Three generations of Stewart women, all with secrets to keep…
Matriarch Nancy knows she hasn't been the best mother but how can she ever tell her daughters the reason why? Lauren and Jenna are as close as two sisters can be and they made a pact years ago to keep a devastating secret from their mother – but is it time to come clean? Lauren's teenage daughter Mackenzie masks her own pain by keeping her mother at a distance. Her mother, aunt and grandmother keep trying to reach her but will it take a stranger to show her the true meaning of family?
When life changes in an instant, the Stewart women are thrown together for a summer and suddenly they must relearn how to be a family. And whilst unravelling their secrets might be their biggest challenge, it could also be their finest moment . . .
I'd like to thank Isabel at HQ Stories for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and for my copy of How to Keep a Secret which I received to review via NetGalley.
In recent years Sarah Morgan has been known for her trilogies and series of books with interlinked characters, which although I love to read them I have to confess I'm very behind on reading her latest series, so when I saw that she was writing a standalone story I knew it would be one that I would want to read straightaway. Whether she's writing a series or a standalone the one thing you can be assured of is that her stories have characters that you can relate to, warm to and who you want only good things to happen to and that's no different in How to Keep a Secret.
From the moment I switched on my Kindle, till I swiped through to the final page, I was drawn into the emotional journey that these three generations of strong women, grandmother Nancy, her daughters Lauren and Jenna, and Lauren's teenage daughter Mack, found themselves going through as unforeseen circumstances brought them together again in Martha's Vineyard for the first time in years.
As each deeply hidden secret was uncovered and threatened to rip their lives apart, the strength within each of them, and as a family, came to the fore to enable them to help one another to come to terms with everything that was happening in the current day but also accept and deal with the secrets from the past. I loved seeing how the dynamics between the different relationships, mothers and daughters, and sisters, changed as the drama unfolded and would normally find myself favouring one character over another. But instead I found myself rooting equally for each of them as they accepted the hand that had been dealt to them and worked together to create a new brighter, happier future for them all.
For me this story was a real departure from the author as it had a lot more of a fragile, serious undertone to it than some of her previous books that I have read, and for me personally I loved it and think it's her best book to date so hope she continues to write in this vein in the future. But that's not to say that her iconic 'Queen of Romance' title has been replaced as there was still plenty of romance interlaced with the gritty drama that was oozing from the pages which was the perfect balance for me.