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Book Review of ‘The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes’ by Diane Chamberlain: Love

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The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes starts with the end because it is all about the journey. I mean you have to ask
WTF when you turn on the TV and find your mother (CeeCee) has become fodder for the national news cycle. However on the glass is half full side, at least now you will have all of those questions about your biological father answered. However soon the real question is if your love is strong enough to overcome various obstacles in order to be there for her.

Secret Life is a great feel good novel, yet I would not classify it as a summer book because at times it reads very heavy. It is a tear jerker, but if you do not mind crying in the chlorine then by all means take it to the pool with you. It can be summarized as such; it is a story about a woman who does wrong things for the right reasons. It’s too bad the Oprah Book Club doesn’t exist today because CeeCee would have been a perfect novel for it. (If you go to Oprah’s website it kind of does, but not like in its heyday when by mere Winfrey command the country was inundated by Oprah’s reading whims.)

One of the first things readers learn about CeeCee is that she lost her mother to breast cancer at twelve. While her mother was preparing to die she wrote CeeCee letters that were to be opened when she turner different ages (Yeah, she read them all at twelve because who wouldn’t?). These letters gave CeeCee frank advice about how to handle life challenges such as boys and sex. Now that she has graduated early from high school and has been released from the foster care system, she lives a simplistic life where the only procession she cares about is the box containing the letters her mother wrote to her. She rooms with her best friend with whom she waitresses with. CeeCee’s one allure her long hair that she has never cut because her mom liked it long. The year is 1977.

It is predictable that a boy shows up who makes CeeCee’s heart goes pitter pat…and her life is forever sidetracked. By the time she sees things as they really are, it is far too late and she is on the run with a baby girl. I do not want to give too much away because once again, the novel is about the journey.

I highly recommend The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. It is a thought provoking study about love strengthened through strife and challenges.

Happy reading!

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