Tessa Harlow enjoyed leading hiking tours until the hike that had a nightmarish ending. Feeling tremendous guilt and responsibility for the incident she goes to her father’s home to heal. From the time of the accident she has flashbacks from her early childhood – memories that don’t make sense. Feeling a pull to the area where she spent the first years of her life, Tessa heads to New Mexico to scout possible hiking tours and that’s where her journey really begins. By meeting people who are new to her but from her past Tessa starts to put pieces together that lead her to the truth of her early years.
I enjoyed Tessa’s journey of discovery and how she learns to make reparations. It seems that more than a few characters in the book are looking for a way to make amends in their lives and find that they can help each other along the way. The depth given to the major characters had me pulling for each one. My favorite was Natalie, the daughter of Tessa’s lover. Natalie is grieving the loss of her mother and is acting out. Tessa feels a connection and wants to help her. I loved how the author makes that happen.
Barbara O’Neal’s writing is beautiful and evocative. Her descriptions of sights, smells, and sounds give wonderful atmosphere to Los Ladrones – the small New Mexico town where the story takes place.
I enjoyed reading The Secret of Everything and look forward to more novels by Barbara O’Neal.
Review copy from Random House (via LibraryThing Early Reviewers)