Book Review: Rhythm of Secrets

26 Jan

Since 1955, Sheila Franklin, a talented musician, has perfectly performed the role of devout pastor’s wife, locking away her past as Sheba Alexander and Sylvia Allen. Her carefully constructed façade crumbles with a single phone call from a young Marine named Samuel, the illegitimate son she secretly put up for adoption. Samuel begs Sheila to use her government contacts to get his fiancé, Mali, a Thai prostitute, into America. A dangerous mixture of love and guilt spurs her to help her only child even though it devastates her husband Edward and exposes her questionable past. After a quarrel with Edward, Sheila and Samuel board a C-130 for Thailand and then search Bangkok’s steamy streets for a Madonna-faced prostitute. The two whisk Mali from a brothel but are seized by a warlord who considers Mali his “number one girl.” In a teak “ghost house,” Sheila discovers God’s grace and gains the freedom she needs to find her own identity—Sheila, Sylvia, and Sheba. A framed story, this novel has roots in the bohemian 1940s New Orleans French Quarter and spans three decades, including the turbulent Vietnam era.



Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman’s Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car.


My Impressions:

Thirteen year old Sheba Alexander is a much loved daughter when one fateful night turns her world upside down. All she has ever known and loved is gone – parents, home, and music.  She begins her new life in survival mode — becoming compliant and obedient, changing her name, and submerging the girl she is and the woman she could become.  Throughout her life, Sheba, now Sheila is tossed about by the choices she and others make — an unplanned pregnancy, sent north to avoid shame, living the life of the perfect preacher’s wife  — until she takes charge of her secrets and her life.

Music provides the backdrop to The Rhythm of Secrets. Sheba, now Sheila Franklin, has used music to keep her anchored to herself.  And so her life becomes one of secret music – protecting herself from guilt, shame and unforgiveness.  Her spiritual struggles are highlighted in jazz, classical and meditative music.

Patti Lacy brings a powerful portrayal of a life lived for others’ approval.  A life dedicated to God, yet not completely surrendered to Him.  I found the events and circumstances faced by Sheba/Sheila heart-breaking.  Yet through it all God beckons her, woos her to Himself.  This novel focuses on the way our perceptions of ourselves are often more a reflection of others’ expectations and experiences rather than the clear view through God’s eyes.  I found The Rhythm of Secrets to be a profound and thought-provoking read.  Not easy, but very satisfying.

Highly Recommended.

To read what other reviewers are saying, click here.

To experience the music from The Rhythm of Secrets, click here.


(I received The Rhythm of Secrets from LitFuse in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book with a NOOK Giveaway, blog tour and Book Club Party!

Follow the blog tour and read the reviews!

Patti and her publisher, Kregel Publications, are giving away a NOOK prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!

Enter the Nook eReader Giveaway and you could win:

  • A brand new Nook eReader with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry forms, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February 16th at Patti’s Rhythm of Secrets Facebook Party.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Patti will be announcing the winner of The Rhythm of Secrets NOOK giveaway at her Party on Facebook February 16th!

She’ll be hosting a book club discussion of The Rhythm of Secrets and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on February 16th at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)!

3 Responses to “Book Review: Rhythm of Secrets”

  1. patti January 26, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    What manna for a writer’s soul! Thank you for taking the time to absorb my dear masked character’s story. Haven’t we ALL worn masks, despite the knowledge of the Holy One seeing everything, knowing everything?


  2. Sherry January 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    This novel sounds intriguing. I may have to add it to the ever growing TBR list.

  3. Brenda February 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    I really liked this one too, I will be looking for more from Patti Lacy!

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