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Posted August 25, 2011
For Shelia Franklin, a phone call comes that will change her life forever. She will finally get to meet him, someone from her past that she's wanted to meet for over 20 years. Now she will have her time with him.
This book is full of secrets. Shelia has been secretly guarding her life's long time skeleton for many years from everyone, even her husband. What would he think of her if the truth really came out? Would it destroy their marriage? Her husband's church? As she gets ready to meet her main secret, she can't think about anything but him. What will happen with Sheila and the secrets that she has kept so close to her heart? Will her husband understand and stand behind her, or will he let her deal with the issues herself?
This is my first book of Patti Lacy's and I was captivated by the writer's ability to tell a story so realistic and powerful. The way the characters are so beautifully woven together you not only see secrets and deception, heartbreaks and sadness, but you see love, forgiveness, grace and redemption through Christ in their lives throughout the story. The unique rhythm in the musical background gave the story a special smoothness, even through all of the difficulties.
Even though this book started out slow for me, it just took a while to get into it, I enjoyed reading it very much. I would recommend this wonderful story to anyone who loves Christian fiction. It will be worth the time you spend reading it.
This book was provided by Kregel Publishers for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine alone.
Posted June 23, 2011
Patti Lacy has a gift. She has this uncanny ability to find a story and flesh it out to a place where you feel like you are living in that story. I would not say that woman's fiction (you know the kind dealing with heavy subjects that really make you think) is one of my favorite genres, in fact I pass by on a lot of them. But a book by Patti Lacy - it is a must read as far as I am concerned. I loved her first books "An Irishwoman's Tale" and "What The Bayou Saw" but this book was even better! The whole concept behind the book was fascinating... what if a woman grew up thinking that she had to hide the shame of the past she grew up in, and then is confronted with it in the worst way. Will her decision to hide her past cause hurt to others? What can she do to fix it? Will it destroy her marriage? Sheila Franklin is a heroine that makes you cheer for her as you follow her in her choices, good and bad, and I was curious to the end about how everything would turn out. Patti keeps you intrigued until the very end. So worth the read - a keeper!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2011
This is the first book I've read by Patti and wow, what a storyteller! The Rhythm of Secrets follows the journey of a woman with multiple identities who ultimately comes full circle in discovering her purpose as a child of God. I was swept away to the settings in the book, feeling everything the characters felt and hearing the beautiful music Patti so skillfully incorporated throughout.
It delves into some tough issues including prostitution, so I would exercise caution in passing it along to a young reader. But for those who enjoy reading about the sometimes-ugly side of life and seeing the characters experience God's grace in the midst of it, this book is for you.
Posted April 6, 2011
This was a powerful, enjoyable book that I highly recommend. Sheila has secrets - secrets that she's never exposed to her husband, a big-time pastor. He doesn't know about her mixed parentage, or parents' background, or about the fact that she has an illegitimate son with dark skin.
This book shows how one simple, single mistake can haunt you for years and years. I know we're supposed to accept God's grace for our sins, but, even when/if we do this, our sins and our bad choices can still affect our lives for a long time.
This novel also shows that it's best to tell the truth, especially to those that you love. Don't hide secrets, what if they come out to bite you later, causing turmoil in your current relationships?
This book also has a pretty deep inspirational message - showing that no matter how tough things get, even if it appears that we may lose our lives, it's best to call upon the Lord, our creator, during times of trouble.
I loved the way the author truthfully showed how judgmental we can be as Christians. You know, this book had me thinking about how some Christians are quick to punish, judge, make others feel unworthy, not following the example that Christ set forth for us in the Gospels. When Sheila, the main character in Rhythm of Secrets, loses her parents and goes to live with her grandmother Mimi, she's forced to suffer from Mimi's judgmental attitude towards her. This attitude partially stems from Sheila's parentage. Yet, Mimi is a Christian? Sadly, the church is filled with Mimis and it'd be great if, the next time we find ourselves judging others for their mistakes, then we should stop, and take a hard look at ourselves. What sins have we committed in our own lives?
