The Rhythm of Secrets
by Patti Lacy
Published January 31st, 2011
About the book: Since 1955, Sheila Franklin, a talented musician, has perfectly performed the role of devout pastor’s wife, locking away her past as Sheba Alexander and Sylvia Allen. Her carefully constructed façade crumbles with a single phone call from a young Marine named Samuel, the illegitimate son she secretly put up for adoption. Samuel begs Sheila to use her government contacts to get his fiancé, Mali, a Thai prostitute, into America. A dangerous mixture of love and guilt spurs her to help her only child even though it devastates her husband Edward and exposes her questionable past. After a quarrel with Edward, Sheila and Samuel board a C-130 for Thailand and then search Bangkok’s steamy streets for a Madonna-faced prostitute. The two whisk Mali from a brothel but are seized by a warlord who considers Mali his “number one girl.” In a teak “ghost house,” Sheila discovers God’s grace and gains the freedom she needs to find her own identity—Sheila, Sylvia, and Sheba. A framed story, this novel has roots in the bohemian 1940s New Orleans French Quarter and spans three decades, including the turbulent Vietnam era.
The Rhythm of Secrets was the first book I’ve read by Patti Lacy and I am thoroughly impressed! Mrs. Lacy was able to transport me back to places such as 1940’s New Orleans, a summery beach in Mississippi, a home for unwed mothers and even to a brothel in Thailand, during the Vietnam war. And let me tell you, what an emotional, wild and grace-filled ride, it was!
In all honesty, I didn’t think that I would like this book very much; however, I was immediately captured by the flash back story line of Shelia’s present day and her childhood. I couldn’t wait to hear her story and understand why she gave up Samuel, but I also wanted to find out what would happen now that he was back in her life. Also, I enjoyed how this book dealt with “real” issues of era. Racism, alcohol, prostitution, and a baby out of wedlock are all brought up in this book and they were were handled tastefully and realistically. Lastly, Mrs. Lacy has a beautiful writing style. It is rich with descriptions and at times, I felt like I actually was Sheba grieving the loss of her parents, or Sylvia fighting to keep her baby, or even Shelia struggling to understand God’s love for her.
The only downside to this book (and this is really stretching for a downside) was that there was SO much going on and it was always intense! After following along all the ups and downs of Shelia’s emotional journey, I felt like I should have been on page 400, but when I looked down, it was surprising to find that I was only on page 200.
Overall, I’m so glad that I read this book! Shelia is such a strong and brave character, who perseveres and gets the life that she deserves at the end. It’s an entertaining story that will make you think with all its plot twists and turns, and make you smile with an overwhelming message of forgiveness. Sara’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Many thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for sending me this complimentary review copy in exchange for posting my honest review!
Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book with a NOOK Giveaway, blog tour and Book Club Party! Follow the blog tour and read the reviews! Patti and her publisher, Kregel Publications, are giving away a NOOK prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!
- A brand new Nook eReader with Wi-Fi
- $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble