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Eve’s son Tyler suffers from a rare genetic disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum: exposure to uv light of any kind can be lethal. For fourteen years, Tyler’s disorder has ruled every facet of the family’s life. For Eve, it means almost total devotion to the protection of her son – at the expense of everything else. Her husband commutes to another state for work because Eve is too afraid of the risk in moving her son, her daughter’s behavior is a direct reflection of her feeling left out, and Tyler longs for nothing more than a normal life.

Eve is always so careful. Always in control. All it takes, though, is one minute. Just one minute when she lets her guard down. One minute when she isn’t completely on point. And in that one minute, everything changes. Now Eve is carrying a secret so big it could tear her family apart. As always her only desire is to protect Tyler but as time goes by her secret becomes harder and harder to conceal.

The Deepest Secret wrecked me! Eve’s desire to keep her son safe is so overwhelming that even in the midst of a truly awful decision it’s impossible not to sympathize with her. As the story progresses, the tension builds to a breaking point for both Eve and the reader as the certainty (and dread) of what’s to come for her and her family draws nearer.

While Buckley’s latest is certainly not a thriller, it does read like one. It’s tense enough to appeal to fans of Harlan Coben’s work but issue-y enough to appeal to Jodi Piccoult fans and book clubs looking for a great discussion book.

6/14 Becky LeJeune

THE DEEPEST SECRET by Carla Buckley. Bantam; First Edition edition (February 4, 2014). ISBN 978-0345535245. 448p.

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