I guarantee that this book will get a strong emotional response out of you. For me, the most emotional part happens when Sheila is forced to give up her baby, a baby that she loves fully and unconditionally. Her son's dark skin doesn't bother her, as her baby's complexion is a result of her mixed parentage.
Give this book a try. If you've read it, let me know what you thought about the story.
Posted March 23, 2011
The Rhythm of Secrets revolves around the story of Sheila Franklin, wife of the prominent and conservative pastor, Edward Franklin. Unbeknownst to everyone around her, Shelia has secrets; secrets that she has kept even from her husband for many years. However, it takes only one little phone call for the carefully woven fabric of her past life to begin to unravel. At the risk of losing all she has attained and becoming an outcast and a pariah, Sheila makes the decision to reveal her secret past to her husband and, at the same time, embrace a family member from her past. Not only is Sheila's status in the life she has created at risk, the life of a young girl in the country of Thailand is also at stake. Sheila hasn't always been the refined, well-dressed, dignified, lady-of-the-manor that we meet in the early pages of this book. In fact, the truth is that she hasn't always been "Sheila." At different stages of her life, Sheila's name changes several times throughout the book. While her life has been one of turmoil and upheaval, the constant throughout is her love of music. It is her music and love of it that sustains her in times of hardship. When we first meet Sheila, the year is 1969. The place is Chicago, Illinois. From there, we take a leap back in time to the year 1942 and find ourselves in New Orleans, Louisiana. At this time, Sheila, who is actually named Sheba, is thirteen years old, already skilled at the piano and has a burning desire to learn to play the clarinet. Horrible and tragic events jerk Sheba from the comfort of her happy home and force her to live with a grandmother who neither loves nor understands her. Thus the stage is set for the events that mold Sheba into the woman that we met in the opening pages. The book jumps back and forth in time, each time revealing a little bit more of Sheila's past. The more we learn, the more we are able to understand the decisions that Sheila makes and the reasons for her willingness to sacrifice the safety and security of her life as the minister's wife. Along with the music which is always the center of Sheila's life, another constant throughout is God's grace, His love and mercy, His forgiveness and His compassionate intercession. As a rule, I generally don't care for books that jump back and forth from present to past. However, in The Rhythm of Secrets, this is a very effective means of telling the story and I immensely enjoyed the way that the back and forth helped the reader to slowly come to understand Sheila's choices and how she has evolved into the person who is willing to risk all in order to save a young girl that she has never met. When I first heard of this book I knew that I had to read it. I am a musician and can appreciate how Sheila's love of music became the one constant in her life when she was surrounded on all sides by turmoil, heartache, and confusion. In the book of Psalms, chapter 150, verses 3 and 4, we are told to "praise Him with the sound of the trumpet...praise Him with the psaltery and harp...praise Him with stringed instruments and organs..." Indeed, it is through playing music that I worship God and commune with Him on a spiritual plane. So too, does Sheila use her musical talents to commune with God, relieve her anger or loneliness, and express her emotions. In the pages of the Bible, we read much about King Saul. When an evil spirit was upon him, he called for David to play upon the harp and SWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2011
"Edgy" is an anemic way to describe the gut-wrenching realism in Patti Lacy's "Rhythm of Secrets", new 2011 from Kregel. Writers know that to keep readers turning the pages, there needs to be conflict. Lots and lots of conflict. Bad, leads to worse, leads to awful. In Patti's book, the progression doesn't start small. It takes off with tension, and continues to breed one new horror upon another for her protagonist.
Conservative pastor's wife, Sheila Franklin, has been masking a secret past for years, but a disillusioned Vietnam vet destroys her cover when he arrives with plans to blackmail her into helping him rescue his fiancé, a Vietnamese prostitute, from her controllers.
In revealing her past, Sheila must choose between her son -- helping him to rescue his beloved -- or her husband Edward, whose trust and ministry may crumble with her revelations.
Patti's writes with a flair and intensity which crosses that invisible line between CBA and ABA. This is important in an inspirational marketplace where authors and publishers are continually asking themselves where to draw the "edgy line". It's one thing to write about sins of the flesh in a way that stirs base passions, and it's entirely another to write about them in ways that provoke introspection and self awareness of our own downfalls.
