August 30, 2015 Swan Creates 0 Comments

This book has me using all my training of watching C.S.I on television for many years, and yet, even with all my training, I did not see that conclusion coming.

Maisey Lazarow is finally going home after ten long years, to recuperate after a messy and painful divorce.  As the boat approaches Fairham, the small island that she grew up on, Maisey remembers why she left in the face place and wishes that she could flee.

But remembering that she needs a place to heal and a brother in desperate need of her help, Maisey forces herself to calm down, besides, where exactly can she go when she is stuck on the boat.

When she arrives on the island she saw that her brother was there waiting for her minus her mother.  Her mother the wealthy, control freak that made her childhood unbearable and also the last person Maisey wants to see.

Apparently, the feeling is mutual since her mom refused to pick her up and condemned her to a "guest room" in the house that Maisey grew up in.

Refusing to live under the same roof as her mother once again, despite her brother's protest.  Maisey instead chooses to live in one of the cottages on the beach that belonged to her father.  The drawback is that the island received damages due to a storm and the cottages took a great hit.  Maisey's mom said that she would fix them up, but that was years ago and has only recently gotten around to fixing the place up.

Maisey decides that living in a damaged cottage would be way better than living in the main house with her mother and immediately moves in.

Life likes to send you surprises and Maisey's surprise was that she has a neighbor that happens to be the man that her mother hired to renovate the cottages, but the biggest surprise is that Maisey knew him in the most intimate of ways.

His name is Rafe Romero, and he is the boy she lost her virginity to at sixteen.  He was a wild and reckless bad boy and Maisey wanted to defy her mother in some way.  It did not end well, but now he's back and with a surprisingly, he is raising his daughter on his own.

Everything became weird when one day when Rafe was working on one of the cottages, he discovers pictures in a box that was hidden in one of the walls.  Since Maisey was close, he decided to give the pictures to her and those pictures changed Maisey's life forever.

At first Maisey thought that the pictures were of her, but when she sees that the girl in the picture was taller than her older brother, she soon realized that no way can those pictures could be of her, but who?  

Maisey does not remember having a sister but soon forgotten memories start to surface in her mind and Maisey wants to know, did she have a sister?  And if she did, what happened to her?  Her mom is denying everything, but that does not stop Maisey.

Does Maisey have a secret sister?  What happened to her?  Why is her mother denying it?  Find out all your answers in the first installment of the Fairham Island Series, The Secret Sister.

+Brenda Novak has done it again and has blown me away with her story of pain, sadness and mystery.  Maisey was really brave to stand up to her overbearing mother and coming out victorious.

Maisey is a children's book author who lost her spark for writing books after her divorce. She was wasting away in her apartment when horrible news came to her about her brother. He tried to kill himself and this news was the motivation Maisey needed to stop moping around and do something.

When she reunited with her brother, she remembers why she can't stand him and this was funny to me.  He left her hanging on more than one occasions and is very self-destructive.  He is a grown man that cannot function for himself in adult society and is dependant on his mother for all of his living needs.

Whenever he tries to better himself, instead of getting encouragement from his mother, she instead criticizes him and picks at everything he does.  Apparently, their mother has ridiculous expectations for everything and expects everyone around her to live up to those standards.  I was not surprised that her brother came out the way he did, nor am I surprise that their mother has something to hide.

Maisey was okay but was totally unfair to Rafe.  One minute she's into him and trying to get into his pants and the next minute she's doing all that she can to avoid him.  When he gave her the pictures, she uncovered a family secret that would shock her to her core. But Maisey confine in Rafe?  No, she does not, instead she acts like her mother and goes at it alone, trying to depend on the same people who want her to stop.

The journey to finding the truth was emotionally exhausting but satisfying. I'm glad that Maisey found the answers she was looking for but at what cost? 

The characters were very engaging and quite fun to read about.  When reading about their mother, irritation always raised up in me.  How can a mother treat her children the way she does, and I know it has to do with her upbringing, but damn, she seemed to take it to far.

Every accomplishment that her children ever made, she belittled them and made them feel stupid.  Maisey was strong enough to break free of her mother's hold, but her brother was not so lucky.

What I did not like with this book is that Maisey lost the ability to create stories but suddenly she could do it again.  If she got flashes of inspiration with Jefe's daughter throughout the book, I would have understood that more because I would have been eased into it. 

Also, the ending was too happy.  After all the panic, and the uncertainty and the pain, I was not expecting for everything to fall nicely into place like it did.  It cheapened the book for me.

Other than that, I loved this book and can't wait to read the second book in the series.