Secret Storm

Young Adult - Mystery
235 Pages
Reviewed on 04/24/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

A young woman's past and present coincide in the fascinating mystery novel, Secret Storm by Edith Lee Chestnut. Callie lost her mother in a horrible accident when she was three years old. Despite her motherless state, Callie leads a typical life consisting of her family and close friend, Andy. When she is thirteen, two life-changing things happen. Callie learns the details surrounding the discovery of her mother's body, and Devin, a dark and mysterious high school senior, comes to town. A couple of years later, Andy moves to another town, leaving her to finish high school alone. Despite Andy's warnings against him, Callie starts spending time with Devin. Right before she leaves for college, Andy's concerns prove to be correct, and a shocking incident involving Devin shatters Callie's life. Even though her great-grandmother, aunt, and father are there for her, Callie can't bring herself to face Andy with what happened. What will he say? Will Andy look at her the same way?

Traveling through a woman's life from her childhood, Secret Storm by Edith Lee Chestnut is a suspenseful and intriguing mystery novel. With a captivating storyline, engaging characters, and an unexpected twist, the story is fascinating from the very start. Beginning with the introduction to Callie, her family, and Andy, the story's pace slowly builds to a shocking conclusion. Even though Callie experiences trauma and hardships, she pulls herself up by the bootstraps and continues living. Well-written, it is an extraordinary and sensational tale that is unforgettable. Finishing on an unexpected and dramatic note, it is a stunning story that will thrill everyone who enjoys suspense novels with extraordinary characters.

K.C. Finn

Secret Storm is a work of fiction in the mystery, suspense, and coming of age sub-genres, and was penned by author Edith Lee Chestnut. The work is intended for young adult and adult reading audiences and contains references to traumatic events and toxic influences. Our protagonist is Callie, who loses her mother when she is very young and finds herself in turmoil as her young life seems to be falling apart around her. We follow Callie through different stages as she comes of age and adjusts to adult life, but all the while the dark influences from her past keep coming back to try to destroy her happiness.

Author Edith Lee Chestnut has crafted an engrossing and emotive work of fiction with plenty of realism, excitement, and drama to offer its readers. Sensitive topics are handled with great care in the work, but the author also stays true to Callie’s experiences and doesn’t sugarcoat the traumas that she undergoes. In terms of its presentation of character, I found that the use of close narration created a deeper emotional resonance with Callie, and this enabled the audience to sit right on her shoulder, which was both harrowing and gratifying in different parts of the tale. What results is a fantastic, deep overview of a suspenseful life story, and a coming of age mystery with sharp edges and dark shadows to explore. Overall, I would highly recommend Secret Storm to fans of mature teen dramas, confident and expressive writing, and for fans of emotive, moving stories everywhere.

Divine Zape

Secret Storm by Edith Lee Chestnut is a poignant story filled with surprising twists. Callie’s mother died when she was very young. Callie lives with the guilt of her mother’s death and she is devastated when her best friend moves away. How much more can go wrong in one person’s life? She eventually finds an older man with whom she falls in love. But who is he really, and how did their paths cross in the past? When Callie is finally settled and building her own family, the worst happens; a car accident and other events involving another stranger threaten the life she has built. Can she unravel the truth behind the threat to her life and family?

The novel is beautifully told and the first-person narrative voice is expertly written; it absorbs the reader and pulls them into the perspective of the narrator. The characters are real and well developed; even the supporting cast like Amy, Uncle Mack, and Granny Nell, and the children, Jessica and Will, are likable characters. The connection between Callie and Andy is rooted in real-life circumstances and cleverly explored.

Edith Lee Chestnut’s exploration of trauma is brilliant and this is well-developed in the narrative. The psychological level of the conflict is skillfully written. The descriptions are vivid and scenes like the accident in which the protagonist is trapped in her car are not just pivotal in the story, but captivating. Secret Storm is a mesmerizing story that deals with a woman’s experience with death, secrets, and a mysterious enemy. It is as suspenseful as it is delightful, filled with drama.