The Secret Women
TOP SUMMER 2020 BEACH READ PICK--Time, Woman's World, and Parade. The author of Dancing on the Edge of the Roof, now a Netflix film starring Alfre Woodard, returns with a riveting, emotionally rich, novel that explores the complex relationship between mothers and daughters in a fresh, vibrant way—a stunning page-turner for fans of Terry McMillan, Tayari Jones, and Kimberla Lawson Roby.Elise Armstrong, Carmen Bradshaw, and DeeDee Davis meet in a yoga class. Though vastly different, these women discover they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. Becoming fast friends, the trio make a pact to help each other sort through the belongings their mothers’ left behind. But when they find old letters and diaries, Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee are astonished to learn that each of their mothers hid secrets—secrets that will transform their own lives.Meeting each month over margaritas, the trio share laughter, advice, and support. As they help each other overcome challenges and celebrate successes, Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee gain not only a better understanding of the women their mothers were, but of themselves. They also come to realize they have what their mothers needed most but did not have during difficult times—other women they could trust.Filled with poignant life lessons, The Secret Women pays tribute to the power of friendship and family and the bonds that tie us together. Beautiful, full of spirit and heart, it is a thoughtful and ultimately uplifting story of unconditional love.

The Secret Women Details

TitleThe Secret Women
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 9th, 2020
PublisherAmistad
ISBN-139780062934222
Rating
GenreFiction

The Secret Women Review

  • Melanie Sligh
    January 1, 1970
    Elise Armstrong, Carmen Bradshaw, and DeeDee Davis meet in a yoga class. Though vastly different, these women discover they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. Becoming fast friends, the trio make a pact to help each other sort through the belongings their mothers' left behind. But when they find old letters and diaries, Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee are astonished to learn that each of their mothers hid secrets--secrets that will transform their own lives.Y’all th Elise Armstrong, Carmen Bradshaw, and DeeDee Davis meet in a yoga class. Though vastly different, these women discover they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. Becoming fast friends, the trio make a pact to help each other sort through the belongings their mothers' left behind. But when they find old letters and diaries, Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee are astonished to learn that each of their mothers hid secrets--secrets that will transform their own lives.Y’all these are my kind of women. They do margaritas and queso each month, they swear and laugh in yoga poses, they giggle Elise’s mother, Marie had so many sets of china... these are my people. This book was amazing. Hands down. I cannot recommend this enough. Go. Get. This. Book. Joan, Carmen’s mother, was my favorite storyline. Not because it was happy (it wasn’t) but because I know the south and I know a few Joans. Without spoiling the book, I will just say this was very important, especially in today’s society with racism. Joan was a strong, educated woman that moved to New York, but still had her deep southern roots. She was quick witted and outspoken at her school, which could be taken as negative. I saw a passionate woman, and I 100% know Joans and truly cherish the wisdom they have bestowed upon me. DeeDee’s mother broke me. Laura suffered from mental illness, and they found her diary entries. They found her highs and her lows. The entries showed when she was taking medication, and when she wasn’t and the drastic change. DeeDee digs deeper to understand her mother because she believes her daughter Francis may have the same illness. I cried, and I mean CRIED. “Mommy rationalized that if she didn’t speak, then it couldn’t either” (speaking of her illness). Her journal entries made me cried so much. I listened to the ALC provided by Booksparks, Libro.fm, & Harper Audio. The narrator, Zakiya Young’s voice is so amazing. I could listen to her talk ALL DAY. If she does any more audiobooks, I want to know because I want to buy them all. 😂I loved that each chapter is a different perspective of each woman, including the mothers. It helped me get the stories straight. This comes out June 9th and believe it should be on everyone’s shelf.
