A woman with a past, a man determined to uncover the truth, and a secret that could tear them apart forever.


A Grieving Husband: Amon Cayle needs a seamstress. He has spent the last year rebuilding his life after the tragic death of his wife in a kitchen fire, the same fire that nearly took the life of his eldest son as well. The business of grieving their loss, as well as the work of his tobacco plantation, has caused him to neglect the simplest of tasks. His family now needs clothes and despite his dislike for Mary McKechnie, and their shared past, he offers her the job.

A Desperate Mother: Mary McKechnie needs a job. Her brother has threatened to take her daughters and place them into indentured service if she can’t provide for them. He hasn’t made it any easier by insisting she work only for fellow Friends. When Amon Cayle offers her a job, she has little choice but to accept.

A Devastating Secret: The last time Amon spoke with Mary, after she walked away from him into the arms of another man over twenty years ago, she assured him she was not keeping secrets. He didn’t believe her then, and he doesn’t believe her now. While she is working for him, he is determined to find answers. She is just as determined to not give them.

Will Mary be able to save Amon from the past? Or will his love threaten to destroy them both?

My Review:

This book will whisk you away to a bygone era. Come sit in the kitchen while Mary brews up a cup of tea and shares her story. Like the title suggest, this book is full of secrets. “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

Mary’s life hasn’t been easy. Her marriage to Samuel had not been what anyone would consider a love match. He had been a difficult man to live with, harsh and easy to anger. At 40 years old, she finds herself a widow with 5 girls, and if that isn’t enough her older brother is threatening to take the girls away and place them as indentured servants. She refuses to allow that to happen and desperately needs work.

Amon continues to grieve the loss of his wife, the charred remains of the kitchen a daily reminder of what he lost. However, it seems it is time to start moving forward. Among many things he has neglected, his children are growing out of their clothes. At the suggestion of his sister, he reluctantly agrees to hire Mary to sew his family a new wardrobe.

Mary & Amon share not only a history but secrets. Are the secrets of their past too much to surmount? Come find out in this historical story of love lost, and found, and of a family that struggles to hold on to what is most important.

The old-speak language in the book can be difficult at times, and in a few places the “thee” was forgotten and replace with “you”. As the title suggests there are many secrets; so much so that at times it was almost overwhelming. As a whole, I did enjoy reading the story of Mary & Amon and I am interested to know what will happen with some of the other characters.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

“No one understood the private pain or hardships of another. That’s why judgement is best left to God; our command is to love. We will never be given enough time for that.”

About the Author:

DonnaHechlerPorterDonna Hechler Porter has always been interested in writing and history. It was natural for her to combine her love of both and channel it into writing historical fiction as well as books on her own family’s genealogy. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and RWA’s Hearts Through History Romance Writers chapter. She currently resides in southeast Texas where she home schools her teenage sons, teaches flute lessons, tutors children in reading and writing, and continues to write novels. Her first novel, Keeping Secrets, won RWA’s Indiana Golden Opportunity contest for Best Historical Fiction of 2013 and is currently a final in RWA’s Las Vegas chapter’s I Heart Indie Contest.

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Keeping Secrets is the first book in the Children of the Light Series. The Society of Friends (Quakers) and colonial Virginia in the years preceding the French and Indian War provide the backdrop for this sweeping historical about families trying to live their faith in a new land. Following Keeping Secrets will be the second and third books of the trilogy: Breaking Promises and Binding Fire.

 Keeping Secrets

  Breaking Promises

  Binding Fire

Children of the Light trilogy

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