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We all have some deep dark secret that we'd rather take to our grave than reveal it to even our closest friends. Just when you think you know your friends, you find out that you really don't know them at all.

The Cabin, by Natasha Preston is a character driven story that keeps you on a snowball of revealed secrets. In this young circle of seven friends, no one really knows the other as well as they think as they do. Someone amongst them is a murderer and as this mystery unfold, so does hidden secrets.

The summary of the story reads, "There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent.

When Mackenzie treks to a secluded cabin in the woods with six friends, she expects a fun weekend of partying, drinking, and hookups. But when they wake to find two of their own dead and covered in blood, it's clear there's a killer among them.

As the police try to unravel the case, Mackenzie launches her own investigation. Before long secrets start to emerge, revealing a sinister web of sins among the original seven friends. The killer is still free. Every one of them is a suspect. And Mackenzie starts to realize that no one is innocent…"

This story received a lot of mixed reviews - from unlikable characters to a story that keeps you on the edge. Although I agree that none of the characters are likable, I disagree with some reviews of it being a "horrible" story. I'm not sure what the readers expected. The mystery is who amongst this group of friends is the murderer. During a weekend getaway to a cabin, five of the seven friends wake up to find two of them laying dead on the kitchen floor. As they're all trying to figure out who in their group could have done this, secrets come to surface and Mackenzie in particular begins to questions how well she knows her friends. They're all suspects and they're all accusing each other of the double murders.

Some secrets don't make sense, but it reveals another side of a friend that no one knew. In the end, when Mackenzie and Blake are zoning in on the killer, she confesses. Not only does she confess, but the story leaves you on a cliffhanger with her suicide. So in the end, justice is never served. You never know if Mackenzie and Blake tell the police about the confession and if so, whether or not the police believed them. You're left wondering if the author, Natasha purposely wanted the reader to draw their own conclusion about how the remaining friends move beyond all this tragedy throughout the story. From the beginning to the end, there weren't any happy moments. Natasha keeps her readers to the grind of the mystery - who did it and why as all these secrets keep popping up. To some, that makes it a bad story. For me, it made it an interesting story because just when you thought you knew the characters or who committed the murders - you really don't!

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Mrs. Wiggins by Mary Monroe

I actually just finished this book. If you like drama, secrets, and surprised endings – you’ll like Mrs. Wiggins.

With her story, Mrs. Wiggins, New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe takes her readers to the Deep South. The setting is a small Alabama town during the Depression era. In the south, it was definitely a controversial time for blacks.

“I know what it means. It would be for a good reason, though, and there wouldn't be nary bit of pleasure involved. Shoot! I don't like sex anymore than you do, but I'm willing to do it just enough times to make a baby. I'd love to have six or seven kids, but I know I couldn't stand to have that much sex. So I'll settle for just one.”
Hubert gazed at me like I'd suddenly sprouted a beard. "Maggie, I ain't never said nothing about not liking sex. Making love is a wonderful activity and I enjoy it."
I let out another loud breath. "All right, then. Let me put it another way. I don't like sex period. You don't like sex with women."

Here's my summary - hopefully without spoiling it for you!

This novel is character driven. It is told in first person narrative by the main character, Maggie Franklin (Wiggins). Her story is full of both drama and suspense. It touched on subjects that included domestic violence, sexual abuse, racism, secrets, and murder.

Maggie’s childhood was less than respectful - less than perfect. Her mother was a former prostitute, and her father was an alcoholic. Maggie was molested as a child. Hubert Wiggins was her best friend growing up. His father was a preacher, and he grew up with strong Christian family beliefs.

Hubert confessed to Maggie that he was attracted to men and wanted to remain in the closet. He didn’t want anyone to know of the secret life he lived. To continue to keep his life a secret to the outside world, he asked Maggie to marry him. Their relationship would remain platonic, which was fine with Maggie, as the sexual abuse she endured during her childhood deterred her from sex anyway. So, they entered into an unconventional marriage, with an outward appearance of a perfect marriage. And maybe for them – it was.

To complete their perfect family image, they planned for Maggie to get pregnant by another man who is clueless to the plan. It is after their son, Claude, grows up and falls in love with the wrong woman for their perfect family, that the real drama begins. Maggie began doing things that may surprise you to keep her family together. In turn, things changed for her at work. And so, the drama continues.

The secret things Maggie does to keep up her respectful image in the community becomes easier for her to do with each instance, until one day she goes too far. The ending may surprise you!

I really enjoyed the twist and turns of the story. As I read it, I wondered how many couples actually have a marriage like this. Of course, in 2021, so many things in our society have changed. Would a person need to enter into such a marriage to cover up their preference? Hmm!

I love strong characters in a story. My personal opinion is that Mary Monroe did an excellent job in developing her main characters. Even the secondary characters were memorable. So, if you've read this book already, share your thoughts.

Let's Talk!

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