A Deep Dark Secret

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author returns with the moving story of a family who learns to overcome betrayal and secrets with courage and love

On the outside, twelve-year-old Jillian Maxwell is the perfect child. She's helpful with chores around the house, gets straight As in school, has plans for college, and stays out of trouble. She seems to have everything a girl could want: a big, beautiful new home, ...

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A Deep Dark Secret

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author returns with the moving story of a family who learns to overcome betrayal and secrets with courage and love

On the outside, twelve-year-old Jillian Maxwell is the perfect child. She's helpful with chores around the house, gets straight As in school, has plans for college, and stays out of trouble. She seems to have everything a girl could want: a big, beautiful new home, an adoring little sister, a mother who cares about her, and an attentive stepfather.

But inside, Jillian harbors a terrible secret.

Too frightened to tell, convinced that her friends and loved ones, especially her mother, won't understand—and worse, will blame her—Jillian endures her pain in silence, believing that things will get better. However, as time passes and her dilemma intensifies, the bright, hardworking girl becomes sullen and disinterested in her studies. Then, just when it seems she's on the verge of losing everything, Jillian discovers she has more strength than she ever imagined…and the power to change her fate.

With sensitivity and grace, Kimberla Lawson Roby addresses a very real and serious issue, while delivering the inspiring tale of one family's mission to shed light into the darkest corner of their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sexually abused for five years, studious 12-year-old Jillian Maxwell lives in terror of her pedophile stepfather, Byron James, in Roby's (The Best of Everything) powerful short novel. The nightmare begins with her stepfather's inappropriate fondling shortly after the birth of her half-sister, Layla, and gradually escalates. Byron warns her that Roxanne, Jillian's mom, won't believe her if she tells and later says he'll start abusing Layla if Jillian doesn't cooperate. When revelations about Byron's abuse of another underage girl surfaces, Roxanne kicks him out, but then takes him back. Meanwhile, Nikki, Jillian's BFF, is obsessed with promiscuous Marcus, who sees nothing wrong in “running a train” (gangbanging) on Nikki with two of his pals during a school dance. Nikki becomes a laughingstock and almost kills herself, which is the turning point for Jillian, who learns that Nikki is an abuse survivor. A heart-wrenching confrontation leads to a resolution with hopeful repercussions. An intense gem in an authentic voice. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Jillian Maxwell was only seven when her stepfather began coming to her room while her mother was out. Now, at age 12, Jillian is afraid to refuse her stepfather for fear he'll move on to her little sister. Narrated from Jillian's perspective, Roby's (Love and Lies) brief novel holds a chilling implication: it's so easy to hide sexual abuse. The author veers a little into the didactic getting the backstory out and setting up the scene, but the story picks up as Jillian shows interest in a boy from school, her stepfather's demands escalate, and her best friend gets sexually involved with the wrong boy. Readers will be cheered when the villain finally gets his comeuppance. VERDICT Adult and teen readers of Jacquelin Thomas and Victoria Christopher Murray will enjoy this African American family drama with its clear message about the insidiousness of sexual abuse and about God helping those who help themselves.—Laurie Cavanaugh, Brockton P.L., MA
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kimberla Lawson Roby

Kimberla Lawson Robyis the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Reverend Curtis Black series as well as many other novels and novellas. She lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 81 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Emotionally Gripping and Timely

    Kim Roby tells a poignant story of Jillian Matthews, a young girl struggling to survive sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. The character is at the heart of this novel, and the intensity of her emotions drives the story. Readers will weep with Jillian and bear the burden of the pain right along with her.

    Roby does an excellent job focusing on all the areas of this problem including the development of shame, guilt and depression; the loss of self-esteem. Through subplots we learn how sexual abuse leads to domestic violence, promiscuity, and other psycho-social behavioral issues.

    A Deep Dark Secret is an insightful, timely and necessary look at a growing problem that hides under the veil of manipulation and secrecy. I hope women and teens everywhere will read this story and begin discussions that will uncover the darkness.

