The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

A riveting, poignant family drama perfect for readers of Defending Jacob and The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which explores the power of the secrets people keep-the darker, hidden facets of our lives, and what happens when they come to light.

Diagnosed with XP, a rare medical condition which makes him lethally sensitive to light, Tyler is a thirteen-year-old who desperately wants just one thing: to be normal. His mother Eve also wants just one thing: to protect her son. As Tyler begins roaming their cul-de-sac at night, cloaked in the safety of the darkness, he peers into the lives of the other families on the street-looking in on the things they most want hidden. Then, the young daughter of a neighbor suddenly vanishes, and Tyler may be the only one who can make sense of her disappearance…but what will happen when everyone's secrets are exposed to the light?

5 stars*****
This book was very engaging, cleverly written and at times very touching and emotional. There are many layers to this story but I won't go into them all... I'll just highlight the parts of the book that drew me in the most.
The story is for the most part about the power of secrets. We all have them don't we?? Some aren't so bad, but others can be self destructive to ourselves and those around us. I love the way the author incorporated all of the different kinds of secrets people can have. It really drove home the point that we really don't know people as well as we think, even our closest friends and family.
I immediately connected with Eve and David. When they got married they had hopes and dreams... just a young couple in love. However, fate steps in and all is changed when their child is diagnosed with a rare condition called XP. UV rays are deadly to their son. Suddenly this family is thrown into a world of darkness and rigid schedules in order to protect Tyler. Eve becomes obsessed with protecting her son. He takes priority over everything and everyone else in her life. How this affected the dynamics of this family was very hard to read. It was like a ticking time bomb. Especially when Eve attempts to hide a very dark secret. I was both disappointed in Eve and at the same time empathetic. Some secrets are just too destructive to keep. They get deeply buried but react like an infection. And, before long the secret has made things worse and harder to fix.
There were so many "real life" emotions that were very easy for me to connect too because I have grown children and teenagers. So many of the thoughts coming from Eve and David I have experienced personally. One day you wake up and they are no longer yours... they have secrets... doors that were once open are now closed... this is very hard for parents to accept. You long to have that little boy/girl back that loves to cuddle, tells you everything and gets excited when they see you walk through the door. Learning to let go is probably the hardest thing parents have to do.
The story also dips into the lives of the neighbors in the cul de sac where Tyler and his family lives. The little girl across the street has gone missing and it has a devastating effect on the community. Little secrets are slowly revealed through Tyler's curious adventures in the neighborhood after dark with his camera.
I really have only touched the surface of this very compelling story. But, if I say too much it would spoil the experience. I think that this book will appeal very strongly to those who have completed the journey of raising children to those difficult teenage years and beyond. But, even if you haven't, everyone can relate to keeping secrets!

ARC was provided by the publisher via netgalley

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