The Secret Between Us
Doubleday, Jan 2008, $25.95
While driving home in a heavy rain Dr. Deborah Monroe and her sixteen year old daughter Grace are arguing. Visibility is extremely poor when suddenly on a remote stretch they hit history teacher Cal McKenna. Deborah calls 911 and sends Grace home to be with her younger brother Dylan. Leyland Police Chief John Colby asks Deborah what happened, but she fails to correct his assumption as to who was driving. Grace feels guilt as she had two beers before driving the car that hit Cal.
Grace feels ill so she comes home from school. Deborah goes alone to the police station to fill out a report. Not long afterward, Cal dies from a cerebral hemorrhage. Deborah is shocked as she saw no indication and the hospital tests likewise saw nothing. Grace fears her mom will go jail for her killing her teacher. Deborah’s former husband Greg calls informing her that Dylan told him when she should have told him. Meanwhile guilt eats at Grace who cuts off her friends and is doing poor at school and track, but everyone gives her a break that she does not want. At home Deborah and the kids are not communicating; not only do they have legal issues, they face the trauma of feeling alone and guilt laden.
This is a strong cast in which every one of the major players has differing personalities to include Grace’s sister and dad and Cal’s brother Tom. By not rushing Tom and Deborah into a romance, the story line turns into a realistic powerful family drama. Except for a late spin that will divide fans pro and con, Barbara Delinsky writes a deep tale in which a mom’s good intention turns into a damaging secret destroying her daughter and her.