A rainy night...a deserted road....a quick flash of something in the headlights....a distracted driver....and lives are changed forever.
From the beginning we know that Eve has struck her best friend's daughter Amy - and that she chooses to not report it. Why? Her son. Tyler has a rare disease called Xeroderma Pigmentosum. His life is a tightly controlled orchestration of avoiding UV rays from not just the sun, but from headlights, light bulbs and more. And Eve is the conductor. "What will happen to Tyler?" And so, she makes the fateful decision to drive away.
Buckley has come up with an excellent premise. How far would you go to protect the ones you love? At what cost? Could you live with yourself?
The mystery takes a backseat to Buckley's deft exploration of family dynamics and relationships of all types. Three main characters are given a voice and a narrative. There are many secrets - both within Eve's family and in every house on their quiet cul-de-sac. Each character is somewhat flawed - or perhaps I should say they are just realistically portrayed. The one character I was drawn to was Tyler. He too makes errors in judgment, but a lot of that comes down to Eve. I was torn on how I felt about her, but ultimately landed on the other side of the fence. I applauded her love for her son, but deplored her actions, duplicity and machinations.
The neighbours' secrets begin to be exposed through Tyler's nighttime ramblings with his camera. Some of them seem a bit contrived and only there to help muddy the waters. The small glimpses of their lives are never really fully explored. And I wanted to know more. There is one scene where the entire street starts slinging insults that I thought was well done. I felt slightly cheated by the resolution of The Deepest Secret - it seemed to wrap up quickly after 400 pages getting there. The neighbourhood's loose ends are also tied up in quick fashion.
The Deepest Secret would be a good choice for book clubs - there's lots of discussion material within the story. The publisher has suggested that fans of Jodi Picoult would enjoy this latest book by Carla Buckley. I think that's a good recommendation. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Deepest Secret.
Carla Buckley was born in Washington, D.C. She has worked as an assistant press secretary for a U.S. senator, an analyst with the Smithsonian Institution, and a technical writer for a defense contractor. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, an environmental scientist, and their three children. She is the author of The Deepest Secret, Invisible, and The Things That Keep Us Here, which was nominated for a Thriller Award as a Best First novel and the Ohioana Book Award for fiction. She is currently at work on her next novel. You can find Carla Buckley on Facebook and on Twitter.
TLC Book Tour thought - full schedule can be found here.
And I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US only, ends April 19/14.