Nicole Reads A Lot

so many books, so little time

Secret Sister by Emelle Gamble

on January 13, 2014

Title:
Secret Sister
Author:Emelle Gamble
PublisherSoulMate Publishing
Publication Date:July 2013
Publisher's Description"If you're looking for a typical women's fiction/romance, don't look here... this story has a twist of the paranormal that will have you willingly stretching your belief in order to enjoy the plot. Emelle Gamble has created a story that will tear your heart out." LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, AUGUST, 2013

What if everything about you changed in an instant...
Nick & Cathy and Roxanne. Two best friends. One husband. An extraordinary twist of fate.

How much do you really know about your husband? Your best friend? Yourself? Cathy Chance knows she loves her husband, Nick, with the same passion she had when she married him seven years ago, and he adores her. She also knows that she and her best friend, Roxanne, are closer than most sisters. But on a sunny summer day, these three are hurled into an astounding new reality which forces each to reconsider everything they thought was true about themselves, and one another.
My rating:***.5

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Secret Sister is an enjoyable novel about a woman who is killed in an automobile accident, then wakes in the hospital in the body of her friend, who’d been driving the car. Although she initially has no memory of who she was before the accident, she knows that she’s different than all of her visitors expect her to be. She also knows that she’s grieving for someone, despite the fact that she can’t remember anybody. When the accident survivor, who everybody addresses as Roxie, realizes that she’s actually Cathy, she has to figure out how to get her old life back. How does she convince her husband who she is? How does she deal with Roxie’s life?

I liked Cathy. She’s smart and has good instincts, although she doesn’t know that she can trust them until she’s made a few missteps. She doggedly pursues the truth, even when she’s not sure what she’ll learn. Roxie, from the little of her that we see and from what we learn after the accident, is a lost soul who clings to Cathy, even while resenting her doting husband. Nick is a bit of a dark horse; one can’t say for certain where his head is at any given time. I’d give more than a penny to know his thoughts at the end of the book.

The rest of the characters were more hit or miss for me; although I remembered enough about them to spot the red herring (there are some mysteries surrounding both Nick and Cathy’s marriage and also the last year of Roxie’s romantic life), the people in Cathy and Roxie’s school orbit don’t make much of an impact on the story. The secondary characterizations seemed a bit spotty to me; Michael and Zoe were more stereotypical and less interesting than they ought to have been, considering their roles in Roxie and Cathy’s lives. Bradley’s main purpose seemed to be to reveal facts or spout dialogue that the author couldn’t figure out how to introduce in any other way; he’s a bright spot in his scenes, but he functions more like a plot device than a character. Roxie’s mother is great; it seems that every scene she’s in has a much greater emotional impact than the scenes of any other tertiary character.

The ending of this book is interesting and I appreciate that Ms. Gamble felt comfortable with having at least one of her characters living in uncertainty.


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