    Review by Rhonda McKnight

    See more of my reviews at www.urbanchristianfictiontoday.com

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    LIVING A NIGHTMARE

    THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE READ THIS YEAR. IT IS SO WELL WRITTEN. IT CATCHES YOUR ATTENTION FROM THE FIRST PAGE, AND KEEPS DRAWING YOU IN UNTIL THE BOOK IS FINISH. TWO THUMBS UP TO MRS. ROBY FOR A JOB WELL DONE. HOW MANY YOUNG GIRLS COULD THIS BE HAPPENING TO RIGHT NOW WAS ALL I KEPT THINKING ABOUT. COULD IT BE HAPPENING TO SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY???? I KNOW THE NUMBERS ARE FRIGHTENING, BUT WE HAVE TO KEEP LETTING OUR BABIES KNOW THAT IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT, AND THAT THEY MUST SPEAK OUT IN ORDER TO STOP THE ABUSE AND GET HELP. THIS IS ONE SECRET THAT MUST BE TOLD EVERY TIME.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing Book

    This book takes at look at a problem that is often heard about but details it from the point of view of the victim. It is so sad but written beautifully. I could barely put the book down and read it in a couple of hours. It is definitely a collection keeper if your a Roby fan like me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2010

    Excellent Read

    Excellent book. I read it in one day. This was one of her best books I have read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    I sat down and finished this book last night. When I first started reading the book, I found parts of it difficult. I'm glad I forced myself to stay with the story. Was well worth it. The author tackles a difficult and sensitive topic by telling a compelling story from the child's point of view. This book makes you think about the people you allow into your children's lives.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    FAST READ, GOOD BOOK, PAGE TURNER..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Kimberla Lawson Roby's "A Deep Dark Secret" is about J

    Kimberla Lawson Roby's "A Deep Dark Secret" is about Jillian Maxwell, a young girl who is excited as she's finally getting a (step)father and a baby sister. Jillian's life changes. Her smile and happiness are all a facade as she's forced to keep this deep dark secret for fear that no one will believe her.

    Sadly, "A Deep Dark Secret" is a reality that too many children are living. This story made me both sad and angry. Despite the turmoil, I couldn't wait to turn the pages to see if Jillian would finally reveal her secret.

    "A Deep Dark Secret," while very heart-wrenching, should be mandatory reading. More children need to understand what should and shouldn't be kept private.

    Reviewed by: Lauren
    4.5

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Awesome!

    I read all Kimberlys books, I feel like Im apart of her bloodline. She keeps it real with whats going on this world today. Thats why she is one my favorite authors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2011

    good read

    This is a good book that unfortunenately tells a true story of some people. A startling look into abuse.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fast Read

    This is a short novella about a terrible secret a young girl must keep about molestation. A terrible problem in today's world and it takes you on a journey through her young life and problems. I believe all young adult women should read this book and hopefully will help some dealing with the same infliction. The author voiced this story in a very intelligent way insuring the reader would be very interested in the outcome rather than focusing on the twisted villian.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended!

    This was my very first time reading one of her books and I must say it will not be my last!! Very good read!! Very emotional topic! I believe everyone should read!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Had me in tears

    This is one of her best books. It's sad to think that so many young children are going through the same thing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2010

    highly recommended

    i found this to be a very good reader. The author did a great job with this book. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. i read the entire in a couple of days. The book is very easy to read and it kept me interested. It's a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    wow

    very good book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    I just completed reading this book and I felt like it was well w

    I just completed reading this book and I felt like it was well written. The author does an exceptional job at helping us to see the feelings
    and emotions of a young person who is dealing with childhood sexual abuse. I definitely recommend it to others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2013

    Awesome

    I really enjoyed this book...my heart ached for this child but in the end she was my hero....love it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!!! I hated what this little girl had to endure.  And

    Great book!!! I hated what this little girl had to endure.  And to think this is going on in our world today is so sad. More people need to speak up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Totally awesome

    I thought the book was great. It delt with an issue that's going on all over america today, so in my opinion this book is a must read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews

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