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Every Secret Thing [Kindle Edition]

Ann Tatlock
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $14.95
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Book Description

Haunted by an unsolved mystery, a young woman reconnects with a high school flame and discovers a terrifying secret.

When Elizabeth Gunnar accepts a teaching position at the preparatory school she attended as a girl, she is returning to more than a place--to memories, mysteries, and an old love. Once there she meets unexpected challenges--and challenging new people. She revisits ghosts of the past and old self-doubts. And she is reminded of the faith that first captured her there in what she called her “moments of being.” Every Secret Thing is a rich, complex weave of character, mystery and divine epiphanies.

Praise for Every Secret Thing

"...captures your heart and even your mind from the very first page.... Ann Tatlock is a remarkable writer!" -- Cheri Clay, christianreviewofbooks.com

"...much more subtle than a typical mystery novel--but perhaps that's what makes it worth reading." -- Robin Snyder, Christian Book Previews.com

"Believable characters and original dialogue keep the story moving and compelling." -- Linda Lee, armchairinterviews.com

"Every Secret Thing filled me with hope." -- AJ Cooper, ReaderViews.com

"Every Secret Thing seeps its way into the readers' consciousness and remains long after the last page is finished." -- Rel Mollet, titletrakk.com

"Her prose is graceful and unselfconscious with just the right amount of imagery to make it memorable...." -- Violet Nesdoly, blogcritics.org

"Tatlock's prose is simply exquisite." -- Michele Howe, faithfulreader.com

"This novel is rich, and deep, and one of those soul journeys worth taking." -- Deena Peterson, deenasbooks.blogspot.com


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Donna Tartt meets Jamie Langston Turner in this engrossing novel from Christy Award–winner Tatlock (All the Way Home). Beth Gunnar has returned to her alma mater, Seaton Prep, to teach English. She is haunted by an unresolved mystery from her student days—the unexplained disappearance of a favorite teacher—but discovering what happened to Mr. Dutton is not all that absorbs Beth's attention. She reconnects with a high school flame and becomes something of a surrogate mother to a precocious, charming student named Satchel Queen. Beth's Christian faith also deepens, though Tatlock handles that theme with a refreshingly light touch. The dialogue is snappy, and Tatlock's prose is charming (There seemed to be no clear answer to the mystery that was Theodore Dutton, with all the whys left dangling before me like fruit gone bad on the vine). Overall, Tatlock's produced a winner and the ending offers a good setup for a sequel, although the twists and turns in the romantic subplot are predictable, the character of Beth's best friend, Natalie, is underdeveloped, and it's hard to believe that bookish and literarily sophisticated Beth doesn't cotton to the symbolism in the book of Hosea, which her father patiently explains. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"...captures your heart and even your mind from the very first page.... Ann Tatlock is a remarkable writer!" -- Cheri Clay, christianreviewofbooks.com

"...much more subtle than a typical mystery novel--but perhaps that's what makes it worth reading." -- Robin Snyder, Christian Book Previews.com

"Believable characters and original dialogue keep the story moving and compelling." -- Linda Lee, armchairinterviews.com

"Every Secret Thing filled me with hope." -- AJ Cooper, ReaderViews.com

"Every Secret Thing seeps its way into the readers' consciousness and remains long after the last page is finished." -- Rel Mollet, titletrakk.com

"Her prose is graceful and unselfconscious with just the right amount of imagery to make it memorable...." -- Violet Nesdoly, blogcritics.org

"Tatlock's prose is simply exquisite." -- Michele Howe, faithfulreader.com

"This novel is rich, and deep, and one of those soul journeys worth taking." -- Deena Peterson, deenasbooks.blogspot.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 589 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (October 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BJU8ODU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,574 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Vivid October 19, 2007
By Anna
Format:Paperback
When I read Ann Tatlock's beautiful novel All the Way Home in high school, I was introduced to a Christian author who, for the first time in my experience, seemed to care quite a bit about the literary value of her writing. I was enchanted by the book's lyrical prose and intricate storyline. Since then, Ms. Tatlock's novels A Room of My Own and I'll Watch the Moon have become favorites of mine as well. Her work was the prototype for me, in a sense - my introduction to truly well-written Christian fiction.

Every Secret Thing did not disappoint. It is a slowly intriguing story - and by slowly intriguing I mean that while it takes time to draw you in (I found the first few chapters a little dry), by the time you are finished you care deeply about the characters and what happens to them. It is an introspective, character-driven novel. The language is simple. It does not dazzle you on every page. But every once in awhile its simplicity is enlivened by a startlingly apt reflection, or a vivid illustration.

This is the story of Beth Gunnar, a middle-aged single woman who returns to her Delaware roots to teach at Seaton, her high school alma mater. It is the story of three educational generations, so to speak - the mystery surrounding Beth's former teacher, Theodore Sutton; the blossoming of Satchel Queen, one of Beth's students; and of course, Beth herself, her powerful past and her enigmatic future, her "moments of being" and her searching for answers.

