top of page
Top of Blog





Books. Audiobooks. coffee..png
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Word Game

ISBN: 9781503949430

Publisher: Lake Union

Publication Date: 11/3/2015

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 3 Stars

For overprotective parent Alyson Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.

But Alyson’s sense of peace is short lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?

My Review

A special thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Steena Holmes tackles a highly charged topic of sexual abuse with THE WORD GAME - sisters must confront their painful past in order to help an innocent girl. Alyson Ward is an overprotective mother of daughter Lyla. She allows a sleepover at her cousin’s house, knowing Tricia, her sister will keep her safe from harm’s way. Lyla returns home the next day with shocking news, which could tear the family apart. Alyson has things in her own past which urge her to keep a tight rein on her own daughter. However, the unspeakable happens. She believes her daughter. From past family secrets and a past of sexual abuse. A mother who does not want to remember the past and a daughter who tries to be the strong. Drama filled and emotional, a novel of past secrets and lies. Hidden from sisters, which at the time seemed like a good idea; however, now not so much. A thought-provoking exploration into relationships and family dynamics. Rape, sexual abuse, scars. Painful topics which need addressing. The admitting, coming forth about sexual abuse. Many POVs--we hear from Alyson, Tricia, Myah, and the sister’s mother, Ida. Sexual abuse has been happening for years, and in times past, people kept it quiet, mothers in particular had little options. People are judgmental. When it comes to protecting your child, this is top priority. A wake up call for parents of children, adolescents, and teens. You cannot be too careful with brothers, step fathers, neighbors, boyfriends, and friends when your child is in another household visiting, even if it is for a few hours. Be aware.

My son and his wife preach this constantly to my nine- year-old granddaughter. They are innocent and do not fully understand the evils of the world. Keep communication open. Secrets destroy.

Review Links:

About the Author


Welcome to my world of passions—chocolate and writing! Pull up a chair, fill your plate with sweet delicacies as we learn together how to become stronger writers. We’ll discuss books, indie publishing and passions—not always in that order!

Growing up as a small town Canadian girl, there wasn’t much to do but ride your bike, hang out with friends on the beach and daydream. I always wanted to write but never dreamed it was something I could do as a career. I love to travel and fell in love with the sheep covered hillside, old castles and romantic history of Scotland and England. I dream about waking up in Tuscany and touring small town shops in the south of France with my husband, of placing my toes in the ocean and experiencing history first hand. As a mother with three daughters, I’m learning that teaching them to pursue their dreams is a lasting legacy. I love to wake up to the Rocky Mountains, will forever enjoy the taste of coffee and chocolate and can’t imagine the day when a story doesn’t unfold in my heart. Living a life with passion and pursuing dreams is a life well lived. Website Twitter

bottom of page