The Secrets between these Walls by Alicia Fleming
I will state firstly that I rarely review religious-themed work as I find it can be very restricting. The title of this book displays what is the overall theme of secrets in a religious community. This community appears to be a reflection of what is known as the “bible belt”. This in itself limits the audience and draws expectations.
The introduction sets a self-righteous tone and introduces the characters in the form of a modern day parable. Once the stories are allowed to begin it becomes quite entertaining. With a relaxed writing style to introduce fairly formulaic characters. There is a troubled pastor, married couples, a bisexual man and naive young girl.
Their lifestyles and choices are the arcs that contradict with strong Christian values. The tone of Catholic guilt runs deep in each story with even slight indiscretions causing biblical reflections. There are no surprises in each tale as knowledge Christian values render the outcome already decided.
As mentioned the ease of writing gives it that daytime melodrama feeling that is addictive at times. However, for the not so religious the moralistic attitude can deter and lead the story too much.
The ending follows the parable feel with each tale reaching their obvious conclusions. This is entwined with biblical passages to reinstate the point to the reader. With points of reflection and discussion further leading the reader.
This is very much a book for a certain demographic and audience. They would feel at home here and it would serve the purpose of laying down strict morals to underpin the community. For those outside of this community, there are moments to entertain and areas that would go against the opinions of a more liberal nature.
Personally, I feel there are much more depth and inspection that could be done with each story. However, for its audience, it serves its purpose well.