His Secret Family: An absolutely emotional page turner

His Secret Family: An absolutely emotional page turner

by Ali Mercer

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Overview

It’s a beautiful day for a wedding. White roses scent the air and the summer sunlight streams in. A spoon chimes against a champagne flute and the room falls silent. And there he is – my husband – getting to his feet to propose a toast. He’s still handsome. His new wife is next to him, gazing upwards, oblivious.

I’m not supposed to be here. All these years in the same town and I had no idea until I saw his name on the seating plan. He lived with me, once. Loved me. Small-town memories are long, but the people in this room don’t want to remember.

They say the healing is in letting go, but after what he did, he needs to know we haven’t gone away just because he’s shut his eyes.

So I take Daisy by the hand and step forward from the shadows. He notices us and his eyes widen. The champagne glass falls from his hand and smashes. Then he sags forward, making a terrible sound – a sort of strangled scream…

A powerfully emotional novel with a dark secret at its heart. This family drama will keep you hooked until the very last page. Perfect for fans of The Silent Wife, Kate Hewitt and Jodi Picoult.

What readers are saying about His Secret Family:

Absolutely fantastic, had me gripped!!! Loved it! Can't wait for more from this author. Storyline was great, characters were easy to connect with.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Wow, this novel packed a lot more “feels” that I expected!… A quick read for me because I HAD to see how this emotional read would end… There was great character developmenttwists and turns that took me by surprise! I am looking forward to reading more from Ali Mercer in the future!’ Steph and Chris’s Book Review

‘A book that grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let go. It is well written and full of emotions. This is a “Must Read”!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Absolutely brilliant and had me gripped from cover to cover! I found the writing style to be very captivating and the characters to be immaculately developed… Would highly recommend!’ NetGalley Reviewer

Compelling. Heart-breaking. The character development was superb. It was an emotional readan evocative story that left its imprint. I highly recommend this book.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

Ali Mercer writes with heart and soulwell written, true-to-life… Each character is lovingly developed and all-so-human…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781838881030
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication date: 09/11/2019
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 77,110
File size: 613 KB

