Book Review: The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

The Deepest SecretThe Deepest Secret
Carla Buckley
Bantam Books, February 2014
ISBN: 978-0345-53524-5

What is the deepest secret? Is there a universal understanding? Is it unfaithfulness, thievery, murder? How do extraordinary circumstances affect the winding and unwinding of our lives? This author has taken on the difficult task of thoughtfully exploring a complicated family dynamic; a loving mother with an ambitious husband in a distant office, a teenaged daughter verging on full-out rebellion, and a son. The son has a rare disease that makes him extremely vulnerable to the ultra-violet component of light. The sun is Tyler’s deadly enemy. He cannot go out during the day at all and at night, even the momentary flashing of the headlight from a passing car can be dangerous.

Eve Lattimore is trying to raise her family as normally as possible while keeping her son alive. Her husband is working in a law office a plane ride distant from the suburban base Eve has established on a quiet urban cul de sac.

As normal school and social pressures rise, she and the family face increasing problems. A palpable sense of menace, even pending tragedy, permeates the pages of this novel from the very beginning. Buckley’s style is enfolding and persistent. She writes sensitively, carefully drawing the reader in to an interesting cast of characters whom we see developing and changing, while the story proceeds inexorably to a horrifying crisis. An excellent  observation of family and neighborhood dynamics.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, December 2013.
Author of Red Sky, Devils Island, Hard Cheese, Reunion.