From Publishers Weekly: "The brisk, atmospherically evocative narrative is absorbing reading. Eden Riley, an Oscar-winning actress and recently divorced mother of a four-year-old, returns to Lynch Hollow and the tangled roots of her Shenandoah Valley childhood to film the story of her mother, Katherine Swift , a famous author of children's books. Katherine was a solitary eccentric who wrote in the nearby cave, where she died when Eden was 11. Eden spent two years in an orphanage before she was found by her putative uncle Kyle, an archeologist, and taken to New York to live with him and his wife. Kyle, now retired to Lynch Hollow, gives Eden her mother's journals, which gradually reveal Eden's and Kyle's true relationship."
Actress Eden Riley’s decision to make a film about her mother plunges her into a shattering confrontation with her own past, irrevocably altering her life and the lives of those she loves. Her mother, Katherine Swift, was a renowned children’s author who died when Eden was very young. Now Eden, recovering from a divorce and disillusioned with her glamorous life, returns to the childhood home of the mother she barely knew. She moves in with her uncle, archaeologist Kyle Swift and his wife, Louise.
Eden gets more than she bargained for when Kyle gives her the journal her mother had kept from the age of thirteen until her death. Eden is spellbound by the powerfully written, intimate diary that chronicles a life of hardship, madness and tragedy. But her fascination turns to horror when she discovers the shocking truth about her mother’s life.
Eden turns for comfort to Ben Alexander, Kyle’s colleague, not knowing that Ben has a secret of his own that could ruin Eden and her career. Now Eden must make a heartbreaking decision as she struggles to lay the ghosts of the past to rest and come to terms with her own future.
Shifting gracefully between Eden’s world and Katherine’s, Secret Lives seduces with the power of its images and the lyricism of its prose.