His Secret Family by Ali Mercer 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to TBC and the author for the e book in exchange for review. All opinions are honest and my own.


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…

My Review

This has been described as a family drama and I don’t think that quite does this book justice. Yes it has drama by the bucketload but it has so much more including some wonderful supernatural elements.

Told from four alternating perspectives, Jenny and her daughter’s Ava and Ellie and Paula mother to Daisy . They are all so delightfully different but utterly compelling. However it was Ellie’s chapters I was drawn to the most as she had a light that shone from the pages and captivated me.

The women in this book are strong but vulnerable compared to the men who are weak and unlikeable. Sean who is alcohol dependent and an unreliable father and Mark who is ruled by his viscous mother Ingrid.

This book covers many touchy subjects with a delicate hand , facing the realities of having a child with autism, loss of a child, the difficulty in raising children single handed. All was captured perfectly with a quote in Chapter 22. “That was life, I had begun to realise: life was what happened in the space between what you wanted and what you got.”

This is a slow burn of a book with many secrets and lies revealing themselves and a high five to all the women out there who are strong enough to do it on their own.

About the author

Ali decided she wanted to be a writer early on and wrote her first novel when she was at primary school. She did an English degree and spent her early twenties working in various jobs in journalism, including as a reporter for the showbusiness newspaper The Stage. She started writing fiction in earnest after getting married, moving out of London to the Oxfordshire market town of Abingdon and starting a family. She has two children, a daughter and a son who is autistic and was diagnosed when he was four years old. 
Ali is fascinated by families, their myths and secrets, and the forces that hold them together, split them up and (sometimes) bring them back together again. She always travels with tissues and a book and has been known to cry over a good story, but is also a big fan of the hopeful ending. 
For updates and pictures, follow Ali on Twitter (@AlisonLMercer) or Instagram (@alimercerwriter), or on her Facebook page (AliMercerwriter).

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