24 June 2014

Veil of Secrets by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

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Can a mother face the secrets of her past in order to protect her daughter from the same mistakes?

Melanie and Will Connors seem like the perfect couple, but their marriage only looks good on the outside, having withered inside from a lack of intimacy.

The barriers Melanie faces to intimacy are hidden in her past — a misguided tryst with a trusted friend of her father's, a pattern of promiscuity as a teen, empty relationships in early adulthood. The only way Melanie sees to save herself from herself is to turn off her desires — even in her marriage.

Will insists they either work on the marriage — or work on the divorce. Their attempt at restoration occurs in the midst of a New Hampshire presidential primary that is rocked by violent protests and razor-sharp character assassinations. For the first time, their marriage begins to feel like a safe place.

As Melanie tries to sort through her own past, she sees her 16-year-old daughter's head turned by a charismatic older man on Will's campaign team. Can Melanie sift through her own rubble and find the voice to help guide her daughter — and possibly find the joy that God intended for her marriage?

Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel have created a beautifully winding and connecting tale in their Veil of Secrets. The characters are blatantly flawed and wholly authentic; their histories painfully broken, full of shame, fear and regret. Yet, at no point did I lack hope for their futures. This story honestly captures the challenging and continual process of healing – anger and sorrow, grace, forgiveness and love. It is raw, emotional, real. Add these personal and relational struggles to the ever-present backdrop of the political intrigue of a presidential campaign and Veil of Secrets is a hard book to put down. I would definitely recommend it, though younger readers should beware of some mature thematic content. I am thankful BookLook Bloggers provided me with a copy of this book and the opportunity to honestly review it. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. (I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

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