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How long do you keep a secret that is eating away at your soul and destroying your family?

Tracie Peterson’s latest, House of Secrets, jumps right into the lives of the Cooper sisters as they’re finally learning to cope with secrets they’ve kept for many years.  Bailee is the oldest and has lived with the guilt as well as the responsibility of raising her sisters. Her boss, Mark, has pursued her but she has never been interested in having to lean on anyone besides herself.

I loved the way Peterson approached mental illness.  So often (especially in the Christian community) mental illness is seen as off limits and is stigmatized unfairly.  Peterson wrote beautifully about the fears, the pains, the stigma of mental illness without casting fear or blame upon the characters.  Her characters’ exploration of living with, and living with a family member with, mental illness was true to life.  I am so glad to see Christian writers and publishers finally giving an honest picture of mental illness.

With all of that said, this book was hard to read.  Secrets, guilt, lies, family drama, this book had it all.  Set in my beautiful home state of Washington, the Coopers hash it all out.  The love story involving Bailee and Mark was a secondary plot that was nice and all, but it almost seemed to detract from the story of the sisters and their father.  Overall though, I really enjoyed this book.  Peterson is a gifted writer and her setting along with her characterization made House of Secrets a captivating novel.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing an advanced review copy.  My opinions are my own.