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The Secret of Joy

The Secret of Joy

3.7 14
by Melissa Senate

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Rebecca is about to find out. The New York City paralegal thought nothing could shake her life off its fast track — which includes her handsome lawyer boyfriend and their extravagant condo. The shocking



Rebecca is about to find out. The New York City paralegal thought nothing could shake her life off its fast track — which includes her handsome lawyer boyfriend and their extravagant condo. The shocking revelation that she even has a half sister comes from her dying father, in a hospital bed confession of a long-past summer affair...and now the dad she adores has one last wish: would Rebecca deliver a cache of letters he never sent to his other daughter, Joy Jayhawk, in a tiny coastal Maine town?

But when Rebecca arrives in Wiscasset, with the life-changing letters stashed in a leather box, nothing goes as she imagined — and Joy Jayhawk is less than thrilled to meet her. Joy already has her own life, her own family, and her own business: she runs a bus tour for singles, a matchmaking excursion that's brought lovers together, healed broken hearts, and changed lives. Rebecca joins the singles tour in the hopes of unlocking a door into Joy's life and forming a relationship with the only family she has left. But as she spends more and more time with Joy and the women who dub themselves The Divorced Ladies Club of Wiscasset — and starts a flirtation with a seriously hunky local carpenter — Rebecca realizes it's her life and heart that are ready for healing and change...and that sometimes, you just have to go along for the ride.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A warm hug of a book. Insightful, wise, and romantic, it's as inviting as the small-town life it depicts." — CLAIRE LAZEBNIK, author of The Smart One and the Pretty One

"A special story by a special author. The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate opened my heart, made me laugh, cry, and smile all at the same time. A don't-miss read!" — New York Times bestselling author CARLY PHILLIPS

Product Details

Gallery Books
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5.38(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.95(d)

Meet the Author

Melissa Senate is the author of eight novels, including the bestselling See Jane Date, which was made into an ABC Family TV movie and has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. She's published short pieces in Everything I've Always Wanted to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, It's a Wonderful Lie, Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, and American Girls About Town. A former romance and young adult editor from New York, she now lives on the southern coast of Maine with her son.

