The Secret Between Us Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Secret Between Us

Deborah, a respected doctor takes the blame for her teen-age daughter Grace who hits a man while driving. On a rainy night not five minutes from being safe in her driveway sixteen-year-old Grace hits a man. She wasn't yet savvy enough to argue and pay attention to the road simultaneously. Deborah, was watching the road as she read Grace the riot act about co-ed study groups without parental supervision. Angry and upset about Grace's omission she states emphatically, that without supervision four girls and four boys is the making of a party. Grace also leaves out that she has been drinking beer with her friends. With the impact of steel hitting flesh, Deborah makes a quick decision to take the blame. She sends a shocked and hysterical Grace away from the scene of the accident before the authorities arrive.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The police investigation was brutal for mother and daughter. While Deborah could have told the truth once the lie was out she continued to stick with her story. Grace was sent home because her younger brother was alone. Even though it was raining Deborah had sent her home on foot using the fact that Grace was on the track team and only five minutes from her front door.

Mr. McKenna, the man who was hit, is Grace's history teacher. Deborah learns from the EMT driver that he is alive, but is yet unable to speak. When he is able to the truth will come out. Deborah is a physician as is her dad, but since she has miss-stepped the truth with good intentions things start to fall apart quickly.

An announcement over the school loud speaker alerted the student body and staff that Mr. Mckenna was in the hospital after being struck down while running the previous night. School gossip spread the fact that it was Grace's mom's car spread quickly. Mr. McKenna's wife is outraged and wants Deborah charged, when he dies Deborah's heart drops. She has to maintain her lie and console Grace who sees her teacher's death as her fault.

When Deborah shows up at the grave site in spite of her father's advice to stay away, Mr. McKenna's widow has her escorted from the property. Word has gotten out that she has hired a very good attorney who has pull with the police department. Too his widow it looks like she is using privilege to clear her name.

As she weaves a deeper web of deceit with each lie Deborah keeps her wit. She has questions of her own. They include: why a man would run in the dark rain without wearing reflectors?, why his wife didn't report that he was on Coumadin?, why didn't he report it himself (he couldn't speak, but he could write). She found a way to make Grace and her self less responsible for the man's death.

Grace wears down and shares with her Aunt Jill (Deborah's sister) that she was driving when Mr. McKenna was fatally struck.

Grace gets a surprise too, when Jill shares that she is pregnant. Aunt and niece become advocates for one another as Deborah deals with rumors that their father is drinking his lunch. He isn't happy to learn that his thirty-four year old single daughter is pregnant and goes into denial about having a problem with alcohol. He is grieving the loss of his wife and believes his family would not be spinning out of control if she were still alive.

Grace and Dylan miss their dad who has remarried and is not doing a good job of staying connected with his children. Grace's guilt causes Deborah to call him for parenting assistance. Grace comes clean with both her granddad and her father.

Turns out Mr. McKenna wrote a suicide note that he mailed to his brother. This clears both Grace and Deborah if the DA decided to press charges. McKenna's widow had to deal with the fact that her husband was terribly depressed and while grieving his death saw the wisdom in stopping the blame game.

With the support of her parents Grace comes clean to the police and begins her healing journey.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked that Grace came clean about being the driver who hit a man who dies.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was between Grace and her cynical grandfather when they discuss life issues.

Opinion about the main character: I disliked Deborah for taking so long to understand that by covering for Grace she was teaching her that it is okay to lie.

The review of this Book prepared by C. Imani Williams a Level 13 Blue-Winged Teal scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Secret Between Us

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 80%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   wrongly convicted clearing his name General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


City?    -   Yes City:    -   Dirty, dangerous (like New York)

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Secret Between Us

Barbara Delinsky Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian