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Diane Dunning’s explosive debut novel calls all morality, religion, hypocrisy, and sensationalism into question. The River Secrets opens with the epitome of scandal: an illicit affair between a nun and a priest, a brutal murder by a bishop and a cover-up worthy of Hollywood with an ending sure to sear its memory into the depths of your soul. Sister Anthony loves her life as a nun in Father Francis’s convent. She believes wholeheartedly in her faith (if not by all the rules and dogmas of the Catholic Church) and relies on her God. Without it, she’d be lost. This makes her excommunication ever more traumatic. To make matters worse, she is innocent. Or is she?
Are there levels of sin and guilt? She may not have been the direct perpetrator of the heinous murder committed by their Bishop. She, however, did witness the cover up as a direct result of an affair between her and Father Francis. Does this make her guilty by association? How about him?
These are just a few of the questions explored here. And, in Dunning’s hands, these issues are explored in a way that is simply divine. The ending will stun and excite you. Dunning has earned my recommendation and I look forward to reading her further works.
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