The Secret Sister

The Secret Sister

Fairham Island

Release Date: July 28, 2015

2016 RITA Finalist

2016 Daphne du Maurier Finalist

2016 Award of Excellence Finalist

RT_Top_Pick 4.5 Stars TOP PICK from RT Book Reviews

Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?

After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the South Carolina coast where she grew up.  She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who’s asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house because the last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she’d prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He’s back on the island, and to her surprise, he’s raising a young daughter alone. Maisey’s still attracted to him, but her heart’s too broken to risk…

Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must’ve been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.

She’s convinced that child existed. So where is she now?

Check out THE SECRET SISTER’s special cover for my UK readers!


Re-release in mass market: September 1, 2016


Bonus content

Bonus Content

Read a BONUS scene from THE SECRET SISTER that isn’t in the book!
The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak – Bonus Scene

Discover a map of Fairham Island!
Fairham Island

Read an excerpt from deep in the book!
The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak – Sneak Preview Scene

Reader Questions

  1. Many people would say that parenting has changed a great deal during the past two or three generations. Do you agree? If so, what do you feel are some of the most significant changes? What positives result from these changes? Do you see any negatives?

  2. Quite a few children seem to carry resentment because of the way they were raised, while others seem to escape the damage from poor parental behavior—and the resentment it causes. Why is there such a drastic difference, often within the same household?

  3. How can people who hang on to resentment, especially against friends or family members, begin to let it go? What might happen if they don’t?

  4. Do you feel that Keith will be able to change his life? Do you think it was his mother’s behavior that caused him to act out? Does his relationship with Maisey make a difference, give him a better chance at recovery?

  5. Josephine has never been a nurturing parent, and yet she always made sure her children were safe and supervised, and that their physical needs were met. What do you think compels her to act as she does? Would you say she loves her children in spite of her sharp edges?

  6. Do you blame Gretchen for doing what she did—even though, because of her actions, Roxanne/Annabelle lived a happier life?

  7. If you were Roxanne/Annabelle, how would you feel toward the woman who raised you?

  8. According to Robert Frost, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Would you say Fairham is a safe haven for Maisey? Or another challenge?

  9. How does the love Rafe shows Laney affect Maisey?

  10. What impact did Malcolm, Maisey’s father, have on her life? How did his death change her—and her family?

  11. Do you feel that Maisey and Rafe are a well-matched couple? Why or why not?