The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
The story takes the reader back to 1977 and unfolds over a span of 20 years, but starts when Corinne sees her mother, Eve, on television confessing to intimate knowledge about a long ago kidnapping and disappearance of a pregnant woman named Genevieve Russell. Construction crews have unearthed Genevieve's remains and have arrested and charged a man with her murder.
CeeCee Wilkes is 16-years-old when she is seduced by an handsome older man, Tim Gleason, and is manipulated into helping him and his brother with the crime. Left to guard the prisoner at a remote cabin in the woods, events transpire that force CeeCee on the run with the newborn infant in tow. Unable to bring herself to leave the little girl with her father, CeeCee makes a decision to raise the child as her own. Years pass. CeeCee, now known as Eve, has created a pleasant, comfortable life for herself and thinks she has moved far beyond those days in the forest -- so far that she has almost forgotten that they ever happened.
This is a wonderfully intimate portrayal of family relationships and the love a mother has for her daughter. I really liked the characters in this book -- flaws and all. (Also found it interesting that Eve had rheumatoid arthritis -- as does the author).
This is only the second novel I've read by Diana Chamberlain, and I can say that she has definitely become an author whose books I need to go back and find and read. Next up for me is Breaking the Silence.
I loved this story about secrets, lies, and courage. Highly recommended!