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Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite
In a heart-wrenching and heart-warming read, When Will the Secrets End? by Patricia K. Batta, we find ourselves immersed in the lives of husband and wife Marge Christensen and Pete Peterson and their foster sons, 12-year-old Eric and 11-year-old Benjamin. Marge and Pete are eager to complete the adoptions of the boys and make their family permanent. When Eric's grandfather steps forward and threatens to take custody of the boy, all of their dreams are suddenly put at risk. And when Marge and Eric travel to visit his grandfather and find themselves greeted by his gun, a gun which is later used in a murder, Marge realizes that it's even more important that her family gets closure to finalize Eric's adoption and give him a permanent and loving home. But in order to do that, Marge also realizes that she needs to prove that Eric's grandfather was not involved in the murder he's accused of, and the relationship between the boy and his grandfather has to heal. While Marge is busy becoming a amateur detective, digging through documents and clues, Pete is at home with Benjamin, trying to keep him emotionally and physically safe, as the 11-year-old is convinced he must return to the streets to save his drug-addled mom. Will this family ever have the peace, love and permanence they deserve?
Author Patricia K. Batta has done a masterful job at depicting the challenges that young children in the foster system face, and the love, determination and sometimes sheer will power it can take to parent these children who come to a family with a whole lot of baggage. I truly cared about each of these characters and was still thinking about them after I had finished the book, the hallmark of a well written read. The murder mystery aspect of the book is suspenseful and will keep you turning the pages. I highly recommend When Will the Secrets End? to any reader who enjoys fiction, mysteries, or stories about families going through a struggle. I certainly hope that author Patricia K. Batta is working on another book in this vein, as I would certainly add her name to my list of must-read authors.