This Secret Thing

by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

This novel reminds me a bit of Little Fires Everywhere (see my review here). I think it’s because there are many points of view and it takes place in a neighborhood and everybody has a secret. Also, it’s really good.

In This Secret Thing, a single mom is arrested for running a prostitution ring and this single event changes everything for her daughter, some of the neighbors, and even one of the cops on the case. I love how the author gives us so many differing perspectives, each with their own secrets, and reasons for keeping them secret. Hidden desires, regrets, and sins all take their toll on present relationships.

Our protagonist is 15 and I love her. She’s so raw, a little bit naïve, but also honest with herself. She’s the girl you never noticed, while she watched you like a hawk. She’s the one who knew too much, and that knowing scared her from taking a step, from getting involved in her own life. She watched from the sidelines until she couldn’t.

It’s a twisty story, that might have taken place down the street from where you live. And that very thought will have you watching your neighbors from behind your curtains and wondering . . . what are THEY hiding?

Also, I love the dogs in the story.

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