This book stole my heart and made me paint!

There are times when a book comes along and it is as though it was written specifically for you.  Her Family Secret but Melissa Wiesner would get six stars if I could award them. This book not only stole my heart, it also made me cry, not because I was sad, but because it touched the deepest part of my emotions.  Maybe because it was about a woman reconnecting with her creative self, or maybe because it was about a family coming together.  Or was it because of the family secret that underpins this novel? Yes, it is a romance, but it so much more than that.  It is a beautifully written story, that explores the complexity of it’s characters when they are forced to face the realities of life. Life isn’t always easy.  There are the inevitable changes that come with death, divorce and separation and illness, and it is how we react to these things that shape us. 

Mental Illness is all around us

At the core of this story are struggles with mental illness, from panic attacks to much more.  I have suffered from depression and anxiety on and off for years, and I often say that painting soothes my soul.  This book which has art and it’s healing properties as one of it’s themes, made me want to paint.  I picked up my brushes and colours and painted and it made me feel like an artist once more. It was an honour to read this absolute masterpiece of a book. 


The father you never knew, has left behind a heartbreaking secret… June Westwood is devastated by the news the father she never met has died. Now the truth about why Jasper abandoned her as a child will be buried forever. Escaping to the secluded beach house she’s inherited, June hopes to spend time bonding with her two little daughters, away from her hectic job and failing marriage. On the wild shores of the Pacific Northwest, her father’s hideaway leaves June breathless. But it’s his oil paintings decorating every wall that surprise her most. How could someone paint other people so beautifully, but reject those closest to him? And why is every drawer in her father’s workshop locked? June hopes her new neighbour—her father’s apprentice Caleb—will provide the answers. But Caleb won’t talk about the past. Then, hidden in her father’s workshop, June discovers a box of newspaper clippings that reveal the shocking reason why her father left years ago—and uncovers Caleb’s own devastating secret… When her old life comes calling, June has an impossible decision to make. Unsure what’s best for her girls, and if she can trust Caleb, will digging deeper into her father’s dark past heal or destroy her precious family? An absolutely heartbreaking and emotional page-turner about the incredible strength of family bonds, how we can hurt those closest to us, and the healing power of love. Fans of Diane Chamberlain, Kerry Lonsdale and Kerry Fisher will devour this powerful read from award-winning author Melissa Wiesner.

Author Bio:

Melissa Wiesner, author of Her Family Secret is a night-owl who began writing novels about five years ago when her early-to-bed family retired for the evening. In 2019, she won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in the Mainstream Fiction Category for her first novel. Melissa holds two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Community Agency Counseling. Her day job is in Social Work where she often encounters people knocked down by hard times but who pick themselves up and keep going, just like the characters of her novels. Melissa lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her charming husband and two adorable children. Buy Links: Amazon:


There was a huge part of me fighting against turning anything like fifty. It happens though and there is nothing we can do to fight it. Well we can’t fight the chronology of years and minutes ticking by but we can stay fabulous. I try to be fabulous, despite having a few things I am fighting against like RA, Diabetes and Pernicious Anaemia. This blog is simply about me embracing life. Food, make-up, fashion and more. My trials and tribulations. I hope you enjoy!

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