Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The Rhythm of Secrets
Author: Patti Lacy
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Source: Litfuse Blog Tour Schedule
Buy on Amazon
*I received a free copy of this title for my honest review in association with this blog tour*
Since 1955, Sheila Franklin, a talented musician, has perfectly performed the role of devout pastor’s wife, locking away her past as Sheba Alexander and Sylvia Allen. Her carefully constructed façade crumbles with a single phone call from a young Marine named Samuel, the illegitimate son she secretly put up for adoption. Samuel begs Sheila to use her government contacts to get his fiancé, Mali, a Thai prostitute, into America. A dangerous mixture of love and guilt spurs her to help her only child even though it devastates her husband Edward and exposes her questionable past. After a quarrel with Edward, Sheila and Samuel board a C-130 for Thailand and then search Bangkok’s steamy streets for a Madonna-faced prostitute. The two whisk Mali from a brothel but are seized by a warlord who considers Mali his “number one girl.” In a teak “ghost house,” Sheila discovers God’s grace and gains the freedom she needs to find her own identity—Sheila, Sylvia, and Sheba. A framed story, this novel has roots in the bohemian 1940s New Orleans French Quarter and spans three decades, including the turbulent Vietnam era.
Wow! I must say you definitely get your monies worth with this novel! The Rhythm of Secrets is 336 pages of story that alternates between the present and past as Sheila tells her story to her son, the son she has missed everyday since she was forced to give him up. As Shelia slowly tells her story, her son is given the chance to really know his mother and the dark secrets of her past. Her secrets threaten to destroy her and her life as she knows it. For the first time in a long time, Sheila tells the whole truth and is faced with a difficult decision, she must choose her son or her husband.
The book is set in the 1940’s and it is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read in regards to its setting and authenticity. I felt as if I had been transported back in time with all the splendor and ugliness the time period holds. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the people, society, issues and thoughts of the time period to the reader. While some of it can be difficult to read, and it should be, the author portrays life as it was, enabling the reader to feel the emotions of the characters. I whole heartedly agree with the authors note in the back of this book. I would never change her writing style in regards to this manner. I feel as if I have been part of the 1940’s era, though I’m glad it was only for a short time.
The story itself is quite a tale. For the most part, I enjoyed the short breaks where the author brings the reader back to the present. The issues I had with this set up were a product of my own imagination. I pictured Sheba, Sheila and Sylvia all so differently that bouncing from young Sheba to older Sheila or young Sheila to older Sheila messed with the image I had, causing me to pause and re-adjust.
I found the pace of the book steady, the characters well developed and the storyline complete. At times I felt the book was dragging but overall I read it quickly. Ms. Lacy is a good storyteller. The secrets revealed surprised me at times. The overwhelming aspects of her life were heartbreaking yet triumphant. For anyone who enjoys a good story, this book definitely has it.
http://www.pattilacy.com/, her blog at www.pattilacy.com/blog, and her Facebook daily Artbites. Patti's longer bio here.
Enter the Rhythm of Secrets NOOK eReader Giveaway:
Patti and her publisher, Kregel, are giving away a NOOK prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!
Enter the Nook eReader Giveaway and you could win:
* A brand new Nook eReader with Wi-Fi
* $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble
To enter, simply click here to enter, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February 16th at Patti's Rhythm of Secrets Facebook Party.