Customer Reviews

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His Secret Family: An absolutely emotional page turner 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
CCinME 6 days ago
Ali Mercer writes with heart and soul. His Secret Family is another well written, true-to-life family suspense-er. Each character is lovingly developed and all-so-human. Secrets abound and the reader won't know them all until the end. A definite for your TBR list!
Michele-G 7 days ago
3 1/2 "secret-filled" stars There is an old saying that families often have skeletons in their closets. "Skeletons" was a term used to refer to "secrets". Well, if one used that term for this family, there would basically be a graveyard in their closet because they have so many skeletons. This novel starts with present day and then flashes back. It bounces between multiple POV's and time periods. All the information you are given is meant to help you understand what led to the incident at the beginning of the story. The one common denominator between all the women involved is a man named Mark. You just have to understand what his relationship is with everyone else and how they are all connected. Also, one of the girls, Ellie, appears to have some type of ability to sense future events. It seems to be more of a sense of foreboding as opposed to an actual foresight where she knows exactly what will happen. They don't dwell on it very much and none of her parents seem to really acknowledge it. I felt like it was a plot line that could have had more development. I do think there was a nod to it at the end of the book and I felt that was well done. This novel covers a multitude of family issues. Ms. Mercer truly included numerous emotional, social and medical topics within this story. I won't mention any of them specifically in this review because I want to allow them to unfold naturally within the pages of the story. This was the first book I have read by Ali Mercer but I will definitely read more in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC.
RobinLovesReading 8 days ago
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.
M-Harrison1 8 days ago
It is not very often that I will stray away from reading crime fiction, but every now and then a book in another genre will get my attention, which was the case for His Secret Family. I was intrigued immediately from reading the blurb and I just had to read this to find out more and how it would all unfold. Ali doesn’t waste any time in getting things going with an opening that hooks you in straight away and leaves you on a cliffhanger. From there, you take a ride on an emotional rollercoaster where you are not let off until the final page. Ali has crafted a story that covers topics of secrets, lies, infidelity, family drama, marriage, mental illness, loss, grief, autism, acceptance and ones need for perfection, which are entwined with twists and turns including a tragedy that will break your heart. Make sure you have the tissues handy! Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of four women over different time periods, each one adds a layer to the story which is expertly done without it becoming too overwhelming with all of these points of view. The common denominator for all of these women is one man and the story follows how he has impacted each of these women’s lives. I found all of the characters to be written perfectly. Each one is complex and not without flaws. In a story like this it is to be expected and adds realism to it. Some were unlikable, others likeable which was the perfect balance. I really enjoyed Ali’s writing style. It is honest, raw, emotive and she has brought this story to life beautifully. Some of the topics covered in the book are at times hard to read, but Ali handles each one sensitively and compassionately. Ali is a new author to me and one that I am so glad to have been introduced to. She is an amazing storyteller and knows how to get a readers attention and how to keep them engaged and enthralled from go to woe. I look forward to reading more books from Ali. Thank-you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Ali Mercer for allowing me to read an advanced copy of His Secret Family which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
JillB1 9 days ago
I mistakenly thought, by the blurb, the cover and the title that this was going to be a domestic noir, a psychological thriller and although there is a mystery it’s not the heart of the novel. It’s a family drama, well written, and covering many different difficult topics. Told with different narrators in different timelines, I loved one character and despised another but all four were well crafted and fleshed out. It’s a story of motherhood, love and loss.
Rhonda-Runner1 10 days ago
What a captivating, true-to-life story this is. I was hooked from the very first pages of this story of divorced mum Jenny who is struggling to raise two daughters, 11 year-old Ellie and 16-year-old Ava, working as a stylist. The story is told with each chapter from the point of view of each character which makes it very interesting and full of twists. Jenny connects with Mark, a former love interest from before she was married to former husband, Sean. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this powerfully emotional book in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous 10 days ago
Jenny Harris is a hairdresser who is divorced and raising her two daughters, Ava and Ellie. Ava is the brainy but bossy one. Ellie is more easygoing, quiet, and enjoys reading. One day, Jenny receives a bouquet of red roses and the girls are intrigued as to who could have sent them. Jenny tells them that they are from an old friend, Mark, who is rather wealthy. He takes them out for a full tea one day which is something the girls have never experienced. Ava has decided that she does not like Mark and Ellie is willing to give him a chance. Mark had been married to Paula. They ever had children although all their friends did. Mark didn’t want children because he liked nice things and couldn’t be bothered with friends talking about their children. That’s when Paula realized that their marriage was all wrong for her unless he wanted children too. But she becomes pregnant and Daisy is born. The child is slow and it appears she has a type of autism. Mark cannot handle this and leaves them both. Now, he is happily married to Jenny. The story takes the reader through the ups and downs of their lives and how Ava and Ellie mature. I believe that the author is trying to show us how the decisions we make in life can come back to haunt us later. The story itself is good, but I couldn’t help but anticipate something that never came. I’m sure that a lot of readers will enjoy it. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Janice Lombardo 10 days ago
Jenny and her two daughters live in a small flat. Ava (16) and Ellie (11) share a room. Jenny is divorced from her alcoholic husband, Sean. They scrape by on Jenny's job as a hairdresser. A huge bunch of red roses starts the story. Sent to Jenny - signed "Love, Mark" The girls are all questions. Their mum is cagey, but she states that Mark is "aJenny and her two daughters live in a small flat. Ava (16) and Ellie (11) share a room. Jenny is divorced from her alcoholic husband, Sean. They scrape by on Jenny's job as a hairdresser. A huge bunch of red roses starts the story. Sent to Jenny - signed "Love, Mark" The girls are all questions. Their mum is cagey, but she states that Mark is "a good man". In order to meet the girls, Mark and Jenny take them to tea at a posh place. Ellie is nicer to Mark but she feels like he is spending more time with her older sister, Ava. Their mom's comment is that Mark only has the best intentions - he is not used to children. Mark was married before, as well to Paula, who had an affair (?) and he left her. Jenny's attitude (she is 36) is that this dating period should be quick. She knew Mark before - so it was time to move on to the next stage. After all he is "solvent & sober." The narration goes back and forth among Jenny, Paula, Ava and Ellie. Jenny is either too forgiving or desperate to be married and ready to have another baby. She is already pregnant with Mark's child, so... However, Jenny should see what her daughters are aware of. But no - Jenny continues to keep the engagement going - regardless. (Even after meeting Ingrid, Mark's mother). To not let any spoilers out, it must be said that this is a twisty read with a touch of the paranormal. Fast reading; recommend. Many Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for a good read. good man". In order to meet the girls, Mark and Jenny take them to tea at a posh place. Ellie is nicer to Mark but she feels like he is spending more time with her older sister, Ava. Their mom's comment is that Mark only has the best intentions - he is not used to children. Mark was married before, as well to Paula, who had an affair (?) and he left her. Jenny's attitude (she is 36) is that this dating period should be quick. She knew Mark before - so it was time to move on to the next stage. After all he is "solvent & sober." The narration goes back and forth among Jenny, Paula, Ava and Ellie. Jenny is either too forgiving or desperate to be married and ready to have another baby. She is already pregnant with Mark's child, so... However, Jenny should see what her daughters are aware of. But no - Jenny continues to keep the engagement going - regardless. (Even after meeting Ingrid, Mark's mother). To not let any spoilers out, it must be said that this is a twisty read with a touch of the paranormal. Fast reading; recommend. Many Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for a good read.