Click here to read reviewer Niki Schoenfeldt's take on The Safety of Secrets.
In the same vein as Firefly Lane and Beaches, The Safety of Secrets is a true-to-life story of the enduring friendship between two women. Their childhood bond is tested as they mature, their values and loyalties are formed, and lives change.
Fiona and Patricia meet in first grade in Louisiana. Their family lifestyles are different - Fiona comes from a “normal” family with two parents and a sister, while Patricia is raised by a single mother who has an older son from a previous marriage. Both of the girls’ youths are greatly influenced by their mothers. Fiona’s mother is abusive, while Patricia’s neglects her. The girls experience a trauma early in their lives, and they agree to keep it a secret for life.
Fiona and Patricia grow up and pursue acting careers, and they are both successful in their own way. However, Fiona marries and has a baby while having a moderately successful and steady television career, compared to Patricia’s wild celebrity life filled with all the bells and whistles the paparazzi is crazy for.
The chapters alternate between their past as children and their current lives as adults, the story unfolding little by little until the “secret” that is alluded to is finally revealed. The way it happens is what brings us to the climax of the story and forces Fiona and Patricia to face the truth of that secret and the ramifications it has had on their lives for years. Fiona comes to realize how much the secret and her mother intertwined make her the person she is today. Will Fiona’s and Patricia’s friendship be able to endure this explosive revelation? How will this affect their current relationships, especially with their mothers?
The Safety of Secrets is relatable and will have the reader taking sides and staying glued to the story to find out what the secret is, wanting to find out what the secret does to Fiona’s and Patricia’s adult lives and those they now care about. The story is an interesting, well-written, believable tale of two women and their friendship.