Trail of Secrets [NOOK Book]


A sudden pregnancy forces a young woman to confront the truth about her family’s dark past

Ellie Nightingale moved to New York in the early 1970s, a scared country girl with a newborn, no money, and no one to run to but her sister, a prostitute with a couch to spare. Ellie worked as hard as she could, determined to make a good life for her child, but one day the baby disappeared—kidnapped and handed over to a...

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Trail of Secrets

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A sudden pregnancy forces a young woman to confront the truth about her family’s dark past

Ellie Nightingale moved to New York in the early 1970s, a scared country girl with a newborn, no money, and no one to run to but her sister, a prostitute with a couch to spare. Ellie worked as hard as she could, determined to make a good life for her child, but one day the baby disappeared—kidnapped and handed over to a wealthy Connecticut couple.
Skyler Sutton has grown up with riding lessons, fine clothes, and no idea that the people who raised her aren’t her real parents. But when an accidental pregnancy forces her into the same desperate circumstances her own mother was in when she gave birth to her, Skyler is finally brought face-to-face with her past.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Eileen Goudge including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

A psychologist, haunted by the kidnapping of her baby daughter 23 years ago, decides to try adoption. Her missing daughter, now grown up and pregnant, hears of a woman desperate for a child. Thus Eileen Goudge sets the stage for a story rich with drama and delicious family secrets. A LG main selection. Ads in People. Online promo. HC: Viking. Fiction--General

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The bonds of motherhood are yanked, twisted and stressed to the breaking point in Goudge's brazenly manipulative new novel (after Blessing in Disguise, 1994), which follows the fates of Ellie Porter Nightingale and the infant daughter stolen from her in 1972 in N.Y.C. Ellie's daughter has been raised as Skyler Sutton by a wealthy Connecticut couple who learned of the kidnapping but decided to keep their knowledge secret. Now 23, Skyler is pregnant, from a one-night stand with Manhattan cop Tony Salvatore; unwilling to raise a child, she decides to give up the baby for adoption-perhaps to one of Tony's acquaintances, that nice psychotherapist who is desperate to adopt a child: she is, of course, Ellie Porter Nightingale. The ensuing complications, though rarely unpredictable, are milked by Goudge for maximum melodrama, culminating in a swoony climax at a custody hearing. Goudge's prose, though often skillful and down-to-earth, can be plagued by too much descriptive detail and sentimentalized interior monologue. But her characters are sympathetic; her expressions of the fierce emotions of motherhood are immediate; and her crafty decision to reveal likely plot turns to her readers but not to her characters will keep all who love a secret riveted. 125,000 first printing; $125,000 ad/promo; paperback rights to Signet; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Expect to hear lots about this title from popular and prolific romance writer Goudge (Blessing in Disguise, LJ 5/15/94), but don't expect as much from the actual story. In 1972, young Ellie's infant is stolen and privately offered to wealthy Kate and Will as an abandoned baby. Ellie's tragedy is heightened by her inability to conceive again, and her repeated attempts to adopt strain her marriage to Paul. Her daughter, Skyler, is now a lovely young woman, raised among love, money, and horses. She unexpectedly becomes pregnant by Tony, a policeman. Through a twist of events, she offers her baby to Ellie to adopt, not knowing that Ellie is her own mother and her unborn child's grandmother. Confused yet? Skyler is too stubborn for words, Tony too gorgeous and patient to believe, and the novel's resolution less than satisfying. But the themes of secrets, infertility, adoption, parent-child bonds, and what defines who we are will spark interest. Purchase where Goudge has a following.-Rebecca S. Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib, Highland Heights
Kathleen Hughes
The best-selling author of "Garden of Lies" 1990 has written another romantic novel sure to please her fans. The story concerns Skyler Sutton, a long-legged, astonishingly beautiful, and wealthy Connecticut equestrienne. Skyler, who was adopted by her parents, finds herself pregnant--by New York City policeman Tony Salvatore. Several problems plague Skyler. Is she ready to raise a child? Does she want to become further involved with this unrefined man? Will Tony be accepted by her family? Will she be accepted by Tony's stereotypically large, loud family? In the end, Skyler decides to give the baby up for adoption and Tony with his part Cro-Magnon, part modern-guy sensibilities backs her decision and introduces her to fortysomething psychiatrist Ellie Nightingale, who has been desperately trying to adopt a child for years. The story takes several twists and turns here, as Skyler delivers the baby, changes her mind about the adoption, finds out that she was kidnapped from her real mother who, it turns out, is Ellie as a child, and realizes that she truly loves Tony Salvatore. Ultimately, justice is served, love prevails, and everybody goes home happy, ensuring that "Trail of Secrets" will prove to be popular, particularly among fans of contemporary romance novels.
Kirkus Reviews
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . ." Such is the dominant theme of this latest Goudge saga (Blessing in Disguise, 1994, etc.).

