USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan’s upcoming novel How To Keep a Secret (HQN Books) focuses on three generations of women, who are all facing different crises: Nancy knows that she hasn’t been the best mother to her two daughters, Lauren and Jenna, but she can’t bring herself to tell them why; Jenna wants to start a family with her husband, but it’s just not happening, and no matter how big the smile on her face, she’s breaking apart; Lauren’s life is perfect – if you ignore the fact that it’s little more than a house of cards about to fall down; and Lauren’s teenage daughter Mack seems to be a completely different person. Over the course of one hot summer, they’ll all learn the power of support and love that only family can give you. Here, Sarah Morgan tells BookTrib about the bonds of sisterhood, a central theme in How To Keep a Secret, and how no matter what it goes through, it can never be broken.
Sisters are the best.
It was April Fool’s Day and I was seven years old. The first thing I did on that sunny spring morning was run downstairs to see my pet hamster, Rufus. Unfortunately, I hadn’t closed his cage properly the night before, and, never one to miss an opportunity, Rufus had taken advantage of my lapse to pursue the road to freedom.
Hearing my distressed howls my sister, who was four years older, came downstairs to investigate and offer comfort. So did my parents, who were impressed by what they believed to be an unusually inventive April Fool. “Very funny,” my father said, assuming Rufus was still in his cage and that this was part of the joke. My insistence that the hamster really was missing met with the same indulgent humor until I was forced to tip the empty cage upside down to prove my point, depositing shavings and droppings on the floor. While my parents cleared up the mess, my sister held my hand and promised we’d search for him. She was the one who eventually found him feasting happily on an abandoned sock underneath someone’s bed. That was one of many occasions when I realized how lucky I was to have a big sister.
There was never a time when I didn’t have her in my life, although she, of course, had four blissful years of peace before having to share her world with me. We had different personalities, but that has never stopped us being close. I’m incredibly proud of her. She is the cleverest person I know, and also the kindest and most generous. I envy her calm in times of crisis.
We have never been competitive, possibly because of the age difference, or maybe because we are so different. She has always been supportive, which was why when I wanted to try horse riding she did it with me, even though she dislikes horses. When she left home for university, I missed her horribly, and it took me a while to adjust to the new shape of our family, only seeing her during holidays and occasional weekends. And then I left home too, and discovered that an adult relationship with a sister can be even more rewarding. Friendships came and went, but my sister was always there and continued to be there for all life’s ups and downs. I knew that whatever I did, whatever decision I made, she would support me and vice versa. Now, when we call each other – which is often – we’re usually on the phone for over an hour. No matter what we talk about, there is always laughter. We still share family holidays and spend numerous Christmases together (where she takes charge of the lunch with no outward appearance of stress).
Maybe it’s because of my relationship with my own sister that I developed a fascination for sister relationships in literature. From Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes, and the bond between the three adopted sisters Pauline, Petrova and Posy, to Little Women and almost all of Jane Austen’s work, I have always loved reading about sisters. And not just stories of smooth, supportive relationships but those with bite and tang, like the two sisters from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (expertly retold in Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl), and Vianne and Isabelle from Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.
What all these characters have in common is something I learned long ago. That life is infinitely more fun and interesting when shared with a sister. I feel so lucky to have mine.
How To Keep a Secret will be available for purchase on July 10th.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.
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