Past Secrets

Cathy Kelly, Author
Cathy Kelly, Author . Pocket/Downtown $15 (489p) ISBN 978-1-4165-3159-3
Reviewed on: 09/03/2007
Release date: 12/01/2007
Open Ebook - 496 pages - 978-1-4165-5381-6
Hardcover - 615 pages - 978-0-00-715408-1
Hardcover - 444 pages - 978-0-00-715635-1
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-0-00-715407-4
Hardcover - 978-1-4056-1466-5
Hardcover - 14 pages - 978-1-4056-2380-3
Hardcover - 14 pages - 978-1-4056-0385-0
Hardcover - 536 pages - 978-1-4056-1467-2
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Kelly's ninth novel, a cross-generational contemporary romance set in Ireland, is packed with high drama and the emotion to match. At 60, Christie Devlin and her peaceful home and garden are the heart of Dublin's picturesque Summer Street. But when a surprising nook of art teacher Christie's past is unearthed, the 30 fulfilling years Christie has spent with her husband, James, and their family threaten to unravel. Her neighbors, meanwhile, have their own crises to attend to: single mom Faye Reid is horrified when her daughter, Amber, drops out of college to travel with her musician boyfriend, prompting Faye to follow her to try to prevent her from making the same mistake Faye made in her youth. Wounded by an awkward adolescence and a cheating boyfriend, 30-year-old Maggie Maguire wishes she could stop letting her past hold her back from self-acceptance as she returns home to care for her ailing mother. If Kelly's sins are too many peripheral characters, an uneasy transition into Amber's teenage voice and meandering passages that could have been edited out, then they are easily forgiven. Kelly's evocation of mother-daughter relationships shines, and her handle on romance storytelling combined with her characters' feel-good, empowering evolutions make this a satisfying novel. (Jan.)

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