Sworn Secret by Amanda Jennings.
When Anna, Lizzie Thorne’s charismatic sister, is killed in a tragic fall from the roof of her school, her family is plunged into shock and despair. One year on and grief still has a suffocating hold on them.
Her mother, Kate, consumed by loss and desperate to find someone to blame for Anna’s death, retreats from her family, locking herself away to paint Anna’s portrait for hours on end. Jon, her father, is doing his best to care for his loved ones but the pressure of trying to stop his marriage collapsing is pushing him to breaking point. And amid her parents’ turmoil Lizzie just wants to grow up and leave her sister’s ghost in the past.
But then a devastating revelation rocks her parents further still and raises questions concerning what really happened the night Anna died. While Kate and Jon grapple with their dead daughter’s secrets, Lizzie throws herself into a passionate but forbidden love affair that frees her from the heartache all around her – but also threatens to tear her family apart.
The lose of a loved one is one of the hardest things in life, but when 15 year old Anna Thorne dies, leaving behind parents Jon and Kate and younger sister Lizzie, not only do they have to deal with their grief they soon discover that Anna had secrets; secrets that will destroy lives.
Was she really the person they knew and loved?
And what really did happen the night she died?
Told from Lizzie, Jon and Kate’s perspective we learn how life is without Anna and how they are coping.
Through Lizzie’s eyes we discover her first love and how having to step out from Anna’s shadow has changed her.
Kate has lost her daughter, something she can’t come to terms with. You aren’t supposed to bury your children. But without even realising by losing one child, she has cut herself off from the other and lives to routine.
Jon watches his daughter try to live her life and his wife just exist in hers. He too lost his daughter but he is also grieving for the family they were and will never be.
The story is gripping and shows a families struggle to learn to live again as secrets are exposed.
I loved the way each chapter is an insight into one of the three main characters minds.
I had so much empathy for all the characters, but its Jon that I felt the most for. He saw his daughter lying dead on the night she died and has carried the haunting image around with him ever since, but being the man of the house he is trying to be strong.
Its hard for him to watch a wife who eats and drinks to routine and rarely sleeps as well as a daughter who is withdrawing from her parents and to add extra pressure to him, his dad is ill and worries how his mum is coping.
I found that through Jon’s eyes we saw the whole picture, he can see the changes in Lizzie and Kate. He is an emotionally generous man and that comes across so strong.
You can really feel the love he has for his family.
To say I absolutely loved this book is an understatement, I have never before read a book like Sworn Secret, and with it being Amanda Jennings debut novel, I am excited to see what Amanda will write next.