Friday 4 July 2014

Sworn Secrets by Amanda Jennings – Book Review

I’m an avid reader of all genres; I tend to read chick lit, a biography, a crime story then back to the chick lit. I have no preference to author or style and my only criteria as to whether I think I will enjoy a book is the ease of the opening paragraph and the font size.

I realise now that I’ve probably put a ‘good’ book down without getting past the first page as if I find I’m not in love with the book by then I don’t tend to read any further.

Sworn Secrets, I’m afraid was a difficult book to read for the first 3 chapters and I am glad I persisted as it is probably one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

The story tells of a family dealing with the sudden and accidental death of their 15-year-old daughter, how they cope individually to come to terms with their loss, as a Mother, a Father and a surviving sibling. The Mother’s anguish of feeling disloyal if she laughs with her surviving daughter, the Father who feels that not only did he lose his daughter but that his wife is slipping away from him also. As a son he is also dealing with his parent’s ill health and his Fathers dementia, a fall out between his wife and Mother and the reappearance of his wayward brother.

As the year leading to the anniversary of their daughters death closes in, they discover things about her, who she was and the life she led, that as parents they don’t want to have to knowledge of, but it is all brought out in the public eye and accumulates in yet another death. The younger sibling is on a road of discovery herself, losing her virginity and seeking to establish her own identity and not that of the ‘dead girls’ sister.

A wonderful and honest story of how a family pull together to deal with the difficult subject of the death of a child, heart breaking and teary, this book is one not to be put down and Amanda makes you feel as if you know each and every character, identifying with the difficulties they face in coming together as a family.

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