Secrets of Our House
By: Rea Frey
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 02/08/2022
Format: Audiobook & e-book
Narrated by: Samantha Desz
My Rating: 4.5 Stars (ARC)
If these walls could talk.
A thrilling domestic drama set against the power of the wilderness, Rea Frey's Secrets of Our House is a deeply-felt novel of long-held secrets and the strength of family.
Desi is the mastermind behind her dream getaway house. Nestled high into the mountains of North Carolina, it is a sleek place, a luxurious place, a dark place.
A place full of secrets.
Secrets about the man she longs for, a man who is not her husband. Secrets about the roots of her family that must never, ever, see the light of day. When Desi and her family arrive from Chicago to spend the summer in the mountains, the seeds for the tumultuous months to follow are planted—her marriage on the rocks, not knowing which way they’ll go. Her seventeen year-old daughter Jules, falling in love for the first time with a local boy—and forging a new path that will take her to uncharted places. And Carter—a man Desi knew long ago, before she expunged him from her life for good.
All hurtling toward events none of them can undo.
Engaging, propulsive, and with a dramatic, heart-pounding final act, Secrets of Our House is a dazzling novel, richly-drawn, that shows no matter how hard outside forces may shake you, the bonds of family are stronger than the harshest winds.
Secrets, Lies, and Betrayal abound at The Black House.
If these walls could talk.
A modern emotional story of loss and healing—unraveling the buried truths of love, family, and forgiveness.
The savvy bestselling author and talented storyteller Rea Frey returns with a heartfelt dazzling "grown-up" novel about fractured families. Her previous books (I have read them all and been a fan since her debut) feature mothers and younger children.
SECRETS OF OUR HOUSE showcases a successful businesswoman and architect, Desi (wife and mother), married to Peter (ex-Marine), and a mother to her daughter, Jules, a brilliant college student with a bright future. They reside in Chicago, and this is their vacation home in NC.
Set in the beautiful Western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains at The Black House in a fictional town called River Falls. Surrounded by nature and the wilderness, this stunning luxurious contemporary home features floor-to-ceiling glass, steam showers, a spa, a sauna, a gym, and all the modern high-tech touches.
Designed by Desi, the famous architect, their home is located on the crest of a bulbous mountaintop on almost an acre of land. The house was supposed to be their haven, but it has turned into a keeper of dark secrets within its walls.
Desi feels she is running out of time. She and Peter will be empty nesters; however, they have grown apart. Their marriage is in trouble. Her daughter is grown up about to start a life of her own. They barely communicate.
One decision can affect so many lives. Desi thinks about Carter. The guy she loved. Her choices and her future. Is Desi the architect of all their lives?
Now Carter surfaces, and Desi must make some tough choices. Jules, her daughter, also struggles with a life-changing decision and keeps secrets. Jules and Will are in love, but what does their future hold?
Rea deftly takes us through the seasons from summer, fall, winter to the following summer. From mother and daughter POV Desi and Jules, we soon learn their stories are more similar than they know.
Through loss came clarity. Through tragedy came truth. Through all the darkness comes light. From hidden secrets to honesty, the characters gained the possibility of a more honest future and a road to recovery. Life is not always IG. It is messy.
SECRETS OF OUR HOUSE is compelling and thought-provoking—an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.
The novel is a little different than her past psychological thrillers in that it is more focused on character development, family drama, marriage, motherhood, and essential life lessons. Well-written, there are emotions, guilt, shame, suspense, tension, and loads of secrets and lies. There are some major takeaways here.
Rea is known for her signature writing of mother-daughter relationships, and she does not disappoint.
With lyrical prose, there are beautiful symbols and metaphors. The survivalist and wilderness parts combined with the beauty of both the house and the setting of nature are sharp contrasts of our lives. The weather, nature and the wilderness can be beautiful and dangerous.
Keeping secrets and locking them away in the darkest parts of self and the fear of hurting someone can often backfire. Often it is better to be RIP off the band-aid than let it fester.
On a side note: As I was reading this well-written, thought-provoking drama, it made me think of the new TV drama, "Ordinary Joe." I adore this show, and if you have not watched it— it follows a man, Joe, and the three possible paths he could have taken in life based on a single decision made ten years earlier at his college graduation. In all three paths, there are clear benefits and hardships.
As the novel portrays as well as "Ordinary Joe" and "This Is Us"—have we all not second-guessed ourselves, our past decisions, and our path in life? Choices we made or did not make. Courses we could have taken, or people in our lives. The what-ifs?
Highly recommend all Rea's books. She is an incredibly gifted writer featuring real-life characters, emotions, and vivid settings that continue to draw readers in. Plus she is a heck of a business superwoman and podcast host helping aspiring writers.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by the talented narrator—Samantha Desz (always enjoy), for an outstanding listening experience as well as read the e-book.
A special thank you to Get Red PR, NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Macmillian Audio for a digital and audio ARC.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars)
Pub Date: Feb 8, 2022
Praise for Rea Frey
"Frey is a rising star in the suspense scene, and by telling the story through the eyes of a woman who can't see, she adds a unique element, in addition to pulling at heartstrings with which every new mother can identify."
-Booklist on Until I Find You
"This emotional roller coaster satisfies."
- Publishers Weekly on Until I Find You
“A beautifully, poignant, emotional story, Until I Find You examines what it means to trust yourself, even in a world where seeing is believing, and you can’t see to believe. With well-written characters and suffused with emotion, Until I Find You is a riveting story about the power of a mother’s love.”
-Christina McDonald, USA Today Bestselling Author
“Until I Find You is a roller coaster of twists and turns with love, friendship, and betrayal all hanging in the balance. A must read!”
- Matthew Farrell, bestselling author of What Have You Done
"Have the tissues handy―and be prepared to be hit with an avalanche of emotion while reading Until I Find You, an absorbing story of a mother desperate to bring her son home. Completely captivating, utterly compelling―a must read!"
- Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, authors of The Two Lila Bennetts
Rea Frey Books
About the Author
As a published author of four nonfiction books and three novels, I’ve been around the publishing block. And still, there’s always so much to learn.
My passion in life is telling stories, connecting with readers, and helping other aspiring authors tell their stories too.
While my path to publication seems somewhat like a dream, it was a long, arduous process to get here. The only reason I got a four-book deal with one of the Big 5 publishers is this: I began to look at my book as a product and publishing as a business.
That was a complete game changer.
Now, as the CEO and Founder of Writeway™, I teach aspiring writers how to become published authors too.
When I’m not promoting my novels or running my business, you can find me homeschooling my daughter, spending time with my hubby, traveling, exercising, or plotting my next great adventure. WEBSITE