Tuesday, January 29, 2013
TurnBack Tuesday A Review on Nora Roberts Public Secrets
I have been feeling a bit blue lately and what do we do when we are blue? We re read old favorites! I have great memories of this book and decided it was time to take Nora Roberts Public Secrets off the shelf and enjoy it once more. While it was definitely as good as I remembered there was so much more to this book than just a romance. In fact I wouldn't really even call this book a Romance but because NR wrote it, the publishing industry lacks imagination and insists on calling it so.
This book is a retrospective of life, love, family, connections and how you learn to deal with it all.
At the tender age of three all Emma Palmer knew was abuse and neglect. Her psychotic mother was a maudlin drunk and junkie who would play her father's music and walk Emma around the room looking at the pictures. Finding out that Brian McAvoy (Emma's father and the lead singer of the up and coming Band Devastation) was to be married finally snapped what was left of Jane's sanity. Threatening the life of this beautiful girl he hadn't even known he had made Brian take her out of the hell Emma was being raised in and bring her into paradise. All was not picture perfect but for a while it seemed like Emma (now McAvoy) was going to have the life most children dream of. A Doting father, a loving stepmother, a brother she adored (who she had promised nothing bad would ever happen to him, that she would protect him to make sure of it) and a life filled with those names who changed the rock industry in the 60's.
Upon the death of her adored brother Darren just three short years later, Emma's life changed again. At the age six at the time and to her young eyes a promise broken her world shattered, Her family fell apart, unable to cope with their grief her adored parents split and Emma was placed, for her own protection, in boarding school while Brian and the members of Devastation rose ever higher in the music world. Emma was loved and loved deeply by all the members of the band this wasn't a poor little rich girl story, rather one of loss and acceptance and a father's fear. Emma strove to be all that was expected of her because she firmly believed that she had failed in protecting her innocent brother.
We watched Emma grow up, her life intertwining with rock history. We see how this young girl was loved by men who were changing the world. As she aged she would learn things about each of these four dynamic men and with her total and unconditional love she managed to somehow soothe their battle scared hearts. There was no judgement when she found out that Johhno, her father's best friend was gay.. she just loved PM the drummer who fell in love with Bev (Brian's wife) upon the failure of their marriage. She forgave her father and tried over and over again to be what he needed and when it mattered, when Stevie, the lead guitarist finally almost succumbed to a lifetime of Drug Abuse she told him how it affected her.
Through all of this she never forgot her brother, she never forgot that she failed him and she always blamed herself. So when Bev left her life, she understood.. While Darren's death affected each of these individuals it also changed the life of the lead detective and his then 10 year old son, Michael. The two of them never gave up and spent more than two decades trying to find the killer.
Michael and Emma's lives overlapped throughout the years and though they only met in person a handful of times each connection mattered. Each time they met it affected them profoundly and yet the time was never right.. she was 7 he was 11, she was 13 he was 17, she was 19 he was 23.. He made mistakes that cracked their relationship and she married a man who she thought was like her father.. a gentle poet, a true artist. Yet when that marriage turned into a pit of evil.. she knew she could count on Michael as a source to lean on.
This was a powerful story and by no means a HEA, feel good romance. I spent pages and pages of this book with tears flowing down my cheeks. Sobbing. This was raw, gritty and dark. It fed off the underbelly of the bright and glossy. It was about tabloids and greed. Life and Loss and in the end it was about the life of a girl who lived it all and yet still managed to find her own path, her own way while holding tight to those she wanted to bring with her.
The thing about this book that annoys me and it's not the book, it's the quality of this book. Had someone else (say a MAN) written this story it would have been a blockbuster movie. It has all the elements, literally sex, drugs and rock and roll. Suspense, an excellent whodunit and so very much more. I have to ask, when are women going to demand that their stories be told? I mean seriously do we really need another remake of a 70's/80's TV show? Yes there are some excellent movies being made.. stand up ladies and demand our stories.. I think if we change the genre and don't call them "romance" the men in our lives might just like them as well.