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A Deep Dark Secret: A Novel Paperback – October 12, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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“Powerful....An intense gem in an authentic voice.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061443107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061443107
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,473,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kimberla Lawson Roby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the popular Reverend Curtis Black Series, which include: The Ultimate Betrayal, The Prodigal Son, A House Divided, The Reverend's Wife, Love, Honor, & Betray, Be Careful What You Pray For, The Best of Everything, Sin No More, The Best-Kept Secret, Too Much of a Good Thing, and Casting the First Stone, along with many standalone titles. She is the 2013 recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction, and a #1 Essence magazine bestselling author. She lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois. Web Site: kimroby.com, Facebook: facebook.com/kimberlalawsonroby, Twitter: twitter.com/KimberlaLRoby

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Seven-year-old Jillian was the happiest little girl in the world. She was finally going to get a father and soon a new baby sister. She grew into a responsible teenager, obeying her parents, exceeding in school and being a loving, attentive older sister to her baby sister. On the outside, Jillian is your typical energetic teenager, but on the inside, she's protecting a deep, dark secret.

Afraid to tell anyone because she knows they wouldn't understand or believe she wasn't telling the truth, she carried the awful pain alone. Her schoolwork begins to suffer and she starts to draw into herself, until a teacher inspires her to keep a journal. As time goes on, Jillian develops strength and courage to gain control of her life.

Written with compassion and warmth, A DEEP DARK SECRET is a stirring piece of literature which focuses on a serious issue that is running rampant, and how a family overcomes and survives the dark cloud that hovers over their lives. Roby skillfully influences the reader to float into the heart and soul of Jillian's character and feel her anguish. The subplot ties in perfectly as the story unfolds. A DEEP DARK SECRET...a tender masterpiece of family loyalty, friendship, and peer pressure.

Reviewed by Sharon Lewis
of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By marcie1983 on January 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think '' a deep dark secret '' is good book. I really felt bad for Jillian Maxwell. Her stepfather was a very sick man. I am not schoked that he had done it before. Him going to church was just cover up for how sick he was. I was shocked to find out about Jillan best friend Nikki was treated by that guy marcus. I was not shocked about Juillan stepfather Byron affair with the 18 year. He ddint like women he liked lil girls. I am glad when Jillan mom find out she did believe her daugther. Sometimes the mom dont believe the kid. I think that Jillan stepfather didnt get enough jail time. I am not shocked about him gettin other girl pregant either. I say read the book and you will enjoy it. It's a page turner for real. I am loking forward to reading her new book called'' the perfect marriage''. good job kimberla! I really got more of inside how how abused child goes though. Its so different from watching movie about this subject then when you are reading about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Morton on April 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From beginning to end the book kept you wanting more. Although the story line is sad it definately kept you wanting to know what would happen next. It is also a story that will help you to understand how these things happen and the thought pattern of children. It's a story that reminds you to talk to your children and let them know where you stand on the topic so prayerfully they will never feel the way this child did and they know they can come to you about anything. Great book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Patricia Ann Bilger on May 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this in one night Feeling so overwelmed for Jillian. It shows just how a monster can change a persons life and how he can manipulate the horrid of it to his advantage. And it also shows that just because you have a BFF that NOT ALL things are shared with them. I think it is a book for ALL ages
and especiallY in todays society where so much of this has happened to girls and boys. I was so glad when the tables turned and she did what she had to do TO KEEP A PART OF HERSELF AND HER SISTER SAFE. I was just glad that her mother seen what happened and did believe her as that is the Main Problem to
have Someone believe you in the begining so you do NOT have to keep up the lies of everything is OK.
KUDOS to the writer for TELLING A HORRIBLE TRUTH AND SHOWING IT CAN COME TO AN END WITH A POSITIVE FEELING AND NOT ONE OF DOOM !!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J.C. Wallington on October 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Seven year-old Jillian Maxwell's life could not be better. She had a new step-daddy that she adored and a new baby sister. On the day her baby sister was born, Jillian's life began to change. Her dream daddy became her worst nightmare when he started to make secret visits to her bedroom. Jillian knew what they did during these visits was wrong, but her daddy told her not tell anyone about them because no one would believe her and she would have to leave home. Therefore, Jillian endured years of being manipulated by her step-dad to do things she knew was not right. Jillian successfully disguised her anguish, by putting on a happy face for her family, friends and teachers. In this novella, A Deep Dark Secret, by Kimberla Lawson Roby, the plight of Jillian and other young ladies with her problems came to light.

Statistics show that one in five girls will be abused by a trusted family member by age 18. As a former child protective services worker, I have witnessed that girls respond in a variety of ways. They will become sullen and withdrawn, an over-achiever, become sexually active at a young age or have an intense dislike for the opposite sex. It is usually when the perpetrator tries to take the abuse to another level that will make the child react, by either telling or fighting back. In this novella, Ms Lawson Roby presents two opposite reactions to the abuse by the parents and by the girls. I think this novella is a good book for mothers and daughters to read together and could open up an excellent dialogue between them on the perils of keeping secrets.

Jeanette
APOOO BookClub
Motown Review Book Club
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