It's 1972 when Ellie, a good girl from the Midwest whose parents kicked her out when she got pregnant (it was her "first time"), returns to the Manhattan apartment where her hooker sister Nadine has been baby-sitting Ellie's infant daughter Bethanne. But to Ellie's horror, while she's been working the late shift selling movie tickets, Nadine's been beaten to a pulp by her pimp, who—worse yet—made off with Betanne (telling Nadine, who later dies of a drug overdose, that blue-eyed babies are hot on the black market). Waspy Kate Sutton—wife of the also blue-blooded Will, co- owner of an antiques store, and someone who's been craving motherhood for years—is so elated when her husband's attorney suddenly "locates" an adoptable baby that she forces herself to ignore the revealing photos and news bulletins about Bethanne's kidnapping. As it happens, the child grows up as Skyler Sutton, a lovely, smart, gifted equestrienne who's been told by the Suttons since the age of six that she was abandoned by her "real" mother. Meanwhile, Ellie's never forgotten Bethanne, of course, but she's managed to put herself through night- and then graduate school, become a psychologist, and marry Paul Nightingale, a neonatologist who has trouble dealing with Ellie's desperate, always doomed attempts to become a mother again. When the 23-year-old Skyler/Bethanne meets Tony Salvatore, a friend of Ellie's and a mounted policeman from the wrong side of the tracks (but with a heart of gold), all hell breaks loose: Secrets leak, wounds reopen, another baby is born—and Goudge plays fix-it with her customary zeal, providing far-fetched but satisfying conclusions.

A relatively guilt-free, toothsome treat: Goudge doesn't aim too high, but then again, unlike overshooters, she hits her mark.

From Barnes & Noble
When a baby is snatched away in the night, three lives are changed forever in this story of the blue-blooded equestrian world and the blue-collar turf of a New York City cop. By the bestselling author of Garden of Lies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453223031
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Publication date: 11/29/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 151,638
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Eileen Goudge (b. 1950) is one of the nation’s most successful authors of women’s fiction. She began as a young adult writer, helping to launch the phenomenally successful Sweet Valley High series, and in 1986 she published her first adult novel, the New York Times bestseller Garden of Lies.
She has published fifteen novels in all, including the three-book saga of Carson Springs, Thorns of Truth—a sequel to Gardens of Lies—and 2012’s The Replacement Wife. She lives and works in New York City.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 25, 2011


    I liked the suspense of the book, and the Ellie and Tony characters were goodhearted and kind & you felt for them.
    However, I really didn't care that much for the Sutton family. Kate's actions in the hospital at the beginning of the book were cold. Yes, I understood that she really wanted a child, but the fact that she KNEW the truth about Skyler and didn't reveal it was really selfish. Also, I thought that Skyler was a bit of a selfish spoiled brat also, attempting to keep Tony out of her decision about THEIR child. Also, it was unclear to me WHY Skyler even NEEDED to choose adoption, seeing as how she came from a wealthy family. ???
    However, I would recommend the book to readers that like suspense and big, juicy secrets.

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A truly beautiful and heart warming story of a family caught up in secrets.

    The story was a beautiful plot full of love and devotion to hide deep secrets. The plot brought together many peoples lives hidden by shocking secrets. Discovery and finally knowing dreams do come true brings the story to a final climax. God's "miracle" shows how obstacles can be challenged but come to a final good conclusion.
    Three women are linked together as life thrusts upon them hurt, betrayal, and finally love. A true romantic and touching tale.
    Each woman shows great compassion and is truly loved by three men. Sexual, showing great passion between these three women and the men who have won their hearts.
    It was a timeless romantic plot and loved reading it to the end. Couldn't put the book down until I had to close my eyes and go to sleep.
    The book was immediately picked up the next day to continue on with the story to see how it ends.

    Cherry Blossom

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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