Past Secrets
By Roberta Austin
May 20, 2008 - 7:22:12 AM

The women who live on Summer Street may be from different backgrounds and have birthdays years apart, but they all have something in common. They have shameful secrets from their pasts that may soon threaten their present and future lives.

Christie Devlin is the neighbor everyone turns to in times of trouble. She is always kind and willing to listen. She also seems to have a gift of "seeing" what will happen to others. This gift does not always extend to those closest to her. In this Irish community people are not skeptical of her talent, but embrace it. Christie seems to have the perfect life with her loving husband, James, as they are about to 
celebrate their 35th anniversary. Christie is afraid her wonderful life will be ripped to pieces when she learns her past secret may be revealed by a visitor coming to town.
Faye Reid is a single mother who has worked hard to make a good life for herself and her daughter Amber. Faye has told Amber lies about who her father was. Only Faye's mother knows that she was not always conservative. Faye is devastated when Amber seems to be going down the same type of wrong path she once did. Amber wants to throw away her education and artistic talent to follow a rock star wannabe.
Maggie Maguire comes back to her family home to help care for her mother who has had a debilitating fall. The excuse to go home has come at the perfect time for Maggie. She has discovered her longtime partner literally "in the act" with one of his young college students. 
Maggie has to decide if she can forgive him or if she needs to sell her share of their home and move on. When she meets a charming car mechanic, Maggie sees that the future can hold promise for her. First, she must deal with issues and secrets from her past that are holding 
her back.
The Irish setting adds extra charm to this big, cozy book. The themes are not just Irish, but universal. Most all of us have issues from our past that have left indelible marks on us. We all can relate to how love and family shape our everyday lives for good and bad. The  characters are all fully fleshed out and engaging. The dialog is realistic and sets the tone that is poignant and humorous in equal parts.
I have read previous novels by Ms. Kelly. PAST SECRETS is my new favorite. I was totally engrossed in the plot from the first to last pages.


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