Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Secret Sister - Mystery/Fiction Review

Goodreads: The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak

Rating:  Good
Source:  NetGalley (and Audible Escape Package)

Description:  Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?

After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who's asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.

Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she'd prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He's back on the island, and to her surprise, he's raising a young daughter alone. Maisey's still attracted to him, but her heart's too broken to risk…

Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must've been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.

Maisey's convinced that child existed. So where is she now?

Genre: Mystery or maybe Fiction?  A bit of both?

Why I Picked This Book:  A forgotten sister?  A box of photographs?  How could I pass that up?

My Impression:    I love a good Gothic-y novel with family secrets and sinister figures and Novak definitely delivered!  Maisey was a sympathetic heroine who has gone through a terrible few years.  Her indecision at times annoyed me but there's so much going on around her and she's still dealing with the aftermath of her entire life falling apart so that's fairly understandable.  Her conflicted feelings regarding her relationships with both her mother and her brother seemed very realistic and I loved her affection for Laney.  Rafe is a little too perfect but with all the dysfunction going on in the rest of the book it worked. 

I was enjoying the book - Maisey getting settled and getting to know Rafe, figuring out what she wants to do with her life and how she wants to deal with her family, as well as struggling to heal from her past takes up a bit of time and is enjoyable. The promised pictures take awhile to show up and when they do things really start moving.  However, it wasn't a slow read before that happened.  I really wanted to find out just what had happened to that little girl and what other secrets are lurking in Maisey's past. 

This was an enjoyable read/listen and makes me want to get my hands of more of Novak's more suspenseful titles.  I've very much interested in the next book in this series which centers around Maisey's brother, Keith. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would!  I've enjoyed Novak's more traditional romance but I really enjoyed this one.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy Gothic-y reads this is a good choice.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I love Gothic-y novels as well. I haven't read this author before, but I definitely think I might like this one.

  2. Brenda Novak is an author that I've certainly been aware of and wanted to read. Haven't made it yet - don't think so anyway. I like the sound of this book and I'm always up for any Gothic connected. I'm glad to be back to commenting a bit. Just got back from a vacation and still trying to catch up. My blogging will possibly start up again in upcoming weeks - not sure when. Have a good week!

  3. I do like Brenda Novak but I can't seem to keep up with how fast she writes! I will have to give this one a try.

  4. A secret sister? A hypothesis popped into my head about that. Glad it was a good one for you.

  5. This indeed does sound like a good suspenseful novel, one you've made me think I'd enjoy.

  6. Ooo, this sounds good. I hope my library has it.