That's what Patti does. She doesn't hold back from using intense language (I'm not talking "foul", just intense) and painting pictures of the worst side of human nature. But in so doing, she causes the reader to ponder their own stumbling blocks or self-righteous attitudes. That takes craft, folks.
I recommend that Christian writers who aspire to write provoking fiction read Patti Lacy's books. In them you'll understand how to explore themes of human nature in a Christian world view without being preachy.
Posted March 7, 2011
Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy is an incredible book that will touch your heart. I confess that I struggled with the dense language and shadowy secrets in the beginning. However, due to the lovely musical language and important themes of racism and legalism, I pressed on. I'm so glad I did. This book gets better and better with each turn of the page. The ending is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of readng. It weaves an incredible portrait of grace with unexpected twists and turns. Beautifully paced, insightful, deep, and spiritual. You don't want to miss this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2011
One writing lesson is to ask the question. "What is your characters secret?" And I consider muy current character and think "SECRET?" I'm learning how to coax them to reveal their secrets. Patti has an uncanny knack to unlock the secrets that lie deep within her characters. The child abandoned at birth. Will Samuel seek revenge? Can Sheila revel in the reunion with her son and keep him safe from prying eyes? The pastor husband, moving up in the world. Can he let his plans be crushed if his wife acknowledges her son? The son he knew nothing about until now. Under Patti's skillful storytelling, the characters and setting come alive as you read. You can almost hear the music that Sheila needs to stay sane and healthy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2011
Often times the more secrets we hide and lies we tell, we begin to lose focus on what really remains of the truth any longer.
In the newest novel, The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy, we are introduced to Shelia Franklin, who is happily married to a pastor of a well known church for the last 18 years. In one small phone call, Shelia's life begins to unravel. The voice on the other end of the phone is that of her son, she gave up for adoption that wants to meet her. That wouldn't normally pose a problem except that Shelia hasn't ever explained that part of her life to her husband. Lucky for her, he is headed out of town for a meeting when she makes arrangements to meet at an undisclosed location where she won't be seen as a pastor's wife by any one who would know her.
What follows during the lunch meeting with her son, set the table for an unexpected twist of fate that will come full circle when all of her deepest, darkest secrets will be exposed for the first time. Will Shelia survive intact with God's help?
I received this book compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and found the book entertaining for how she has played out her life for so long hiding so many things from the people she has loved the most. This book rates a 4.5 out of 5 stars. At first, the chapters are confusing until you realize that each of the names that Shelia uses are parts of her life she has kept secret.
Posted February 10, 2011
Though it took me awhile to warm up to this story, I am so glad I continued reading it! It turned out to be one of the best and heart wrenching stories I've read so far this year. After the first chapter, I couldn't put it down! It is a riveting story and one full of faith, suspense, life's hurdles and joys, romance, and the amazing things that God can and will create in our lives. Patti Lacy has written such a beguiling story that it captivated my senses and took me back to New Orleans in the 1940's and then the north as I followed the life of Sheila Franklin. Her characters just sprang off the page and tugged (yanked!) at my heart strings. I cried with them, laughed, smiled with joy and went with them through each step of this intriguing story. The twists and turns kept me on my toes through out the whole book and by the end, I was emotionally exhausted but very content. The kind of contentment you experience after reading a really good book!:) I highly recommend this book! Many thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group and Kregel Publications for the opportunity to review this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 2, 2011
Secrets from our past invade our present when we least expect. The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy unfolds when a handsome young Vietnam veteran introduces himself to Sylvia Franklin, a minister's wife, as her son. With the origins of this novel set in 1940's New Orleans, Patti Lacy guides the reader through Sylvia's life, slowly revealing secrets and lies that have been hidden for decades.
With an abundance of colorful characters, I was never quite sure what mystery the next chapter would reveal. I appreciate the excellent research done by the author to capture each time period included in her work. If you enjoy historically based fiction, you'll enjoy this mystery.
