Book review: The Secrets they kept
Michela Rabia reviews the debut novel by author Joanne Tombrakos
The Secrets They Kept is the debut novel of Greek American author Joanne Tombrakos - who is making her mark in the writing and self-publishing business.
It's always a good feeling when you realise that a writer has spent a significant amount of time developing genuine characters and providing them with distinctive and strong character traits - therefore making them realistic and convincing to the average reader. With the authenticity of her characters, the well-researched story and her vivid descriptions, the author creates a recipe for success.
It is also impressive, to say the least, when the author has accomplished a successful story which is based completely within a specific culture but at the same time is relatable to most people.
This novel captivates you from page one, making you feel like an extended family member of the Poulous family, even if you are not of Greek heritage.
The main character of the novel, Elena Poulous, is a headstrong lawyer taking life one day at a time, until one Saturday morning there's a knock at her door by the police that disrupts the cycle of her well-organised life by informing her that her father has died. What the police don't already know is that Elena's father has been dead for years and she has never actually met the man that listed her as a next-of-kin. As the story unfolds, Elena slowly discovers the secrets of the family that she thought she knew so well.
Joanne Tombrakos is a writer, a business coach and a speaker. She lives in New York and was born to first generation Greek Americans. After several rejection letters from the publishing industry, she decided that she was ready to make things happen for herself. She hired an editor, a cover and an interior book designer and succeeded in producing a book that is incomparable to any put out by a major house.
A recurring theme in her book is the characters' own unique and very personal interpretations they experience as they gaze into the mirror.
The characters are looking for answers in their own reflections. They are looking inward, examining themselves for damages when they feel insecure. The mirror in the novel serves as a window to the soul of each of these characters.
The Secrets They Kept is a real page turner, keeping up the suspense and making it a wonderful read. Joanne Tombrakos has written a story filled with characters as real and compelling as people we all know. The author has a gift of storytelling that completely absorbs the reader. Reading this novel was like watching a movie on the big screen - you could picture everything down to the very last detail.
The Secrets They Kept is available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes, in paperback and e-book. For more information, visit www.joannetombrakos.com
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