What if the worst thing isn't that they don't believe you?
Secret Keeper is the second part of the My Myth trilogy, and this astonishingly insightful and moving YA fantasy novel takes us even deeper into the painful reality of Emily’s existence. If you thought that the first novel in this young adult trilogy was moving, fascinating, unique and powerful… just wait and see what lies between the pages of this remarkable sequel to the first psychological thriller.
Abuse, fear, survival, and escapism are themes which few authors would dare to tackle, and fewer still would be able to handle with the deftness and skill shown by Jane Alvey Harris. Through her sensitive character development, incredible usage of plot, foreshadowing, and brutal, stark honesty - coupled with the multi-tonal fantasy of the imaginary realms she guides us through - Harris has been able to address some of the harshest realities of life head-on in this psychologically-charged novel.
Secret Keeper is a further exploration of the scars wrought by abuse, the fear that never truly leaves, and the survival instincts that abuse brands onto the souls of sufferers. Everybody who has been affected by it attempts to deal with the horrors of childhood abuse in different ways, and this fantasy tragedy crossover novel approaches the most difficult of subjects from a sideways perspective, which - for all its fantasy elements - remains utterly real to the characters Jane Alvey Harris so vividly paints. Emily, now seventeen, wove an entire world of myth and magic, fantasy and fairy-like creatures to escape into when the pain became too overwhelming. When we last saw her, Emily was striving to come to terms with The First Realm - the world she created - and by accepting its significance in her life, she was able to use the power and strength she possesses in this alternate reality to deal with the oncoming fears she was having to face. Our teenage heroine managed to accept the truth of her past trauma, and she struck a balance between her battered egos, her inner life, and the role she must play as older sister… and survivor. The battle may have been won, but the war in the deepest part of her psyche had been waged for many, many years, and continues to rage on with a fiery intensity within.
Once again, Emily’s sense of security, and the tightrope she has been walking so carefully, is about to be shaken. Her mother has been released from rehab, and on the same day, her father expresses his intention to bring the family together again. The threat of past abuse once again raises its ugly head, and Emily steels herself through her panic with one thing on her mind: to protect her younger siblings from the horrors she once had to endure. In order to do this, she knows that she will have to gather her strength and do the unimaginable. She knows that she cannot hold onto her Secret for much longer, and it’s time to speak out and allow it to fly.
In her desperation, Emily steps back into her world of escapism. However, the Seven Kingdoms she left behind have been plunged into chaos, and the hours she has at her disposal are fast slipping away. The Champion must be found… as once again, her Dad is threatening to unravel all the work she’s done, all of those battles she has fought. Emily must complete her task, and return to the Second Realm of her waking life - her family is depending upon her, and she’s determined to save her siblings from the pain she’s struggled so long to contain. Can she overcome her fears, tap into her powers and succeed? Or is she, in fact, her own worst enemy? Only time will tell in this stunning young adult romance fantasy… and time is fast running out.
Readers of young adult fantasy fiction, psychological thrillers and inspirational memoirs alike will find themselves captivated.