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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Literary Novel Praised by Book Pleasures Reviewer Jennifer Andrew

Title: The Secret of Lies Author: Barbara Forte Abate
ISBN: 978-160844-418-2
Genre: Mainstream Literary Fiction

Originally reviewed for Book Pleasures by Jennifer Andrew

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 mind, the turmoil she has endured and the emotional struggle that has her torn apart by what has happened in her life. Within the first chapter, the reader is brought to the beginning of how it all happened.
Conflict lies throughout the book with the main character. Stephanie having to grow up with the guilt surrounding her sister, the ties that she had with her Aunt Smyrna, the deception she held from her mother were all issues battling at Stephanie’s psyche. Struggling to overcome her personal demons, she tried to cope and go on with life.
Barbara Forte Abate resolves the conflict and does not leave the readers hanging. She brought us through an exciting story through the efforts of her main character. To the detriment of Stephanie’s own relationship, she tries to solve her problems alone.
The author brought everything to life and made you feel you were a part of the family. You felt empathy when the relationship between Uncle Cal and Aunt Smyrna slowly started to unravel. You saw through the fa├žade of what began to happen with Eleanor and her coming of age. You are drawn into the story and feel sorry for the chain of events that occured in the story.
The characters jump out at you. They are animated and relatable. Barbara does an amazing job in describing the characters; the setting, Stephanie’s hometown, the people she interacts with, her own family and making it all come together in one satisfying story.
The dialogue was enjoyable and true to life. The words were descriptive and continued to propel the story forward. The Secret of Lies was written in Stephanie’s point of view and the story did not sway from her outlook but continued to flow.
Barbara Forte Abate has written a creative, entertaining story in The Secret of Lies, which makes any reader understand the hidden secrets in any family. Your heart goes out to lovable characters and an appreciation for what is important.
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