Friday, November 7, 2014

Veil of Secrets By Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

I received this book from Shannon Ethridge for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  
Can a woman face—and forgive—her own painful past before her house of cards crumbles . . . and before her own daughter makes the same mistakes?

Melanie and Will Connors are the perfect power couple. Will is the chief campaign strategist for a rising presidential candidate; Melanie is a prominent advocate for protecting children in an over-sexualized culture. Their devotion to one another is admired, even envied.
But their marriage isn’t what it appears to be.
Will maintains an apartment in Washington, DC, and over the years his visits home have grown fewer and farther between. The long-distance marriage has enabled Melanie to avoid intimacy—and has only increased her shame about her secretive past. But then Will issues an ultimatum: We work on the marriage . . . or we work on the divorce.
The Connors commit to marriage counseling in the most brutal of environments—snowy New Hampshire, a tiny state that is first in the nation for presidential primaries and a prize to be won at any cost . . . and the price of victory keeps rising.
As Melanie sifts through the debris of her past, she obsesses over the fear that she hasn’t done enough to protect her teenage daughter. When Melanie sees her facing some of the same temptations, she knows she must intervene . . . but how can a woman with so many veiled secrets guide a daughter 
honestly?  While the country struggles with threats to its integrity and security, Melanie can no longer ignore the dangers looming in her own world. She can never undo the mistakes of her youth, but perhaps she can still save her marriage and family—if she can surrender her guilt and learn to open herself to her husband once again.

My Thoughts:  

 Veil of Secrets is the second book the awesome writing team of Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel.  I had the pleasure of reading their debut book, To Know You. A book that touched me and has stayed with me.  Veil of Secrets tells the story of Destiny Connor's adopted family and their struggles in their lives. Melanie Connors grew up in and around politics. Melanie and Will met on the campaign trail and now Melanie, Will, and their youngest daughter Sophie are on the campaign trail for Dave Dawson, who is running for president. Melanie and Will are having issues especially since most of their lives Will has been on the campaign trail while Melanie stayed home with their children to give them some normalcy. Now as their daughter Sophie has become a big part of their work, Melanie sees so much of herself and her experiences that she tries to protect her even though everyone around her including Will call her a helicopter Mom.  Will doesn't understand what Melanie is seeing. As their marriage continues to deteriorate, Melanie agrees to counseling with Will and his therapist, Dr. Sierra. As they dig into their lives, Melanie is faced with the past and dealing with it head on.  As Melanie and Will deal with their stuff, Carrie, Will's sister is dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, and the whole campaign is dealing with threats to the county from someone called, Joshua.  Melanie works hard to help everyone while dealing with her own secrets.

Veil of Secrets is the second book by this fantastic writing team and it is wonderful. Veil of Secrets deals with secrets, marriage, teenage rebellion, and finding faith and forgiveness in the midst of chaos. These authors write with authority on political campaigns, issues that plague marriages, parenting, forgiveness, and moving forward. As I read this book so many different quotes stood out to me that I felt compelled to mark them, especially as I go through a very tough season in my marriage. The first one that spoke most to me is one made by Dr. Sierra as she and Melanie work through Melanie's past. Dr. Sierra says, " We don't have to be defined by what we've done, but it does help to understand the nature of what we've done...and more importantly, why. If we don't discover the answers to those questions, we are in danger of repeating history." The second one that spoke to me is when Melanie attends a speaking engagement and one woman states, "And I am afraid that there is no God, Then we're all alone and what we are-who we are-is just dust." Melanie's response is one that really did speak to me "Sometimes I fear that too. That God exists but when He looks at me, He only sees dust. And I know that isn't true but sometimes the fear is so overwhelming, it's a veil over the truth." So much truth and conviction in these 2 quotes...but there are many more. I enjoyed the characters in this book and being part of their journeys, especially Melanie as she struggles with her marriage and parenting I see so much of myself and my life in her, even though it is fiction. I loved getting to know more about Destiny's adopted family and others from her life but I also loved getting to know how old friends from To Know You were doing and how all of their lives intersected. Even though there are characters from the first book, Veil of Secrets can be read as a stand alone. The authors do a great job including just enough details for new readers but not too much that repeat readers are bored or bogged down by details.  I could not put this book down. This book grabbed a hold of me and held on until the end. I needed a few days after reading it to truly process the whole thing. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait to read what is next from this writing team! I give this book 5 STARS.

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