The Secret of Everything, by Barbara O’Neal

The Secret of EverythingFinished 10-20-11, rating 3.5/5, fiction, 385 pages, pub. 2009

Tessa grew up a gypsy of sorts, moving from festival to festival with her father and her adult life followed the same path, as a guide for exotic tours all over the world.  When Tessa has a near death experience that brings with it confusing memories from her childhood, she decides to go back to where she spent those early years on New Mexico commune.  What she finds is an upscale desert town that asks as many questions as it does provide answers.

I loved Tessa’s close relationship with her father.  It was just the two of them and Sam, as a quasi-recovering hippy, was easy to like.  Some people grow up with two parents and still don’t have that much love and support.

I loved that the town of Las Ladronas was a town with a dog or cat for every resident and visitor.  They were expected at shops and hotels and there was no shortage of four-legged companionship.  It made me want to visit and hang out with all of the tail waggers.

I liked the beautiful town and laid back residents.  They each had something to reveal Tessa about her past.

I liked Vince, the sexy rescue worker with the muscular thighs (sorry, but that point was made more than once).  He was raising three young daughters and the volatile relationship between the two older girls made me thankful I was an only child.

There were two things that made the book fall a little flat for me. The story was told from way too many viewpoints.  Instead of just following Tessa and maybe one other character we followed quite a few minor characters who were interesting, but didn’t really add any momentum to Tessa’s journey.  Also, the end just seemed very pat to me.  I’m all for conclusive endings, but I don’t think every detail needs to be addressed.

I enjoyed this book and will definitely read more of O’Neal’s work.

This was from my personal library.  I picked it up (and way too many other books from my wish list) from Border’s for practically nothing.