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  • The CurvyJones
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this, specifically in audio. Part 1 was a lil slow for me but the story started to pick up in part 2 and the last two parts, I was carrying around the bluetooth speaker everywhere because I didn't want to turn it off. Vivid descriptive writing, dialog that snaps, and a friendship between three women that is warm and enviable. This is a book that I'm going to want to re-read when I get some time. Dee Dee's story line in particular is so poignant. Would love to hear the author spe I really enjoyed this, specifically in audio. Part 1 was a lil slow for me but the story started to pick up in part 2 and the last two parts, I was carrying around the bluetooth speaker everywhere because I didn't want to turn it off. Vivid descriptive writing, dialog that snaps, and a friendship between three women that is warm and enviable. This is a book that I'm going to want to re-read when I get some time. Dee Dee's story line in particular is so poignant. Would love to hear the author speak about writing this book.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one. Three very different women - Elise, Carmen and DeeDee- become friends after meeting in yoga class. They learn they share something in common - they’ve all lost their mothers recently. As they each work through their grief and take care of their mothers’ belongings they discover secrets that their mothers have been holding onto. This book is written from the perspective of each woman, then also dips into the voices of their mothers and the reader learns about those secr I really enjoyed this one. Three very different women - Elise, Carmen and DeeDee- become friends after meeting in yoga class. They learn they share something in common - they’ve all lost their mothers recently. As they each work through their grief and take care of their mothers’ belongings they discover secrets that their mothers have been holding onto. This book is written from the perspective of each woman, then also dips into the voices of their mothers and the reader learns about those secrets. This is a beautiful story about family and the love of mothers. I loved seeing the friendship between the three women and how they supported each other and pushed each other to address the secrets they’ve learned. This is a great heartwarming family drama.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one. Three very different women - Elise, Carmen and DeeDee- become friends after meeting in yoga class. They learn they share something in common - they’ve all lost their mothers recently. As they each work through their grief and take care of their mothers’ belongings they discover secrets that their mothers have been holding onto. This book is written from the perspective of each woman, then also dips into the voices of their mothers and the reader learns about those secr I really enjoyed this one. Three very different women - Elise, Carmen and DeeDee- become friends after meeting in yoga class. They learn they share something in common - they’ve all lost their mothers recently. As they each work through their grief and take care of their mothers’ belongings they discover secrets that their mothers have been holding onto. This book is written from the perspective of each woman, then also dips into the voices of their mothers and the reader learns about those secrets. This is a beautiful story about family and the love of mothers. I loved seeing the friendship between the three women and how they supported each other and pushed each other to address the secrets they’ve learned. This is a great heartwarming family drama.
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  • Nandi Crawford
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed it though it started a bit slow. About a trio of women who meet just happened to have mother's that just passed or had things of their moms that needed sorting. Once I got it, it kept me.
  • Brenda McGrath
    January 1, 1970
    Summary:Elise, DeeDee, and Carmen all meet in a yoga class, joined together by laughter and the frustration of trying to master their headstand poses. When they get together after class, they discover that they have all lost their mothers and are still grieving. The three become fast friends, and they agree to help each other process their losses and sort through their mothers' leftover belongings. As each woman tackles their mothers' things, they learn more about who their mothers really were, Summary:Elise, DeeDee, and Carmen all meet in a yoga class, joined together by laughter and the frustration of trying to master their headstand poses. When they get together after class, they discover that they have all lost their mothers and are still grieving. The three become fast friends, and they agree to help each other process their losses and sort through their mothers' leftover belongings. As each woman tackles their mothers' things, they learn more about who their mothers really were, and they are each faced with challenging decisions about how to move forward with their lives. The Secret Women is an emotional tale about friendship and the bonds between mothers and daughters. Review:What a beautiful and relatable story this is. In The Secret Women, Sheila Williams captures all aspects of life - the good and the bad, the pain, the laughter. From the very first page, these characters are likable. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to a yoga class and have wanted to swear out loud as I'm sweating and trying not to fall out of my pose. This is exactly what Elise does, and the laughter that ensues by Carmen and DeeDee brings these women together into a deep and beautiful friendship. As much as this book made me laugh, it equally brought me close to tears on several occasions. As a young woman with a complicated relationship with my own mother, reading this story made me face head-on what it will be like to someday lose her. The complexity of these women's emotions is portrayed so well - the guilt over what was left unsaid, the anger watching everyone else in the family seemingly move on, and the hard realizations that mothers have their own pasts, their own secrets, their own lives outside of being somebody's mom. Where this novel lost me was in the division of perspectives. It didn't feel to me that each woman was given an equal part of the story, with Carmen's mother being focused on for several chapters and Elise's mother hardly at all. DeeDee's story with her mother was arguably the most complicated, and I don't feel there was enough space given to it, with it being the last section of the book. Furthermore, while Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee were all very likable characters, they didn't feel particularly well-rounded, especially not compared to the rich descriptions and backstories we were given of their mothers. Overall, The Secret Women is an emotional and relatable book that is perfect for fans of Tayari Jones and Barbara O'Neal.
