Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Review: The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

Mira, 2006; 528 pages; ISBN  0778325318
My Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

This was an enjoyable easy read that captures the idea of family and the difficult choices you make that can re-shape your entire life.  CeeCee Wilkes made a difficult decision when she was very young and now that she is older she has to face her past in order to deal with the repercussions that have only now surfaced.  I love books that have semi-salacious back stories, and this is one of them.  I'll be the first to admit that I am an avid watcher of the I.D. channel (Investigation Discovery), so I love a good mystery and crime story - 48 Hours, and Dateline are two of my favorite shows.  Now this book isn't a mystery per se, but it does have a great crime story in the background that is crucial to the entire plot.  

When CeeCee Wilkes was a young girl she fell in love with the intelligent and charismatic Timothy Gleason (I also found him to be a bit creepy).  But Gleason isn't all that he appears.  He has a plan that involves a politician and his damaged sister.  After CeeCee and Timothy get close, he draws her into his plan and she agrees reluctantly only after he assures her that nothing can go wrong.  But sadly, everything does go wrong and in the process CeeCee is forced to make a very tough decision.  

Fast forward years later to CeeCee's daughter Cory who is now expecting a baby and is in the middle of a fight with her boyfriend and the father of her unborn baby.  It is then that CeeCee must face her past when Timothy Gleason comes back into her life.

I don't want to reveal too much of the plot since that is one of the best parts of this novel, but I also have to say that I liked the characters in the story too, they aren't cookie cutter personalities - they are much more complex and flawed, which makes them relatable to the reader.  I'm interested in reading more from this author, especially the just released The Midwife's Confession, which is already on my to read list.  I highly recommend this book for a great escape that isn't frothy or one-dimensional.

More by Diane Chamberlain:

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