Full of Books

The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky Review

Title: The Secret Between Us

Author: Barbara Delinsky

First published January 22, 2008

343 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780385518680 (ISBN10: 0385518684)

Rating: 3.73


In Barbara Delinsky’s latest novel, a mother and daughter’s unbreakable bond is put to the test when a split-second decision changes their lives forever. After an accident in the dark, Deborah Monroe takes the blame to protect her daughter Grace, but her lie quickly spirals out of control.

As the truth threatens to come out, the relationship between mother and daughter is put on the line. The Secret Between Us is a gripping tale of the consequences of a bad decision made for the right reasons.

Delinsky’s expert storytelling will leave readers questioning just how far they would go to protect the ones they love. This novel is a must-read for fans of family dramas and thought-provoking fiction.

About the Author

I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, where my ordinary childhood was altered irrevocably by my mother’s death when I was eight. Despite this, I had a typical upbringing – piano, flute, and ballroom dancing lessons, and summer camp in Maine until I was fifteen.

At sixteen, I learned to type and drive (two skills that have proved invaluable) before going on to earn a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology from Boston College. I pursued the latter degree because my husband had just started law school, and we needed the money.

After graduate school, I worked as a researcher for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and later as a photographer and reporter for the Belmont Herald, which I did to support my passion for taking pictures of my first son. Eventually, I realized that I was a better writer than photographer and used both skills in volunteer work for hospital groups, serving on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the MGH’s Women’s Cancer Advisory Board.

My break into writing happened by chance. One day, while my twins were four, I read a newspaper article profiling three female writers, and I was intrigued.

I spent three months researching, plotting, and writing my own book, which sold. My writing centers around the emotional crises that we face in our daily lives, and my readers connect with my characters because they can relate to them.

I’m an ordinary woman writing about everyday people facing uncommon challenges.

My novels are character-driven studies of marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry, and friendship, and I’m fortunate to have loyal readers who eagerly anticipate each new book. One of my latest novels, published by St. Martin’s Press, became my 22nd New York Times bestseller in 2015.

In 2018, my newest book will be published.

In the 1900s, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and thought I wouldn’t make it. But I did, and I’m stronger than ever.

I’m thrilled to have authored another book – this one, a non-fiction handbook of practical tips and uplifting stories compiled with the help of 350 breast cancer survivors, their families, and friends. Their stories inspired me to create a book that I wish I’d had when I was diagnosed.

The book contains no medical information – only practical advice from survivors who’ve been through it. The 10th Anniversary Volume is now available, and every penny I’ve earned from it has gone to my charitable foundation, which funds a research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Editoral Review

In her 2008 novel The Secret Between Us, Barbara Delinsky explores themes of guilt, forgiveness, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child. Known for her engaging family dramas, Delinsky does not disappoint in this novel that seamlessly blends suspense and emotion.

The story opens with a car accident that leaves Deborah Monroe’s teenage daughter, Grace, in critical condition. As the secret behind the accident is revealed, Deborah must grapple with the consequences of her actions and the impact they will have on her family.

Along the way, Delinsky examines the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, as well as the blurred lines between right and wrong. One of Delinsky’s strengths is her ability to create multidimensional characters that readers can relate to.

The Secret Between Us is filled with flawed yet sympathetic characters, from Deborah, a successful surgeon struggling to balance her professional and personal lives, to Grace, a teenager grappling with the consequences of her decisions. Delinsky also does an excellent job of portraying the complexities of a mother-daughter relationship, highlighting the tension that often arises as children begin to assert their independence.

Delinsky’s writing is clear and concise, and she has a skillful pacing that keeps the story moving while still allowing time for introspection. Her attention to detail is particularly notable when it comes to the setting, as she vividly describes the quaint Connecticut town where the story takes place.

This attention to detail adds a layer of depth to the story, making the setting almost a character in its own right. While Delinsky excels at crafting engaging characters and setting, the plot occasionally falls into clich territory.

In some places, the story feels formulaic, and readers familiar with the genre may find some of the twists predictable. Additionally, the themes Delinsky explores are not particularly groundbreaking readers who are looking for a novel that will challenge their preconceptions may be disappointed.

Overall, The Secret Between Us is a well-written novel that will appeal to fans of family dramas and domestic suspense. While it may not break new ground thematically, it is a satisfying read that explores the complexities of motherhood, guilt, and forgiveness.

Readers who enjoy authors like Jodi Picoult or Kristin Hannah are sure to enjoy Delinsky’s latest offering. Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

While The Secret Between Us is an engaging read, it falls short in terms of originality. Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile addition to the genre, and readers looking for a compelling family drama will not be disappointed.