A shattering loss, suffered when a young student at Seaton Preparatory School, continues to plague teacher Elizabeth Gunnar. Accepting a teaching position at that same school decades later, Elizabeth hopes to banish the memories that haunt her.
Elizabeth is drawn to Satchel Queen, an isolated student with a less than desirable family life, and a talent for words. Hoping to encourage Satchel to pursue her talent as a writer, Elizabeth soon discovers that Satchel may have a thing or two to teach her.
Ann Tatlock’s unique prose once again weaves its way in to the heart and mind of the reader. The interlocking stories are melded beautifully with flashbacks to Elizabeth’s past, the unfolding of the present and Satchel’s writing assignments in a complex yet uncomplicated manner.
Elizabeth is a multifaceted character whose layers are slowly revealed as her past and present merge in an unexpected fashion. The renewing of her friendship with her childhood sweetheart is superbly done with a surprisingly refreshing outcome steeped in reality. The supporting characters are also well developed highlighting Ann Tatlock’s talent, not only for lyrical prose, but excellent characterization. She is able to reflect the lonely yet fulfilled life of a single adult woman and the heartache of a discarded and fractious teenage girl, both with consummate ease.
One of the mysteries plaguing Elizabeth is revealed halfway through the story which allows for a fleshing out of the resultant emotional turmoil, and a genuine look at the healing process required when hearts are scarred by secrets and misunderstandings. The slow pace of this story is perfectly in tune with the timely revelations of secrets and emotions as Elizabeth and Satchel journey together in search of faith, family and love. Every Secret Thing seeps its way into the readers’ consciousness and remains long after the last page is finished.
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