Posted January 26, 2011
Sheba becomes Sheila becomes Sylvia. So many changes! Furthermore, written using a frame device, settings move between today and yesterday as Sheila/Sheba/Sylvia relates her story. This could be a bit confusing for some, but I liked the technique. The reader must focus; this is not a book to read through quickly.
When the unwed protagonist finds herself pregnant, her thoughts and actions are accurately painted by the author. What choices were there in the 60s? Has society really changed? Position in society as well as racism play a part in this story, adding to the complexity of the plot.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Kregel Publications for my copy.
Posted January 25, 2011
Wow. This book really hits home with me. Not that I live my life as three different woman. Not that I am full of secrets, either. It's just that Patti Lacy took an amazing plot line and turned it in to a real-to-life historical novel that immediately captured me. From the characters, to the secrecy to the tender, inspirational story line, Patti Lacy is a woman who knows what her readers want.
This is a book that you need to have a LOT of uninterrupted reading time with, because as the jazz music flows, the history comes to life and Sheila Franklin guards her secrets so carefully, that when her son, the baby she gave up for adoption long ago , comes to her in desperate need, she risks those moments of jazz, those moments of living her life as a pastor's wife, to do what ever she can to win back her son. Reading Shelia's story, I felt every emotional struggle that she dealt with, I could sit there and hear all the music and the thoughts that she thought....they were mine. I felt so much for Shelia's character. I wanted to wrap my arms around her and hug many times over, and to pray with her.
There were other issues woven into this beautiful story,like having a son that is bi-racial, prejudice, trust, God's amazing grace, yet Patti Lacy captures them all in a way that they flow beautifully together and really hit home with the reader. Secrets are brought to life, issues are dealt with and readers become the characters. The pages of this book will be turning long in to the night as, with each page turn, the reader is wanting more and more of this amazing writing from Patti Lacy.
So, please. If you are like me and have NEVER read a Patti Lacy novel, grab a copy of The Rhythm of Secrets now. It's beyond a 5 star rating, and you will never be the same. The grace and love and spiritual messages in this story are like none other. Patti Lacy is an author whose books should be on everyone's book shelves to be read again and again. Her work is filled with passion, grace and forgiveness and every reader will see the depth of the story immediately. I am ready for more Patti Lacy work and will start with An Irish Woman's Tale, which is here on my book shelf.
Posted January 23, 2011
Loosely based on a true-to-life event, Patti Lacy's "framed" story is one that is rich in setting and emotions, giving it the feel of a saga. From New Orleans to Mississippi to Chicago to Thailand, the reader is swept away in THE RHYTHM OF SECRETS. Sheila Franklin is the wife of a successful evangelist whose foundation is on the brink of national attention. Big things are coming, but the secret Sheila harbors may demolish all she and her husband have spent a lifetime building. When the son she gave up for adoption calls with an urgent request, Sheila must choose: continue to live a lie or finally admit the truth about her past even if it means disaster for her marriage and their ministry. Patti's writes with flourish, lush in sensory detail, weaving a tale that is true to both of the story's time frames: the Vietnam War era and the deeply prejudiced South in the 1940s. Music - jazz, classical, and sacred - flows through the scenes as it does in the character of Sheila. The harsh reality made me uncomfortable at times, but there were also tender reminders of the depths of God's love and grace and the timeless message that He is greater than all the evil and imperfections in this world. Patti writes with panache in this bold, yet ever redemptive novel. Readers of historical fiction, women's fiction, and family sagas will love this deeply absorbing book. Bravo, Patti!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2011
Date: January 21, 2011
Title: The Rhythm of Secrets
Author: Patti Lacy
ISBN 13: 978-0-8254-2674-2
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Reviewer: Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant- Literary Wonders!
In The Rhythm of Secrets by author Patti Lacy, is the story of Sheila Franklin. Sheila has years of regrets and is eventually reunited with a son she had to give up long ago; a bi-racial son. Sheila has shielded her current life and her husband, from the secrets of her past, but they come home to roost when her son, tracks her down. It is then that Sheila slowly begins to reveal the secrets from her former complicated and controversial life.
