26 March 2015

Review #173: Family Secrets by Donna M. Zadunajsky and Blog Tour

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It's knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.”

---- Mitch Albom, an author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician

Donna M. Zadunajsky's, an American author, new book, Family Secrets delves deep into the puddles of secrets that shatters the lives of a family.


Alexis has had big dreams all her life, and she’s worked hard to make them happen! After college she married and had a beautiful baby boy, living her dream as “Mommy” until Colton was safely entrenched in grade school. She lands her dream job at NASA, and her supportive husband, Jay, takes the lead on raising their son. The perfect family, right?
Twelve years later with no warning and no reason, Jay commits suicide. Colton goes into denial and blames his mother; Alexis buries herself in her work.
Seven months later, Alexis’s biggest dream comes true. She’s going to be on the next space shuttle! