Heart warming & satisfying read: My review of House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: October 1, 2011

Book Synopsis as provided by the publisher:

When her father orchestrates a surprise trip to the summer house of her childhood, Bailee Cooper is unprepared for what follows. What is intended to be a happy reunion for Bailee and her sisters quickly becomes shrouded by memories from the past.

Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago...of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. One sister believes their silence must end and the truth be revealed. But they soon come to wonder if they can trust their memories.

Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee's affection, Mark becomes a strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to healing...or will she risk losing the chance to embrace love?


I found House of Secrets to be a heart-warming and satisfying read. Tracie Peterson has successfully taken a difficult topic, that of schizophrenia, and deftly woven it into the midst of an excellent family drama. Despite the serious subject matter, I found that the book flowed smoothly along and kept my interest from the first chapter to the excellent conclusion. Bailee is a character who will capture your heart with her struggles to overcome the past and her desire to succeed in life while somehow overcoming her fear. Peterson expertly unveils the truth of her past and the tragedies she experienced with spot-on pacing and so kept the pages turning. I especially enjoyed the scenes of Bailee's past, when I was able to view the impact her mother's actions had on her as a child. In an age of human rights, it is somehow easy to focus on the parents views and their rights, and miss what the children may be experiencing as a result of their parent's mental illness. Bailee's dad was also an intriguing character, as we walk with him through his successes but also the terrible mistakes that he made. Underpinning the family drama are deep truths about God's love and his mercy and forgiveness, and ultimately the hope that he gives us. In the midst of all of these difficult topics, Mark's love for Bailee despite her flaws and her family history is truly a testimony of God's love, and his character is an inspiring one.

Readers who have enjoyed previous contemporary novels by Peterson will be more than satisfied with her latest book and should plan on picking it up as soon as possible! I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.