This is Literary Wonders! first review of a title from Patti Lacy. I have to say that although we review a variety of genres, historical fiction has not been one that I particularly enjoy. However, after reading The Rhythm of Secrets, I look forward to reading, "What the Bayou Saw: A Novel" and "An Irish Woman's Tale", also by Patti Lacy. I have fallen in love with Patti's writing style, which challenges the reader to take in and savor every word.
**Literary Wonders! provides vid-views (video reviews) for all its 5 Star reviews. Vid-view to follow.
Posted January 21, 2011
Strap yourself in for a multi-faceted story that will captivate you with its adventures and stir you with its insights. From saint to sinner, from piano parlors to dens of danger, from South to North to overseas, Patti Lacy uses a contrast of riveting events to build her characters and story. In some of the most powerful scenes, main character Sheila Franklin steps into an open-Bible world where God's messages are as awe-prostrating as they were in the days of Abraham and Moses. Throw away your Blu-rays and cell phones and iPods. Bring instead the bare essentials this author counts most important: a willing set of feet and a satchel of prayers.
I've read all of Patti's novels. Some of the most valuable takeaway gifts are the author's realistic tracings of sin and its growth, its demise, and its transformation into a redeemed tool to help others. Patti understands that humans are not cardboard cutouts from the same manufacturing plant. She tactfully boldfaces sin in the gutter and the pew, and she exposes it for the express purpose of whiting it out with God's saving grace. Such honesty busts open the door for transformation.
But she doesn't stop there. Her transformed protagonists, equipped with understanding and humility gathered at the bottom of life, span miles and seas and the crusted remnants of their shame to bless others in ways that sheltered Christians only dream about. God's light pulses brilliantly through Patti's stories precisely because she has the courage to shine it into dark places. Her novels are valuable for those who long to step onto the not-so-safe ground of ministry, as well as for those who long to recast the chains of their past into keys to free others.
This is no mediocre novel. The plot is as artfully woven as its musical backdrops. The story is richly textured in its characterizations, literary style, dialogue, and themes. The spiritual thread is as strong as legendary mithril, woven seamlessly into the storyline. Only a master wordsmith could pen this novel. This is a baklava of novels.
Posted January 16, 2011
Sheila Franklin lived in New Orleans in 1940s when she was growing up and loved music. She loved Jazz but her mother wouldn't let her play it. She could play piano and the was learning the clarinet, which her father played. She loved to roam around the music filled streets in the Quarter of New Orleans and she could keep secrets and loved to slip around and find out things. But her world as she knew it disappeared the night her family home burned and she lost both her parents. She went to live with her grandmother that had her name changed form Sheba to Shelia.
After she grows up and married a pastor her past starts to come back as the phone rung and the man on the other end asked for Sylvia Allen and as her son come on the scene she had to do some confession to her son whom she had abandoned against her will when he was few days old. She also had some secrets that she had to tell her Pastor husband Edward. In the 1960s what all she had been hiding. Will the truth hurt their marriage and what will Edward say about a son he never knew about?
This book was a good read as it takes you back to New Orleans in the days when in the Quarters the music was beautiful and the color made no difference. I have never been to New Orleans but would like to go, and see all I have read about. Patti Lacy has written some good books relating to history as she has written "What The Bayou Saw" and "An Irishwoman's Tales"
Thanks to Kregel Publications for sending me this free copy to review.
Posted January 7, 2011
I am loving Lacy's literary style fiction. The Rhythm of Secrets didn't disappoint this reader. Where other writers may have fallen short with this surprising tale Lacy's unique twist of descriptive phrases brought this tale to life
The story itself is unusual, inspired by a true story that begins in New Orleans, 1940 with a teenager as the heroine. We follow her through the mistakes made in a flash of false love, life changes and finally the facing of who she really is.
The Rhythm of Secrets is the perfect title. Lies are woven with the measure of beats until they become the main character's musical score.
This is a book to read and savor and yet not put down. I stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish it because the last third of the book would not let me go to bed.