Member Review

Cover Image: His Secret Family

His Secret Family

Pub Date:

Review by

Robin T, Reviewer

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

He simply walked away. After a few years of marriage to Paula, Mark had an affair with Jenny. However, he went back to Paula and they had a daughter named Daisy. However, as it was slowly revealed that Daisy was on the autism spectrum, it all became too much for Mark.

When Mark and Jenny originally had their affair, Jenny became pregnant with a daughter she named Ava. Jenny married another man, and even had another daughter named Ellie. When Ava was sixteen, Jenny and Mark began dating and soon married. Jenny had no idea that Mark had left his family, especially due to his not being able to cope with a disabled daughter.

This touching story by Ali Mercer is delivered in first-person from four points of view - Jenny, Paula, Ava and Ellie. Paula's entries are especially sad, as she was left to raise Daisy all alone. Jenny is thrilled, yet hesitant to have another chance with Mark, especially with two daughters that she has always put first in her life. Then Ava and Ellie have very different views on what is happening with their mother and the "new" man in her life.

Mark's point of view is not shared. However, readers get enough ammunition to dislike him greatly. After all, how can anyone be drawn to a person that walks out on a wife and child, never mind the original affair?

This was a difficult story to read at times. My heart bled for Paula and Daisy. Meanwhile, I hated to wonder whether or not Jenny would be hurt by letting Mark back into her life. However, it was these very issues that made this book such a compelling read. Ms. Mercer writes an affecting story, allowing readers to be drawn into the delicate lives of these characters, all the while hoping beyond hope that they would all find a happy future. With so many issues touched on: autism, cheating, divorce and more, this was a superb read. The author did a fine job leaving me satisfied with the conclusion.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.
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