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One Secret Summer    by Lesley Lokko order for
One Secret Summer
by Lesley Lokko
Order:  USA  Can
Orion, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

The Keelers are a middle class English family who seem to have the perfect life. Diana is a very successful barrister and her husband Harvey is a surgeon. Diana grew up next door to Harvey and his older brother Rufus. They played together as children and she fell in love with kind, gentle, Harvey. Rufus had a dark side that frightened, but also aroused Diana. She questioned the feelings that she tried to suppress whenever he was around.

Now, years later, Diana and Harvey have three grown sons, all in their mid-thirties and proving to be successful in their own right. Rafe, the oldest, is tall, blonde, and a talented surgeon like his father. He never has lost his childhood need to seek his father's approval. Next oldest, Aaron is a carbon copy of Rafe in looks. Aaron is a lawyer who has never outgrown his competitiveness and wanting to be the best. Josh is the youngest. He is different from Rafe and Aaron, not only in looks but in his personality. Independent from the family, he travels to far off countries, building homes for the underprivileged.

All three brothers marry, each in turn. Rafe marries Maddy, an actress from the States he met while on a convention. Maddy has returned to England with Rafe but is hiding something of which her physician husband would never approve. Aaron marries Julia whom he has known from school. It was never love at first sight for them. Rather they had a rocky relationship. Now Julia's star is rising above Aaron's. Josh marries Niela, a refugee from war torn Somalia who fled to safety with her family. She now works as an interpreter, and Josh knows nothing of her previous life.

The arrival of the three very different women into the family begins to upset the balance Diana has struggled to maintain. There is a dark secret at the heart of the Keelers and slowly, each young woman begins to unravel what Diana has kept hidden for years. One Secret Summer is a family saga spanning over thirty years. Filled with love, hate, secrets, and lies, it will have you turning the pages to seek the truth.

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