Author draws on rich experiences
Olivia and her family had been living the good life until rumours started that her financier husband Richmond is about to go bankrupt. Despite coping with breast cancer, a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, a very beautiful but demanding teenage daughter and missing her son who is enjoying a GAP year in Asia, Olivia considered herself lucky. But her teenage lover — a gorgeous sailing instructor — has re-entered her life. He is now a rich and successful partner in his family’s international business empire, and has been employed to restart Richmond’s failing Marina project. She wonders — why him? Why now?
Set in the attractive but sleepy seaside town of Kesterley, Susan Lewis uses the characters to tell their versions of the story unfolding as Richmond struggles with his financial problems. To compound his problems, his former girlfriend Ana Petrov returns claiming to be planning to open a gallery in town. Olivia begins to doubt, old feelings resurface and her world is thrown into confusion. Her teenage daughter is distraught when her friends ostracise her as the financial implications of Richmond’s actions are felt in the community.
Susan Lewis is the bestselling author of 40 novels and the memoirs of her childhood in Gloucestershire. Her father was a Welsh miner and poet and her mother died of cancer when she was 9. Despite many obstacles she got a job with HTV at 18, moved to London at 22, becoming a production assistant — was told if she wanted to become a producer she needed to go away and write something. Thirty books later and houses in the south of France then Hollywood before marriage at 50, Susan has a great deal of life experience to draw on for her characters.
She uses her novels to examine current society issues — in The Secret
Keeper the implications for a family and the community of fraud, money laundering and poor financial decisions are vividly described. Everyone is affected in different ways and the impact on each of the characters is explored. But as to be expected, there is a happy ending.
Author Susan Leiws.
The Secret Keeper By Susan Lewis, Penguin Random House, $37