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Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
Toxic secrets that have the power to alter the course of lives is the basis for Seven Secrets, a coming of age story written by Theresa Konwinski. Mike Fletcher arrives in rural Arlington, Ohio at the age of twelve. A miserable summer in a strange town without friends looms ahead for Mike until he’s befriended by the likable James Stewart. Everyone loves James and Mike is no different. With his best friend James at his side, they soon become tight with six other boys in town – Tom Daily, Will Davis, Dan Kelly, Adam Porter, Charlie Graham, and Shawn Moriarty. Life is good as their gang of eight ride their bikes together, go to school together, go swimming together and camp out in each other’s back yards together. When Mike and his friends turn eighteen and are about to go their separate ways, they decide to have one last blowout by going off on a camping trip. In one split second, the unthinkable happens and in the horrifying aftermath, tragedy strikes one of their band of brothers while the others embark on their adult lives, forever changed…
Konwinski has written a powerful book, thanks to a straightforward narrative. The cast of characters is painted in broad strokes and yet each one is fully articulated by their strengths and weaknesses, their foibles and their kindnesses. The characters of Mike, James and Charlie are especially compelling by virtue of straightforward, appealing character traits that add backbone to an already irresistible story. When the story starts, all three are typical boys of twelve, yet as the story progresses and they grow from young adults to men with responsibilities and lives of their own, readers see their conflicts and feel their pain as they go through life’s challenges along the way, the tragedy of their youth influencing each decision and each action that governs their lives. Seven Secrets is as much about the truth as it is about horrible, ugly secrets that have the power to destroy lives. An irresistible read that is sure to satisfy.