cover image Secrets of Our House

Secrets of Our House

Rea Frey. St. Martin’s Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-24160

The 20-year marriage of Desi and Peter Wright, the couple at the center of this pleasant if predictable family drama from Frey (Until I Find You), hasn’t been good for years. Both are controlling in their own ways. Ex-military and trained in survivalist skills, Peter thrives on a regimented routine, and is both grateful and resentful of Desi’s success at her interior design firm that has brought them wealth, an upscale Chicago condo, and a lavish summer home called the Black House on a North Carolina mountaintop. Desi tries to micromanage their lives, especially that of their sullen, impetuous 17-year-old daughter, Jules. The Wrights’ plan to spend the summer at the Black House to save their marriage puts more distance between the couple and Jules, who falls in love for the first time with a local boy. The tension grows after they’re joined by an old friend with whom Desi once had an affair. This soap opera treads familiar ground along the way to a sappy, yet oddly satisfying finale. Those expecting much in the way of mystery may be disappointed. Agent: Rachel Beck, Liza Dawson Agency. (Feb.)