Book Review : My Mother’s Secret by Sheila O’Flanagan

August 12, 2015 Book review 4 ★★★

When a book title hints at covert family secrets, then that’s a book that I HAVE to read!  Secrets are my kryptonite and family secrets even more so.

Book Review : My Mother’s Secret by Sheila O’FlanaganMy Mother's Secret by Sheila O'Flanagan
Published by Headline Review on July 2nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Family Life, Love & Romance
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Bookbridgr
Buy on Amazon

When Steffie helps her two siblings organize a surprise wedding anniversary party for their parents her only worry is whether they'll be pleased. What she doesn't know is this is the day that her whole world will be turned upside down.Jenny wants to be able to celebrate her ruby anniversary with the man she loves, but for forty years she has kept a secret. A secret that she can't bear to hide any longer. But is it ever the right time to hurt the people closest to you?As the entire family gather to toast the happy couple, they're expecting a day to remember. The trouble is, it's not going to be for the reasons they imagined...

First Line of My Mother’s Secret by Sheila O’Flanagan:

“A tiny bead of perspiration rolled along Steffie’s eyebrow, gathering momentum as it slid down her cheek before landing with a plop on the enormous cardboard box she was carrying.”

My Thoughts on My Mother’s Secret by Sheila O’Flanagan:

When it comes to reviews here, my aim is always to be 100% open and honest in my opinions.  Sheila O’Flanagan is an author I admire and respect and some of her previous books have been 5 star reads all the way for me.  However with this one, I enjoyed it, it entertained me but I wasn’t blown away by it.

It is a very solid 3 star read.  The characters are fully fleshed and captured the feel of a contemporary Irish family.  There were lots of different personalities and lots of different story strands and they all meshed together well. In particular I really enjoyed the main character – Steffie – as she is independent, a little bit quirky and a little lacking in confidence.  I could identify with her and I enjoyed her growth during the book.

I also appreciated the romance element of the book.  It didn’t sizzle but it felt real and genuine and good humoured.  The main theme of the book is the celebration of Steffie’s parents fortieth wedding anniversary and it was heart-warming to see how love this couple still were after decades of the normal ups and downs of everyday family life.  It felt sweet but still sexy and sensual which I loved as I feel older couples can often be overlooked in romance books.

The setting is in Ireland and the language and flow of the book felt very Irish.  I love reading about familiar settings and this book like all of Sheila’s other books was a winner in this aspect.

I did feel the book was a bit predictable and in a book about secrets, I would have preferred if the secret was harder to guess.  I do thinks it’s more of a character driven book than a plot driven book and I’m giving a huge thumbs up to the characters but a half hearted wave to the plot.

Overall an engaging book that would make for a enjoyable beach read.  It might not be wow but it is very readable and good fun if you like family drama and happy-ever-afters.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read My Mother’s Secret by Sheila O’Flanagan?

Fans of Sheila’s previous books will find entertaining characters here just as in all her previous books.  I’d also recommend this to you if you enjoy quick, easy reads that make you feel all the emotions and that make you care about the characters.  Fans of authors such as Patricia Scanlan, Emma Hannigan and Rachael English should also enjoy.

Thanks to Bookbridgr and Headline for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest unbiased review.



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4 Responses to “Book Review : My Mother’s Secret by Sheila O’Flanagan”

    • trish

      It is VERY true to contemporary life and if you want a feel for modern day Ireland, then I’d recommend any of Sheila’s books to you. And yes it’s a perfect comfort or escapism read.

  1. R_Hunt @ View From My Home

    I applaud you for being true to yourself. You did state that you enjoy this author and found some of her titles better for you than others. Well…of course! We all have different tastes in stories and some of her stories will appeal to you more than others, or the author would have been writing the same plot over and over 🙂 Nothing wrong with a bit of honesty if it helps someone decide on a book. Maybe the next one by her will blow you away!
    R_Hunt @ View From My Home recently posted…No Weekly Wrap-Up– No Reading?

    • trish

      I think I put myself under pressure to love a favourite authors books and then feel a bit flat when I don’t. Like you said though, some books are bound to be more to our taste than others. I know for sure that I’ll still be eagerly anticipating Sheila’s next book though 🙂

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