Here's ONE of my FAVORITES of 2015 WHAT ARE YOURS???

I'm wondering about the books that touched your heart, helped you understand something new, a book that the Lord had you read that was just what you needed at the time you read it. I want to hear about books that made you laugh, cry and everything in-between

SECRETS SHE KEPT by CATHY GOHLKE was the last book I read in 2015. I had had it in my house for a few weeks and hadn't gotten to read it yet. But with time off of work for the holidays I finally had my chance. Oh, what a way to end 2015. I've read other books by this author and have been blown away by them but nothing prepared me for this experience. I'm still working on my full review. So many things jumped out at me and a few rocked my world. 

In the author notes at the end of the book she says this about this novel, "This is Hannah's story, and it's yours and mine. FORGIVENESS (my emphasis) requires our confession that we can't perfect or fix things, our repentance for our own sins and short comings, our belief in the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay our debts, and our daily walk in the newness of life only He can provide. It's a lesson we learn and live, then repeat again and again. Praise God."

I liked the fact that this message was brought about in a powerful non-preachy way. We were discovering the aspects of forgiveness with both characters at the same time. Each struggling with it in their own way. It was honest, real, gritty and powerful!

Great way and word to start out 2016. One of the characters in the story talks about forgiveness and she says this. "...I prayed. a silent prayer to the Lord Jesus. I cannot forgive this man. Give me your forgiveness..,...The most amazing thing happened. It began in my shoulder and traveled the length of my arm right into my hand - a current, like electricity. It passed from me to him, and with it a love in my heart for this stranger - this man who had been my enemy - that I cannot explain...."

"...Do you know what this showed me? What this means, Hannah? This is proof that Jesus does not expect us to forgive in our own strength that the hurts in this world are not healed by us, not forgiven by us, but by his Great Love. Jesus said to love our enemies...and with that command He gives us the Love to Do It!"

I didn't expect to find this inside this riveting, suspenseful, heart-wrenching story of things that happened in WWII concentration camps. I loved how this author had the story line seamlessly flipping from current time back to WWII time. I found myself caught up in both past and present situations. Feeling the heart ache and joy each character experienced. A mother living in WWII time period and a daughter learning about her mothers secrets for the first time; changing her view of what her relationship was to her mother.

This author includes 13 discussion questions that will definitely get your book club discussion going. There is so much to discuss, explore and discover in the 404 pages of this MUST READ novel. The author explores so much of what happened then to what is happening now thru her characters. My eyes and heart were open to so much! I highly recommend this book to everyone. You'll learn so much about that time period, yourself and the world around you.

Thanks to Cathy Gohlke for this inspirational and informative book. This would make a great book club pick.



THANKS for sharing!! I can't wait to read your favorites of 2015.
Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Tyndal I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog

Book Fun Magazine


  1. Hi Nora, I'm so glad you found Secrets She Kept. Isn't it an amazing story?! I'm blessed to know Cathy as a friend, and I must say she puts her whole heart into writing her novels. Each one is a labor of love for her. I hope many more readers will discover her books and not only be swept away to another time and place, but be touched deeply in their hearts by her stories. Secrets She Kept was one of my favorites this year too! I also enjoyed The Painter's Daughter, Not By Sight, Someplace Safe With Somebody Good, and Jaded. Happy Reading!

    1. THANKS for sharing Carrie. I was deeply touched and challenged by her story. Some things took me by surprise. Thanks for sharing your other favorites! I look forward to others sharing their 2015 FAVORITES TOO!! HAPPY READING in the NEW YEAR!!

  2. Hey, Nora,

    There are so many great books I read in 2016 that I always hesitate to single out just one. But because you already mentioned Cathy's fabulous book, I'm just going to chime in with you to say that it was one of my top faves this year as well, which is no surprise since Cathy is one of the most amazing authors I've ever read and a truly beautiful person as well.

    And thank you, too, for your sweet comment above next to my Isle of Hope cover -- that took me by surprise and blessed me more than I can say. :)

    I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and holy new year, my friend!


    1. Oh, Julie, Thanks for stopping by. I'm starting with the last book I read in 2015 and I'm working through my favorites. I'll be talking about your book soon. It's also on my list!! You are a BLESSING. I'm looking forward to the second book in your new series.

  3. Hi Nora and all. I have not been involved with TBCN for some months now because I just haven't had time. I don't think it's fair to attend the chats and request books when I know already have several here to be read and reviewed, probably some requested through TBCN.

    I would like to mention, though, that my favorite book of my 2015 reads was The Brotherhood Conspiracy by Terry Brennan. It is the second in his Jerusalem Prophecies series, and even though I enjoyed all three, this was my favorite. I learned a lot about the conflicts in the Middle East, but also, the story was full of action and intrigue.

    Happy New Year, everyone. Here's wishing everybody hours and hours of delightful reading in 2016!

    1. THANK YOU Pattie for stopping by and letting me know some of your favorites!! We APPRECIATE YOU! I have a few books to catch up on from 2015. I'll be reading them really soon. THANKS for your encouragement and participation at TBCN. BLESSINGS to you and HAPPY READING in 2016

  4. Reply by Cathy Jean Gohlke 6 hours ago
    at The Book Club Network. I had to share it with you here!!

    Thank you, Nora, for your support and enthusiasm for "Secrets She Kept." I'm truly honored and humbled by your generous words. Some of my favorite reads in the last few months have been Lucinda Secrest McDowell's "Amazed By Grace," Gayle Roper's "A Widow's Journey," and Carrie Turansky's "A Refuge at Highland Hall." There are so many more good books waiting on my TBR pile!

  5. One of my favorites was The Mistress of Tall Acres by Laura Frantz. Nobody writes Christian historical fiction better than she does! Also, A Thousand Shall Fall, by Andrea Boeshaar, completely captivated me with its story of civil war era intrigue.

    1. Hi, Becky; THANKS for stopping by and sharing your favorites. I really enjoyed The Mistress of Tall Acres by Laura Frantz too. It was gripping and a thought provoking read that stayed with me long after I closed the book.