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  • Bernita
    January 1, 1970
    If you are looking for a book that will pull at your heartstrings and still fill you with happiness then I highly recommend The Secret Women by Sheila Williams. I finished this book within a week last week that how phenomenal it was. Three women become fast friends after a yoga class and margaritas at a local restaurant. I was initially drawn to the cover of this book because it is so pretty, but once I started reading I was drawn to all three women. I love how they became such a great support s If you are looking for a book that will pull at your heartstrings and still fill you with happiness then I highly recommend The Secret Women by Sheila Williams. I finished this book within a week last week that how phenomenal it was. Three women become fast friends after a yoga class and margaritas at a local restaurant. I was initially drawn to the cover of this book because it is so pretty, but once I started reading I was drawn to all three women. I love how they became such a great support system for each other when they live completely different lives and didn't formally know each other outside of their weekly yoga class. I found myself aww-ing at certain parts of this story that how invested I became in these characters. They each couldn't handle what was troubling them alone and with the help of the others, they battled and conquered their fears. Two things you can take away from this book are how women are great at uplifting each other when handling things alone just won't cut it. everyone needs a great set of friends to help them with life struggles and to help them navigate how to be able to move on and succeed in life. The second is that sometimes you don't have to have similar backgrounds with someone for them to be a friend. I liked this book so much I will be going to pick up a hard copy it was published last week! Truly great read
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  • Arianna Mclaughlin (arianna.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    🌸 Book Review: The Secret Women by Sheila Williams 🌸 ⁣⁣Pub date: June 9, 2020 ⁣⁣I went into The Secret Women completely blind (I think I thought it was a thriller) and was so pleasantly surprised! ⁣⁣Elise, Carmen and Dee Dee meet at a yoga class and bond over the fact that they have all lost their mothers and are struggling to come to terms with their grief and go through their respective mother’s personal effects. ⁣⁣We then spend time with each woman and her mother, learning about each of their 🌸 Book Review: The Secret Women by Sheila Williams 🌸 ⁣⁣Pub date: June 9, 2020 ⁣⁣I went into The Secret Women completely blind (I think I thought it was a thriller) and was so pleasantly surprised! ⁣⁣Elise, Carmen and Dee Dee meet at a yoga class and bond over the fact that they have all lost their mothers and are struggling to come to terms with their grief and go through their respective mother’s personal effects. ⁣⁣We then spend time with each woman and her mother, learning about each of their pasts and how this has shaped. each daughter’s present life. Williams does a wonderful job creating relationship between women. The bond between the new friends feels real and the emotions of each woman as she learns more about her mother is touching without being overly sappy. And don’t get me started on Carmen’s and Joan’s story... my favourite of the three! ⁣⁣These are women that I would love to have in my corner and go grab a margarita with! ⁣⁣I recommend this one to readers looking for a realistic story about friends and families with some laughs on the side. ⁣⁣Shelia Williams is a new author for me and I look forward to reading more of her work. ⁣⁣Thank you to @harpercollinsca , Edelweiss and Sheila Williams for an eARC in exchange for my honest thoughts. ⁣⁣
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this story of three women, Elise, Carmen and Dee Dee who meet at a yoga class. After a small rebellion against their drill sergeant yoga teacher, the three go out for margaritas and discover they all lost their mothers, 2 recently, and one years before. Establishing that common bond leads them to work together to go through each mom’s belongings, revealing secrets and details that show how strong these three Black women were, and how much they loved their daughters. It is easy to identif I loved this story of three women, Elise, Carmen and Dee Dee who meet at a yoga class. After a small rebellion against their drill sergeant yoga teacher, the three go out for margaritas and discover they all lost their mothers, 2 recently, and one years before. Establishing that common bond leads them to work together to go through each mom’s belongings, revealing secrets and details that show how strong these three Black women were, and how much they loved their daughters. It is easy to identify with each of these three women, and the stories of their relationships with their mothers resonates. I recommend highly and thank Edelweiss for the ARC.
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  • Katy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. The premise of three middle-aged women coming together and processing the loss of their mothers (while physically going through their mother's possessions) was poignant. I enjoyed the blossoming friendships, and exploring the idea that everyone holds secrets throughout their life, big and small. I wanted more of the women's friendship and internal growth, and less of the back and forth we get with other characters' perspectives, but if you like stories of women navigating relationship 3.5 stars. The premise of three middle-aged women coming together and processing the loss of their mothers (while physically going through their mother's possessions) was poignant. I enjoyed the blossoming friendships, and exploring the idea that everyone holds secrets throughout their life, big and small. I wanted more of the women's friendship and internal growth, and less of the back and forth we get with other characters' perspectives, but if you like stories of women navigating relationships and personal growth, this is a great book to pick up (and could be a nice summer read).
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  • Tarsha Woods
    January 1, 1970
    Great quick read on new found friendships, Williams provides the different ways for dealing with grief for we all have our different ways of dealings with grief. When you have a circle of friends and family to support you with the hardship of shifting through you decesed love ones life belongings.
