CeeCee Wilkes was a vulnerable, sixteen-year-old girl who had lived in foster homes after the death of her mother when she was twelve.
The letters she carried with her, the ones her mother had written to serve as a guide to her as she matured, would be her only touchstone. But nothing in her mother’s letters or the life she’d lived could have prepared her for the charming, manipulative Tim Gleason.
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes begins with a prologue in the present, with a young woman named Corinne, who watches as the woman she knew as her mother confesses a horrendous secret in front of TV cameras.
We then flash back to 1977, and to an event that changed CeeCee’s life forever.
In alternating narratives told by Corinne, by CeeCee, and then Eve Elliott, the persona she took on while in hiding, we learn about the fear and vulnerability the young girl faced one terrible night in a remote cabin, and how she spent the next period of her life in hiding. And tried over the years to be the best mother she could be to the baby she “stole” in order to protect her.
What really happened in that remote cabin? What would finally bring the truth out? What price would CeeCee (Eve) have to pay for telling her story? And how would Corinne bury the bitterness and anger she feels in order to reach out to the woman she knew as her mother?
This was a story that spotlighted many issues of morality and choice, and which allows the reader to root for CeeCee despite her wrong choices. I could not stop reading or caring about the characters, flawed though they were. I loved this story and would recommend it for all who enjoy family stories and for those who are fans of Chamberlain. 5.0 stars.