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Secret of Joy 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Strand is at a crossroads. She lives with Michael, but she's not sure she wants to take the next step and get married. She has a job as a paralegal, which she knows she doesn't like, but can't get it together to move on and do something else. Her beloved father is dying, and she doesn't know what she'll do when that happens. Then everything changes. Her father, in his last days, tells her a family secret. He had an affair twenty-five years ago, and there was a baby from that relationship. He couldn't face what he had done, and abandoned the baby and its mother; he never saw Rebecca's sister, nor had any kind of relationship with her. No support money, no cards, no letters, no phone calls. When he dies, Rebecca is left with huge questions. How could someone she had loved so much and who had been such a wonderful parent to her have done such a thing? Should she try and find her sister? Will she be accepted by her? After mulling it over and discovering that her sister's name is Joy and that she lives in Maine, Rebecca is pulled to go visit. She finds Joy, who is not excited to meet her, and who insists that Daniel Strand means nothing to her. Joy says he was nothing more than a DNA donor. But Rebecca refuses to give up. She falls in love with the town and develops relationships with several women there. Even more, she finds Theo, who is everything that Michael is not. Before she knows it, Rebecca has started a new life in Maine, with a rented house, a new dog and a determination to make her life what she knows she needs it to be. This book is recommended for readers who enjoy women's literature and for those who enjoy books about family relationships and women finding their way in the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sara Diamond More than 1 year ago
Excellent chic lit with a different kind of plot. I enjoyed all the quirky characters.
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catgurrrl More than 1 year ago
i loved this book!! melissa senate never disppoints. i truly enjoyed reading this book. i highly recommend it to everyone.
liisa22 More than 1 year ago
That is the big question Rebecca is asking about her half sister she never knew she had. This shocking revelation came from her father on his deathbed, and has a dying wish: deliver a box of letters to his other daughter. Love and heartbreak abound in this heartwarming story. I enjoyed this vacation of a book! Just pour a cup of tea, and make yourself at home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Rebecca's father couldn't have picked a more inappropriate time to tell his daughter about an affair that happened between him and another woman when Rebecca was really young. He wrote several letters to the daughter he had with the other woman and now he wants Rebecca to deliver them to a sister that she never knew existed. This is a very touching novel. I can't imagine finding out that my father had a whole other life that I knew absolutely nothing about. I found this book to be extremely intriguing.
gl More than 1 year ago
It's hard to describe The Secret of Joy without emphasizing that Rebecca Strand is absolutely winsome. Even as she screws up at work and is about to do something crazy, like give away half of her inheritance to a stranger, you find yourself rooting for her and hoping that things work out. I loved Rebecca's closeness to her father, Daniel Strand. The letters that Daniel left for Joy seem to be written for Rebecca as well. As Rebecca reaches out to her sister Joy and works through her own needs and wants, she discovers her own strengths as a mediator. The discussions of love and monogamy, marriage, separation and divorce are interesting and make The Secret of Joy a little different from the usual women's fiction. The book's strength comes from the closeness and friendship that surrounds Rebecca throughout the book. The Secret of Joy is fun, touching, and a great read! Publisher: Downtown Press (November 17, 2009), 352 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.
IHeart2Read More than 1 year ago
Imagine growing up wanting a sister. What would you do if that childhood wish suddenly came true? How would you respond if your father confessed to a summer affair as he lay dying? And so begins The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate. Rebecca Strand is a twenty-something woman living and working in New York City. She's a paralegal for Whitman, Goldman & Whitman. She's dating (and living with) Michael, her lawyer boyfriend, and she's contemplating their future together. A future that comes to a screeching halt when her father is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given weeks to live. Having lost her mother at nineteen and being the only child, Rebecca is extremely close to her father and cannot begin to envision what her life will be like without him. During one of her hospital visits, her father discloses a summer affair with Pia Jayhawk. An affair that occurred during one of their family vacations in Maine. The affair was over before it started and Daniel Strand returned home and stepped back into his life. Out of the blue Pia calls him to tell him she's pregnant. She calls again to tell him he has a daughter. He never returned her call and remained silent about his newborn daughter and his relationship with Pia. Now that he's dying, he wants Rebecca to know the truth. A truth that may complicated her life and cause her to view him differently. After her father's death, Rebecca begins to question her life and the direction she's headed. Is Michael the one? Is New York really her home? What about her job? The job she loathes. Does she have the courage to pursue her dream of becoming a therapist? As she ponders these questions, she begins to wonder about her half-sister. She sets off to Maine to find Joy Jayhawk, not really sure what to expect when she meets her for the first time. When I first read the title of the book, I assumed it meant her father's secret affair and his secret daughter, Joy. But, as I continued to read about Rebecca's life and the lives of the supporting characters, I realized the title was about the secret of. . . well. . . joy. The characters are all struggling with an issue in their lives that is causing them pain and turmoil. As each comes to the fork in the road where they either move towards a resolution or continue down the same hurtful path, the author illustrates the difficult, but necessary, truths we must face in order to experience the peace we want in life. Rebecca struggles with the loss of her parents, the impact of her father's affair, not only on her, but Joy and Joy's mother. While Joy struggles with growing up without her father which resulted in her being emotionally detached from her husband. To make amends with his decision, Daniel Strand writes a letter to Joy every year on her birthday. As Rebecca reads these letters, she begins to have insight about her father as a man and a husband. It's not until she reads the last letter he wrote to Joy that she truly understands the love he felt for Joy and how his decision kept two innocent sisters from knowing each other. The reader will feel compassion for Rebecca as she loses the only family she knows and gains a sister she has always wanted. The Secret of Joy is a great read, with a likable main character and a great supporting cast. Pick it up. Read it. You won't be disappointed.
debbook More than 1 year ago
I am a sucker for any book that takes place in Maine and this is no exception. With barely a second thought, Rebecca is off to Maine to find the sister she just discovered she had, to a small coastal town. She doesn't care that she may have to split her inheritance from her father, over one million dollars, or that her boyfriend is advising against this. Rebecca is drawn by the idea of the having a sister. Of course, it doesn't work out the way she planned, Joy is not thrilled to have her pop up. But Rebecca is persistent and in the process learns a lot about herself. I really enjoyed the characters, they were fun and all are looking for happiness. Parts dragged on when Rebecca is trying to figure out relationships and why men cheat and it got to be a bit much for me at times. But mainly it is funny and charming. my rating 3.5/5 http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/