RELATIVE SECRETS - Helen Stancey
March 1, 2021
England - 1999
Beth Pearson divorced her adulterous husband Toni Kinnon, and in the process took back her maiden name. Toni still drops in to visit his children and to taunt Beth. Supporting herself and her three children Adam, Lucy, and Daniel has taken a lot of work and emotional stress, but her parents had helped her raise the children. She now has a good job but has not been interested or had time to explore a new intimate relationship. Her father Tom Pearson died a few years ago, and her mother Mary lived with Beth and her children until Mary's dementia became a problem Beth could not handle any longer. Mary is now in a nursing home.
Lucy often visits her grandmother, not quite following Mary's rambling discourse. Then, while helping her mother to clean out her grandparent's house so they can rent it out for more income, she comes across some photographs which she keeps from her mother's knowledge. The photos show disturbing information about Tom and Mary. She cannot believe what she has learned but starts some research into her family.
RELATIVE SECRETS tells the story of this strong and interesting family and about the secrets kept hidden, the motivation behind the secrecy, and how some secrets can be misinterpreted. It is told primarily from the viewpoints of Mary, Lucy, Daniel, and Beth, and covers the many aspects between the awful situations in some generations and the good aspects that draw another generation into stronger, closer, more supportive relationships. While her daughter and grandchildren cannot understand Mary's confused talk, the reader is within her thoughts which helps explains many things.
Author Helen Stancey has taught psychology, so she has a good background for writing RELATIVE SECRETS, which is a compelling and vivid story that will draw readers in.