Inspiration has struck Julie - all it took was her mother's secret. A moving family story for fans of Liane Moriarty and Anne Tyler.
When thirty-seven-year-old slacker-chef Julie Barlow's mother dies, her older sister Pam finds a cache of old letters from someone who appears to be their mother's former lover. The date stamped on the letters combined with a difficult relationship with her father leads Julie to conclude that the letters' author was a Native American man named J. Fallingwater who must have been her real father.
Inspired by her new identity, Julie uses her small inheritance to make her dream come true: she opens a restaurant called Falling Water that is an immediate success, and life seems to be looking up. Her sister Norma is pressuring everyone to sell their mother's house, and her brother Ricky is a loveable drunk who has yet to learn responsibility, but the family seems to be turning a corner.
Then tragedy strikes, and Julie and her siblings have to stick together more than ever before. With all the secrets and setbacks, will Julie lose everything she has worked so hard for?
I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret Letters by Abby Bardi from the amusing opening, through the emotional journey, to the ending that made me feel.
I really liked the characters in The Secret Letters. They were unique, each had their own issues, and they were all coping with their mother's death in their own ways. I liked the way the siblings interacted, they felt real to me. Julie makes a strong main character and the inspiration she finds to move on and do what she loves showed that she has strength and motivation. It's there in her, she just needed a little push. The Secret Letters for me were a significant, intriguing sub plot, but not the focus of the story.
Although Julie is the main character, her siblings are very strong secondary characters without whom there wouldn't be a story. I liked getting to know them all. I watched them all grow so much through The Secret Letters, and when tragedy struck the way they pulled together without even talking about it was heart warming.
I found Abby's writing style easy to read, and her use of first person POV was very well done.
Finding the positive in life, pulling together as a family, entertaining yet with very emotional moments, The Secret Letters is a book I'd recommend to any reader who enjoys women's fiction.
Purchase from Amazon.com