Sing Me a Secret by Julie Houston
The four Sutherland sisters have all had very different paths in life, but one secret and a slightly tense production of Jesus Christ Superstar are about to bring them all back together again...
When the news that pop-superstar Lexia Sutherland is returning to Westenbury, not everyone is thrilled by the news – including Lexia. There are too many memories she doesn't need to face – or need re-surfacing.
Meanwhile, Juno Sutherland just wants a little peace and quiet. As the local village doctor, she's got her priorities in order; kids, job, husband, tenacious pony, a role in the village musical... So when the sexy new locum turns up – and steals her office – the last thing she needed was to be hit with rising temperatures and an over-active imagination.
Will these sisters be able to uncover the past, deal with the future and put on the performance of a lifetime?
Don't expect one secret from this story - there are several. Most of the characters are hiding something, even if it is only an ability to hold a tune. And most of them are pretty big and of the jaw-dropping variety.
I loved the tone of this book, and Juno's character especially. All the sisters were well drawn and nicely fleshed out, and extremely individual - yet you could tell they were sisters, if you know what |I mean! Not an easy thing to do, as a writer, so hats off to Ms Houston for that.
I enjoyed every page of this, every tongue-in-cheek observation, every inner thought and witty remark. And Tilda, Juno's daughter, was a hoot.
But, there are some serious issues dealt with - mental health, self-esteem, mental and physical abuse, blackmail, plus others which I won't go into for fear of spoilers - and they all add depth and layers to the story.
Definitely one of the star reads for me this year.
About the Author
Julie lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire where her novels are set, and her only claims to fame are that she teaches part-time at 'Bridget Jones' author Helen Fielding's old junior school and her neighbour is 'Chocolat' author, Joanne Harris. After University, where she studied Education and English Literature, she taught for many years as a junior school teacher. As a newly qualified teacher, broke and paying off her first mortgage, she would spend every long summer holiday working on different Kibbutzim in Israel. After teaching for a few years she decided to go to New Zealand to work and taught in Auckland for a year before coming back to this country. She now teaches just two days a week, and still loves the buzz of teaching junior-aged children. She has been a magistrate for the past nineteen years, and, when not distracted by Ebay, Twitter and Ancestry, spends much of her time writing. Julie is married, has a twenty-four-year-old son and twenty-one-year-old daughter and a ridiculous Cockerpoo called Lincoln. She runs and swims because she's been told it's good for her, but would really prefer a glass of wine, a sun lounger and a jolly good book - preferably with Matthew Mcconaughay in attendance. She hates skiing, gets sick on boats and wouldn't go pot-holing or paddy diving if her life depended on it. She is published by HeadOfZeus/Aria and represented by Anne Williams at KHLA Literary agency. You can contact Julie via the contact page, on Twitter or on Facebook.