It's been quite a while since I've gotten a selection from the First Look Program at Harper Collins. But for some reason, this month I received 3!! Here is my first review, The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel (320 pgs, Avon 2008).
Fiona and Patricia have been friends since the First grade. Growing up in Lake Charles, Louisiana they were inseparable. Fiona grew up in a large house with her parents and housekeeper. Far from perfect, Fiona's parents were cold and strict. Patricia lived with her twice-divorced mother and half-brother in an apartment. Patricia's mom was never home and her brother would rather spend his time beating her up than actually speaking to her. In a world that wasn't very kind to either, the girls forged a bond that held the test of time.
Now, both girls are in their 30's and living in Hollywood. Fiona is married, expecting her first child and working as an actress with moderate success. Mostly TV movies and guest appearances in series. Patricia is now the host of a famous reality show and a bigger star than she had ever dreamed possible.
But the main focus of this book is not the careers of each woman, but relationships. The relationship between the two friends; the relationship between the families; but most importantly, the relationships between the woman and their husbands. Because there is a secret between the women that has been held since they were 10 years old....when they swore never to tell. But what happens to all the other relationships if this one secret ever sees the light of day?
I liked this book. Delaune Michel has written a lot of Fiona's inner dialogue in a way that made it a bit confusing to me at first. Then I realized it's written just like I think.....goes a bit in circles! But when I finally settled down, I was very impressed at the deep character study she has put to paper. Fiona is a bit of a fractured soul. As an actress, she has learned to keep a very positive exterior, while holding everything inside. She is rather neurotic, and you can see as Michel takes you into the past for looks at her childhood, the reasons for her self-doubt. Patricia, on the surface, comes off as an insensitive, career-driven user. And in a way, she is. But there is more to her than that.
Drifting between the past and present, The Safety of Secrets is an intense look at how secrets can bind you together....and how they can tear you apart. At first, it's a light book about Hollywood. But when the past comes into play, there is an evolution. And light, it is not. If you are looking for a good book about friendship, relationships, and life, this one might be it. If nothing else, it shows you that the little things a parent does, can affect a child for the rest of her life!! And that itself, is worth the price of admission! 4/5