The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley
Random House; 2/4/2014
Hardcover, 448 pages
For fans of Jodi Picoult, Kim Edwards, and William Landay, The Deepest Secret is part intimate family drama, part gripping page-turner, exploring the profound power of the truths we’re scared to face . . . about our marriages, our children, and ourselves.
Eve Lattimore’s family is like every other on their suburban street, with one exception. Her son Tyler has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means heavy curtains and deadlocked doors protect him during the day and he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world.
Until the night the unthinkable happens. When tragedy strikes, it becomes clear that this family is not the only one on the quiet cul-de-sac that is more complicated than it appears. And as Eve is forced to shield her family from harm, there are some crises she cannot control—and some secrets that not even love can conceal.
Deeply moving and stunningly suspenseful, The Deepest Secret is a novel of rare power—a story about hope and forgiveness, about the terrifying ways our lives can spin out of control and the unexpected sacrifices that may save us.
I Very Highly Recommend The Deepest Secret. The fact that I read it in a day says it all.
The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley follows the Lattimore family in Ohio (and Washington D.C.) daily for seventeen days, from August 28 - September 13, and then jumps to a final day on April 15th. Eve Lattimore lives in the family home in Ohio with her two teenage children, Melissa (16) and Tyler (just turned 14), while her husband, David, commutes to his job in Washington D.C. Fourteen-year-old Tyler suffers from XP, xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare skin disease that makes sunlight, or any UV rays, deadly. He cannot go out into the sunlight or be exposed to any lights that give off UV rays. Eve is hyper-vigilant to protect Tyler. He must remained locked in his room until the sun sets and go back before the sun rises. Even with all her ardent safe guards in place, Tyler will likely not live past the age of 20.
While Eve is protecting Tyler, her angsty daughter, Melissa, is going through some secret drama and her personality noticeably changes. Eve and David's marriage is also suffering as he is only home on the weekends. He would like his family to move with him, but Eve won't consider it. The Lattimore family is already on edge, living a tense regimented life when the unthinkable happens. Eve covers up a terrible accident. Rather than call 911, Eve leaves the scene, continuing to the airport. Her overwhelming thought is that she is the only one who can care for Tyler.
As the whole neighborhood is pulled into the drama caused by Eve's choice, the police become involved and the media is overtaking their quiet neighborhood. Eve still feels she is keeping Tyler safe. Unknown to her, however, is Tyler's secret wanderings at night when he leaves the house to take pictures - and look in his neighbor's houses and see what secrets they are keeping. And Eve isn't the only one keeping a secret. Everyone in her family is - as well as all the neighbors.
This is a family drama that just keeps going as the list of problems and complications grows with each passing day. The Deepest Secret does favorably compare to a Jodi Picoult novel. It is first and foremost a family drama which is combined with some aspects of a thriller. It will certainly keep your attention right to the end. It begs the question how much can you really protect your children?
The story is told through the viewpoint of Eve, David, and Tyler, so you are privy to their thoughts and can understand their actions based on that information. However you need to know that none of the characters in The Deepest Secret are likeable. Not one. Additionally the ending seemed rather abrupt after the day by day accounting and high tension the drama created through most of the book. In some ways, though, the tension created over the course of days depicted here will give the reader a taste of the constant tension and stress Tyler's XP put the Lattimores under and how that constant stress could easily lead to the breakdown of a family. Even a tiny amount of tension added to their already overburdened lives could be overwhelming, so what will happen if a huge amount of stress is added?
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House via Netgalley for review purposes.
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Originally reviewed on 2/3/14