I was privileged to read an advance copy of this manuscript. It has been a year since that first reading, and I can still recall scenes and characters with absolute clarity. That's the strength of writing in Patti Lacy's work.
Like the mist that winds through the Mississippi Bayou, revealing a piece here and a piece there, Rhythm of Secrets carries the reader through the life of Sheila Franklin, the secrets she keeps, and what happens when the truth finally comes to light.
What secrets have you kept from friends, from family, even from yourself? What would happen if those secrets were exposed? Would you be strong enough to bear up under the consequences? Strong enough to choose what's right no matter the cost? It's a question we have to ask ourselves, because one day, those secrets will be revealed.
"The Rhythm of Secrets" was a challenging book for me. I can't say that I enjoyed the experience, yet I did admire the writer's skill and found the overall story interesting. The novel covers two time periodsÃ¢â¬âthe end of World War II and the midst of VietnamÃ¢â¬âand moves through four locations: New Orleans, Chicago, Hawaii, and Thailand. Patti Lacy has done an astounding amount of research to bring this based-on-a-true story to life as an historical novel.
The theme of the book is grace and the ending is perfect, though difficult to get to. The "music literature" theme woven throughout the book adds interest, and Lacy directs readers to enjoy listening to some of the music themselves at her website. The book ends with two pages of discussion questions for reading groups.
Thank you LitFuse Publicity Group for sending this book for my review.
Sheila Franklin is a woman with a past, and a string of identities to prove it. When at last Sheila encounters the One who died to forgive sin and Who loves her unconditionally, she steps into a new life, but hides the shame of her past. But keeping those secrets secret in order to maintain her "respectable life" requires more energy than she'd imagined. When a phone call collides her past with her present, that life screeches to a halt. Determined to at last live transparentlyÃ¢â¬âno matter the costÃ¢â¬âand prove her love for the son she was forced to give up, Sheila "comes clean." In the truth tellingÃ¢â¬âwhich alternates between past and presentÃ¢â¬âshe finds freedom, and the opportunity to offer the unconditional love and support she'd always craved to her son and the woman he lovesÃ¢â¬âa woman whose past Sheila understands very well.
This is a tender, tragic, lovely storyÃ¢â¬âthe kind of story that shows that God wastes nothingÃ¢â¬âthat He saves all our tears in a bottle and uses the experiences of our lives to bring us into full relationship with Him, and to encourage others with the encouragement He's given us.
I'm eager for Patti Lacy's next bookÃ¢â¬âChristian fiction that moves my heart and makes me look deep within that I might walk with greater conviction, more love, less judgment, greater purpose.