“Will the truth hurt or heal?”
- Book: My Mother’s Secret
- Location: Lincolnshire
- Author: Julia Roberts
Another amazing 5 star read and another used up packet of those handy little tissues, or is it two? – Who knows how many tears this one has made me shed!
The real beginning of this story happened for the family a long time before the book was written, and as I stepped into the pages of their lives, a huge part of it was already drawing to a close, with the eventual ending becoming something of a new start for many of the characters, as well as providing closure for so many events now placed firmly in the past and best left forgotten.
The beautifully written, cleverly crafted scenes which make up this fast changing storyline, are intense, sometimes filled with humour, often full of regret and remorse, but always told with heart and compassion, by an author who held me captive in the palm of her hand all the time I was reading.
The compelling narrative was visually descriptive and skilled in the imagery of words, which added a genuine depth and range to the story, and just when you thought that there wasn’t one more heart-breaking, gut-wrenching thing that could potentially rip the world apart for this family and their close circle of friends, author Julia Roberts, threw not one, but a couple of late and unexpected twists into the mix, just to drag those last few unshed tears from her readers, as I was left to wonder whether this would be the straw which broke their fragile familial bonds, or that which bound them more tightly together.
The guileless spontaneity of Danni’s own daughters, Diana’s granddaughters and the open loving relationship they enjoy with both their parents, but especially their mother, also brings home to Diana just what she has missed out on in that special mother/daughter bond. Memories which she can never and could never make, whilst she spent every waking moment lavishing love and praise on the son she had, and the one she left behind.
The lies, the secrets, the venom, the hatred, the despair, the loss, stretching back over decades, all are laid bare for the world to see, in the profoundly touching and emotionally draining last few weeks of Diana’s life, in a powerful storyline about sibling rivalry, a mother’s constant and unyielding disappointment, family relationships and dynamics, which was crafted by the author, with total confidence. The ravages of cruel, unseen illnesses were sympathetically brought to bear and forced out into the open, with absolute authority, by a multi-faceted, wonderfully defined, complex cast of characters, as building blocks to mending bridges, and healing hearts and minds. Whilst the characters all carried quite complicated personalities, I found that most were fairly easy to relate to and become invested in, even the ‘touchy’ Diana, who learns the lesson almost too late, that not talking together as a family had deprived her of and destroyed, so many years for her, when she might have been part of a loving family, and been loved, instead of hated, in return. Danni has spent a lifetime searching for a sense of belonging, reaching out to a mother who constantly pushes her away, now as the strands of Diana’s story begin to unravel, she is adult enough to be the one to reach out, to try to heal the wounds of a situation, which, it transpires, was the damaging legacy left by the previous generation, that still had the power to hold Diana emotionally captive into her latter years and almost to her grave.
The ending to this tale, whilst sad and inevitable, was peaceful and sows the seeds of change and new beginnings for the rest of the family and their closest circle of friends, which will see them changed forever, moving forward with their lives, together, supporting one another, through the good times and the bad.
“Know the truth and the truth will set you free!”
This book actually took me on quite a personal journey on, oh! so many fronts, and whilst I am certain that it might not have been especially unique, the feelings and emotions it evoked for me, most certainly were!