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  • Mischa
    January 1, 1970
    Well. This made me feel all sorts of emotions. Amazingly written book. Especially the parts where we could actually see two of the mothers' points of view - that was really what made me immense myself into this and what gave the book such great depth.I'm taking a star off because the beginning was quite slow and a bit confusing, but other than that, I really enjoyed every part of this.
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  • Jill C. Coleman
    January 1, 1970
    The gain in common ordinary pain The lost of our mothers is tragic, but when shared through common eyes, that pain can garner great, however late, joy. Sheila Williams wove the complex unique struggles of three strangers into a tapestry of love and strength that catches them and keeps them from falling!! Great read...
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  • Marna Tisdel
    January 1, 1970
    Three women meet in yoga class and decide to help each other clean up things that their mothers have left behind. They learn secrets about their mothers and come to terms with their relationships with them.
  • Marti
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading about these three women and the way they handled their mothers' deaths and what they left behind: the good, the bad and the heavy.I've read two books recently with women in mental institutions.
  • Madeline Richard
    January 1, 1970
    Emotionally EntertainingIf you have ever had to deal with a dearly reporter's possessions, you can probably related to this novel. Those who haven't !ah enjoy the story of real-life experiences. The humor, love and overall great storytelling makes for good reading
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  • Mary Jo
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful and heart rending story for anyone who has lost a parent, and has the responsibility to take care of all of the "stuff" that's left behind.
  • Geannie Bastian
    January 1, 1970
    This one was unexpectedly wonderful. Easy to get swept up in right from the start.
  • Doris Raines
    January 1, 1970
    NICE BOOK.
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    The Secret Women is about the relationships between mothers and daughters and how well we can really know our mothers, even in the best of relationships. I really enjoyed this book by Sheila Williams. It was sweet. It was sad. It was just the right amount of each.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    Three women become friends because they have one thing in common - their mothers have all died. This beautiful story delves into their grief, friendships, and memories of their mothers. I loved reading about the friendships formed and their mothers histories. Tackling issues from interracial marriage to mental health, this was a complex and emotional read - but it was well worth it. Highly recommend for family drama lovers.
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  • Caroline (readtotheend on IG)
    January 1, 1970
    This book is about 3 women- Elise, Carmen and Dee Dee, who come together after a yoga class and find out they have something in common - the mothers' deaths. This fact quickly brings these women together as they navigate finding out who their mothers were as women, not just as mothers. There are secrets and there are revelations and through it all, these women are there for each other and help each other through the hard task of going through their mothers' things. As someone who lost their moth This book is about 3 women- Elise, Carmen and Dee Dee, who come together after a yoga class and find out they have something in common - the mothers' deaths. This fact quickly brings these women together as they navigate finding out who their mothers were as women, not just as mothers. There are secrets and there are revelations and through it all, these women are there for each other and help each other through the hard task of going through their mothers' things. As someone who lost their mother, this book definitely brought tears to my eyes at times. So often, we forget that our mothers were once girls, teens and women before they were mothers and had a whole slew of life experiences before children entered the picture. I know that how my own kids see and experience me is just one small portion of my identity. Hopefully I will have time to share more of my history and life with them as they grow older. This book kind of reminded me of Joy Luck Club exactly for that reason - showing mothers as women with deep, and sometimes dark, pasts. I read this in a day and was totally immersed in the story. Thank you to @bibliofinder and @amistadbooks for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Daizsa Preston
    January 1, 1970
    Three women befriend each other in a yoga class. Over drinks, they discover that they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. As the women help each other sort through their mother’s belongings that were left behind, the book takes you through the complex pasts of their mothers by uncovering secrets, regrets & ugly truths. All of these women grapple with who their mothers were outside of just being a mother. I loved this book! Each character’s narrative was peculia Three women befriend each other in a yoga class. Over drinks, they discover that they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. As the women help each other sort through their mother’s belongings that were left behind, the book takes you through the complex pasts of their mothers by uncovering secrets, regrets & ugly truths. All of these women grapple with who their mothers were outside of just being a mother. I loved this book! Each character’s narrative was peculiar & made an impact on me in its own way. The last section seemed a little rushed but it was the most emotional for me, so I think I just wanted it to be longer. A very special, feel good story about friendship.
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  • Janice
    January 1, 1970
    Sheila Williams makes it easy to involve the reader in the lives of Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee.Enjoyable story from beginning to end. Thank you goodreads and Amistad for the ARC.
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