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“Have you ever had a secret that was so bizarre that it didn’t feel real? Like it didn’t feel possible, so you just didn’t tell anyone at all?”

Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl gave us something we’ve not had in a while. A story of a family living in the shadow of tragedy with a closet full of skeletons and strained relationships. The writing was mature, easy to read and quite flawless. For us, it read like this second chance rock star romance took a back seat to the main poignant story, which for us was a tale of two sisters. Two sisters that at first glance come across as happy, settled and care-free albeit it with a dash of pessimism. However, family is often patched up by a band-aid, which when you start picking at the loose end, can reveal a multitude of hidden scars and wounds yet to heal.

‘Was I happier with unhappiness? Or had it just become my default setting, so that was the comfortable place?’

Katherine and Amy are still grieving and living their adult life as a consequence of memories from their childhood. However, one of them has a secret and as a child she made a promise which keeps her locked in the past whilst carrying a tremendous guilt on her shoulders. Deceptions, lies and drama, the sisters vow not to follow the path of their parents which ultimately lead to infidelities and broken hearts. But are vows -of any description- made to be broken?

‘As the words rolled from my mouth, I could see the cold swirling around me. Blue. Black. Silver. The colors came at me like I’d climbed inside a dark kaleidoscope, and the images from the day were whizzing by me so fast I couldn’t keep up.’

The bond between the sisters is tested when Katherine discovers that Amy has decided to take a different path to the one they agreed upon. She’s getting married and she’s moving out of their shared home. That’s the first bombshell of revelations. The second one is that the lost love of her life, whom she hasn’t seen in over ten years, is rocking out in concert and she, Katherine is in the audience. The one and only sexy charismatic rock star, Eamon is back in her life at a time when the ground is already unsteady and crumbling beneath her feet.

‘How does it feel to drown in sadness? To be at the bottom of the deepest, darkest water, looking in the direction that you think is up, eyes wide open, and you still can’t see any light? No sun? That was the way I felt that day.’

This is a wonderful story of finding your inner strength, of forgiving yourself and releasing the self-imposed guilt which binds you. It’s a story of sisterly love, loyalty and protection. A second chance mature love story which buffers and underpins the foundation of healing. A story of tested loyalties, revelations, heartbreak, love and understanding that the past does not have to define who we are or who we are meant to be. Want to be. Sometimes discovering what ultimately lies beneath years of hurt can help us see the true nature of our hearts and it can be a beautiful revelation. Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl is not at all what we expected it to be but in many ways ended up being so much more. This is our first book by Karen Booth and it certainly won’t be our last.

‘As beautiful and incredible as he was, being with Eamon was like flying too close to the sun. Eventually, you’d have to steer yourself away.’

Synopsis

As sisters, they tell each other all their secrets…except one.

With divorce and infidelity hanging from nearly every branch of her family tree, Katherine Fuller sees no point in marriage. Boyfriends? Sure. Sex? Of course. Wedding vows? No, thanks. Still, when her younger sister Amy gets engaged, Katherine gathers all the enthusiasm she can. She won’t let Amy down. She’s done enough of that for a lifetime.

As the sisters embark on wedding plans, Katherine’s college love resurfaces. It nearly killed Katherine to part from sexy Irish musician Eamon more than a decade ago, but falling under his spell a second time forces her to confront everything she hid from him. The secrets surrounding her mother’s death are still fresh and raw in her mind, but one has haunted her more than the others. She can’t bear to tell anyone, especially not Amy. It could ruin far more than a wedding. It could destroy a sister’s love forever.

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