The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy (Kregel, December 2010), 320 pages
Sheila Franklin has lived three separate lives. Now a conservative pastor’s wife in Chicago, she is skilled at hiding secrets — a talent birthed during childhood romps through the music-filled streets of New Orleans. But when the son she bore at the age of 18 comes back looking for answers and desperate for help, her greatest secret — and greatest regret — is revealed. Eager to right past wrongs, Sheila’s heart floods with memories of lyrical jazz music and a worn-out Bible. But when her husband learns her history, she’s faced with an impossible decision: embrace the dream — and son — she abandoned against her will or give in to the demands of her safe but stifled life. ~from GoodReads
I had heard good things about this book, but the cover was a major hurdle for me. It looks … self-published. I think it was Amy’s review that got me over that hurdle. Thanks, Amy. This is one of those instances where my cover-judgment would have dis-served me.
I’m just going to give it to you in bullet points, because that’s what my notes look like, and it’s been way too long since I read it for me to remember specifics.
• The musical threads Lacy uses to tie the pieces of the story together are brilliant. This gives the whole book almost a rhythmic, poetic feel.
• The pacing lagged at times.
• There is an incredible amount of time (number of years) covered in the book. I think she mostly pulled this off, but it might have contributed to the feeling of slow pacing somehow.
• I liked that there’s a bit of a mystery for the reader to uncover.
• And I really liked the setting(s) of the book.
• There was something else that just didn’t quite feel right about it, but I, even after many months, can’t put my finger on it.
Not really related, but still: I think this book (reading it and writing about it) have finally gotten me to where I can spell “rhythm” correctly on my first try. That was one of the words I always had to try a couple times before I found the accurate spelling. So there’s that.
Rating: 4 stars
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