Book Review: House of Secrets

12 Mar

They vowed, as children, to be silent…

When her father orchestrates a surprise trip to the summer house of her childhood, Bailee Cooper is unprepared for what follows. What is intended to be a happy reunion for Bailee and her sisters quickly becomes shrouded by memories from the past.

Together again, the three sisters sift through their recollections of fifteen years ago…of an ill mother, and of their father making a desperate choice. One sister believes their silence must end and the truth be revealed. But they soon come to wonder if they can trust their memories.

Mark Delahunt arrives in the wake of this emotional turmoil. Determined to win Bailee’s affection, Mark becomes a strong fortress for her in this time of confusion, and what was once a tentative promise begins to take root and grow. Caught between the past and an uncertain future, can Bailee let God guide her to healing . . . or will she risk losing the chance to embrace love?




Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie’s Web site at and her blog at



My Impressions:

House of Secrets is the first contemporary novel by Tracie Peterson that I have read.  But because of this reading experience, it certainly will not be the last. Peterson takes a normally taboo subject (mental illness), at least in Christian fiction, and handles it realistically.  There is no preachiness in this novel, or a call to get right.  Her portrayal of the heartbreak of dealing with a mentally ill loved one and the effects on the family is right on.

Bailee Cooper is the oldest daughter of a very dysfunctional family.  She and her three sisters believe they witnessed the murder of their mother at the hands of their father.  Fifteen years later, they are back at the summer house that was the scene of their mother’s death.  They are determined to uncover the secrets that have shadowed their family all their lives.

The characters in House of Secrets are well developed.  They deal with anger, guilt and shame  — emotions that have prevented them from pursing normal relationships.  Their actions to cover up or explain away circumstances also ring true. And their reactions to the truth behind the secrets are often hard to take, but seem very realistic.  The guilt Bailee feels and the blame that is directed towards her is wrenching.  But don’t worry, Peterson writes an ending that is very satisfying.

If you want an honest portrayal of a difficult problem that is handled with grace and compassion, then pick up House of Secrets.

Highly Recommended.


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


2 Responses to “Book Review: House of Secrets”

  1. Judy Strunk Burgi March 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Thanks for the review. This book is one book I hope to read!


  1. Saturday Review of Books: March 17, 2012 | Semicolon - April 9, 2012

    […] 22. Janet @ Across the Page (Writing a Woman’s Life)23. Quieted Waters (A Marriage Book I Recommend You Avoid)24. Nicola (Fibble by Dale E. Basye)25. Nicola (Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Vol. 26. Nicola (Salamander Smackdown by John Sazaklis))27. Nicola (Secrets of Tut’s Tomb and the Pyramids)28. Nicola (Library Wars: Love & War, Vol. 7)29. Nicola (Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)30. Nicola (The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans by Rick Geary)31. Lazygal (The Chalk Girl)32. Lazygal (The House of Velvet and Fog)33. Lazygal (Narcopolis)34. Lazygal (Deadweather and Sunrise)35. Lazygal (Revived)36. Lazygal (Quantum Wellness Cleanse)37. Lazygal (Stars Over the Tent)38. Lazygal (French Women Don’t Get Fat)39. Thoughts of Joy (C is for Corpse)40. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Along Wooded Paths)41. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Bible studies by Rita Platt)42. Beckie @ ByTheBook (House of Secrets) […]

Comments are closed.