Two things impressed me about the novel's themes. One was that an author who so obviously values literature and writing, and who created a character who also values literature and writing, is able to note both the beauty and the ultimate emptiness of that focus.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings........ December 21, 2007
Format:Paperback
I liked this book. It's better than most Christian fiction books. I loved the fact that the main character had a passion for books and I wished there had been even more demonstration of her literary knowledge in the story. Anne Tatlock's portrayal of someone in relationship with God is very good--nowhere is she preachy--she allows God to maintain His mystery. The character development disappointed me, however, in it's lack of intensity. I never believed that Elizabeth loved Ray, so when things didn't work out between them, I thought, "oh well." The character of Lennon isn't fully developed, so once again, when Beth falls in love with him I also thought "oh well". Overall, good, but not great.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply exquisite November 1, 2007
A Kid's Review
Format:Paperback
When Elizabeth Gunnar returns as a teacher to her childhood preparatory school where she first experienced a sense of being "seen" and of belonging, she finds herself not so well prepared to revisit old, but not forgotten, tender emotions and fractured memories. Before she has time to sort it all out, Beth is inundated with her responsibilities as a full-time English instructor at Seaton Preparatory School in Delaware (the state that no believes really exists).

Finding her feet, Beth meets the other instructors, introduces herself to her students and has to fight one nagging but eventful memory in particular. What really ever happened to her former English teacher, Mr. Dutton? Was he still alive as Beth suspected? Why did he try to end his life after having instilled in his students an appreciation for it? Frustrated with herself for this constant inner-unsettledness, Beth tries to let the mystery go, but every specter of her life back at Seaton is a reminder of something she has failed to come to grips with in the past 20 years.

Despite her unseen angst, Beth is well suited for the task of imparting a contagious love for reading and writing to her students. Enter Satchel Queen, another hurting soul to whom Beth relates --- a kindred spirit of sorts. Satchel (tentatively, at first) opens her thoughts via essays to Beth, and they discuss life, loss and disappointment together in the lonely fall evenings. As Satchel unearths her own personal story of lost love, Beth discovers similar thoughts starting to wander around, jostling her and reminding her that there are some unanswered questions lingering in the backdrop of her heart and mind as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tatlock is a wonderful storyteller October 4, 2007
Format:Paperback
Elizabeth Gunnar is the new English teacher at Seaton Preparatory School, her alma mater. After years of living elsewhere, she falls right back in with her best friend from school, Natalie, who is concerned that her friend is still single.

Natalie seems uninterested in discussing the mystery surrounding a teacher back when they were students. School staff had made up a story that the instructor lived through a `heart attack' but was no longer able to teach. The whole thing seemed to overshadow the remainder of the term for Elizabeth, Natalie and two boys who were also involved. It still haunted Elizabeth,

One of those boys had been of particular interest, and now that she's back in Delaware, he shows an interest in her. Being separated from his wife, and facing an impending divorce, could make the couple think maybe fate had brought them back together. But the ex-wife hasn't completely disappeared, she's still making noises.

Satchel Queen is a challenging student. Life has thrown her a few curve balls and her confusion and hurt could lead her to places where her light won`t shine. This very special pupil gives Elizabeth reason to dig a little deeper into memories of her life at that age. While trying to teach Satchel about life, Elizabeth learns lessons of her own about forgiveness and healing.

Ann Tatlock does a wonderful job of weaving plot and subplots. Believable characters and original dialogue keep the story moving and compelling. Christian ideas are openly folded into the mix without sermonizing. Leaves the reader wondering if there will be a follow up of the characters you'll come to care about.

Armchair Interviews says: Easy to read, this mildly intricate tale has messages both profound and tranquil.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I always love Ann Tatlock's stories
I always love Ann Tatlock's stories. She weaves on so many details and historical elements. Thanks for another great read.
Published 1 month ago by Kathy R.
4.0 out of 5 stars Thinking of other people
Every secret thing was a slow book. But as you got into it you wanted to read on. The lady teacher has much to work through in her own life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by George W. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book to read
Characters you can get to know and follow life's ups and downs with and know they got through with love
Published 8 months ago by Kris Young
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story sure to keep you turning pages
I was glued to this book, wanting to know why the heroine's high school teacher committed suicide. Ann brings the reader no only through a mystery but through the hollow that... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Linda Rondeau
5.0 out of 5 stars What is done in the darkness will come to light.
Part of me wants to call this a nice comfortable read- which it is. However if you're a Curious George like me, you know there is a little more to the story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by D. Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars a story you will no forget quickly
The characters pull you into their lives as they deal with their weaknesses and strengths. I'll look for others by this author.
Published 9 months ago by K. Calkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great story line. Couldn't put it down.
Published 9 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligently written, emotionally stirring
I loved this book. I am so pleased to finally read a book that is written well. The author's tone, symbolism, and story all work together as a literary work should. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Linda Wood Rondeau
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent story.....
This was a great read. It's a story about how a trauma experienced early on in life can effect you for years. The main character is a lovely woman who is an English teacher. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kyra Thomas-Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Double wow!
When you thought you couldn't be seen I saw you. Great read about wanting to be invisible, wanting to belong to someone or something not realizing that God is all around you and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Presencecatblue
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More About the Author

I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I tapped out my first stories on my grandfather's old manual typewriter in the summer of 1973. I studied English and theology in college and later went on to earn my master's degree in journalism from Wheaton College Graduate School. I worked as a writer and editor for Decision magazine from 1987-1992, when I left to pursue fiction writing fulltime. I find great satisfaction in my work, and I especially enjoy hearing from my readers. In addition to writing, I'm also the managing editor of Heritage Beacon, the historical fiction imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

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