Since 1955, Sheila Franklin, a talented musician, has perfectly performed the role of devout pastor’s wife, locking away her past as Sheba Alexander and Sylvia Allen. Her carefully constructed façade crumbles with a single phone call from a young Marine named Samuel, the illegitimate son she secretly put up for adoption. Samuel begs Sheila to use her government contacts to get his fiancé, Mali, a Thai prostitute, into America. A dangerous mixture of love and guilt spurs her to help her only child even though it devastates her husband Edward and exposes her questionable past. After a quarrel with Edward, Sheila and Samuel board a C-130 for Thailand and then search Bangkok’s steamy streets for a Madonna-faced prostitute. The two whisk Mali from a brothel but are seized by a warlord who considers Mali his “number one girl.” In a teak “ghost house,” Sheila discovers God’s grace and gains the freedom she needs to find her own identity—Sheila, Sylvia, and Sheba. A framed story, this novel has roots in the bohemian 1940s New Orleans French Quarter and spans three decades, including the turbulent Vietnam era.
My take on this book:
Its the spring of 1969 when Sheila Franklin gets a call she had been anticipating for the last 22 years. Its a call from her son Samuel born in 1947, a son she had given up a week after he was born. She had kept the secret from everyone including her husband Edward, whom she had been married to for eighteen years. How will this secret affect her marriage and the ministry that she and her husband have worked so hard to build?
The character of Sheba/Sylvia/Sheila was quite interesting. Young Sheba was much loved by her parents, when her parents die in a fire, her world changes immediately. She goes to live with a grandmother that was harsh, who forces Sheba to change her name to Sheila, causing Sheba to fear that she will lose her identity.As Sheila reveals her history to her son Samuel, it was easy to be drawn into her story, to see her life evolve and change, from that little girl wanting love from her grandmother, and making the mistake of giving herself to a soldier who she thought loved her, and then giving her son away, and finally becoming Sheila married to a prominent minister, who has to choose whether or not to help her son!
Patti Lacy is a new to me author whose writing style I really enjoyed. As a fan of historical fiction I really enjoyed reading this story and look forward to reading more of Ms. Lacy's work!
Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book with a NOOK Giveaway, blog tour and Book Club Party!
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Patti will be announcing the winner of The Rhythm of Secrets NOOK giveaway at her Party on Facebook February 16th!