Secrets of the Porch

Fiction - Womens
224 Pages
Reviewed on 05/25/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

After losing her mother, and in a bid to run away from abusive foster parents, Sophie took to the streets for survival. This, however, landed her in jail after an attempted gas station robbery with her boyfriend. The only way the judge would let her out was if she agreed to stay with her grandmother, Lila, for at least a year and even go back to school. All this would have been okay except for one problem; Sophie had never met her grandmother; she did not even know that she had one. She had no choice but to go with Lila, so she started her life on a farm with Lila, determined not to form any bond with her new guardian and take off as soon as possible. However, slowly, as she got to know her, Sophie could not help but fall in love with Lila, with the farm and with her new life. However, just as she was getting comfortable in her new life, disaster struck in the form of her old boyfriend.

Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon is a beautiful story that presents love in all its purest forms; the unconditional love of a grandmother towards her long lost grandchild, the pure and mature love between a man and woman, and the sweetness of new love between two teenagers. Sophie's story was so touching and it was very inspiring to see all she had survived after the loss of her mother and yet she was not completely broken. One could, in fact, not blame her for the attitude she had towards Lila at the beginning of their relationship. It was, however, absolutely beautiful to see their relationship turn into one of love so pure and so fierce. Lila's patience with Sophie and her understanding towards her was simply incredible. Sue Ann Sellon's amazing writing talent brought this beautiful story to life.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon is a story of love, life and death. After losing her mother to cancer, Sophie is placed in foster care. She leaves after being constantly mistreated and abused and finds herself on the street where she meets Gabe. Mistaking his kind of abuse for love, she goes along with him and gets caught robbing a gas station. Gabe is sent to prison and Sophie faces a judge to learn her fate. He gives her a choice - a year in juvenile detention or a year on her grandmother's farm in Nebraska. When she doesn't answer, he orders her to go to the farm. Her grandmother, Lila, is in court waiting for her - a grandmother she has never met. Sophie settles into life on the farm but doesn't give in easily. At first, she fights everything but gradually comes to terms with who and what she is. Between them, Lila and Sophie learn to find peace, to forgive each other and themselves for things they have done. Sophie learns a lot along the way, about her background, her father, whom she has never met, and her mother. She spends her time with Hunter, a black Labrador that her grandmother found many years before. One day, Gabe turns up on the doorstep but no one could have guessed the terrible consequences of his visit. Out of the gloom, though, a light shines bright and it seems as though much has been put right on one dreadful night.

Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon is an incredibly powerful story. Her language, the way it is written is wonderful and any reader will instantly fall in love with the characters and the story. I was hooked from page one and never let up until I had read the final words. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried buckets over this book, over the sadness, the happiness and the love that shines through. There are so many messages here, so many important lessons to learn that I feel this book should be placed on the curriculum of every school in the world.

Lorena Sanqui

Sophie might have chosen the juvenile detention over her grandmother had she been given the choice. Unfortunately for her, the judge placed her in the custody of her grandma, Lila, whom she didn’t know existed until her hearing day. Lila lives on a farm and so would Sophie for the next year until the judge can review her case again. Sophie would have to do chores like collecting eggs from the chicken coop and helping with tasks on the farm. At first, she didn’t like any of it but it grew on her and soon she was enjoying the farm and her grandma’s company. Everything was going well until Sophie’s past catches up with her and attempts to ruin the good life that she has found in Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon.

Secrets of the Porch is a magical and inspiring story about love and family. The whole story was done beautifully and some scenes were written particularly well. The scene by the porch towards the end, when Lila was telling Sophie her secrets, was especially sad and brought tears to my eyes - it was my favorite part. Lila’s story was very sweet and heart-breaking at the same time. The growth of Lila and Sophie’s relationship was nice and, reading the story, it felt like I was part of their journey all throughout. Sophie is a strong young woman and, despite her history, it was moving how she accepted her new life. I admired Lila’s patience in making Sophie trust her. Overall, a nice and engaging story.