fortunes have changed since her husband Harry inherited a significant amount of money. No longer living in a small house, struggling to pay bills, keep food on the table and raise a young family.
Julie now finds herself in a huge mansion with everything she could possibly wish for .But having money does not necessarily make you happy. Julie feels unfulfilled in her life, taken for granted by her children , ignored by her husband and left far behind on the scrapheap when it comes to finding a job. So Julie goes in search of some excitement in her life(I’ll say no more).Julie’s old neighbour Marian is a pure tonic in this book and has some of the best lines, a no nonsense woman who says it like it is and what she gets up to is pure comedy gold.
Sophie is a single mother to Jess , she is doing her best but is well supported by her ex Jack who has now found a new partner Pippa. The problem arises when Sophie begins to feel side-lined by Jess as Pippa is younger, more glamorous and all around more fun. How can Sophie compete for her daughter’s affections when a younger model has more to offer? Sophie feels worthless and that she needs a total change and so embarks upon a quest to make her feel more worthwhile and wanted but what cost will she pay and why does she feel the need to keep everything a secret from her sisters?
Louise is a single mum to Clara, an exceptionally bright and able child who craves attention to detail and a strict and regimented timetable. I won’t spoil it by saying what happens with Louise and Clara but Sinead has obviously done extensive research into the topic and wrote about it so well. Being a primary school teacher it was interesting to read a parent’s take on the issue and how they deal with it as I have only ever seen it form the teacher’s point of view. Louise’s life changing problem only served to highlight a problem shared is a problem halved.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, Sinead has not written a light fluffy chick-lit novel but a book that deals with many relevant issues for our lives today and provides plenty to think about making me realise the true value of a sister and how they cannot be taken for granted. She strikes just the right balance between humour and dealing with serious problems. The Secrets Sisters Keep was engaging, interesting and full of the wit and sparkle I have come to love and enjoy in Sinead’s books.
I'd like to thank Emma for reviewing this eBook for me which we received from the publisher via NetGalley.