This week I read “The Secret Place” by Melodie Starkey.
Before I say anything at all about this book, I must tell you it involves incest, rape, and extremely dark adult situations. If you are looking for a clean read, this book is NOT for you. That being said, I was drawn into this macabre saga by the incredible depth of the characters and couldn’t put the book down, even though I found the subject matter unsettling.
After Emma and Trey are orphaned by an accident, Trey gives up his part-time job and his dreams for college to remain home and raise his ten-year-old sister. The two have a deep relationship built on trust and isolation, yet over the years, Trey violates their bond. Emma spends the rest of her life struggling with love/hate feelings toward him. After his sudden death, which she thinks is her fault, she finds herself alone in the world, struggling to trust anyone. There are many horrible things that happen to this poor girl, it’s no surprise that the secret place she and Trey discovered as children eventually becomes the psychological secret place she lives in in her mind for many years.
The subject matter is disturbing, but Emma’s character is such a strange mix of strength, depth, and naiveté that it’s impossible to put the book down. Jeremy, the hero who comes to her rescue, is also a very intriguing character, but I find it difficult to believe he would stay with her for so many years when she is certifiably nuts.
I think these characters were superbly crafted and the writing was excellent. The story is far over the top for anyone with delicate sensibilities. It’s like a horrific accident you just can’t turn away from. This is a well-written story if you can stomach it.
Check out Melodie Starkey on Amazon HERE!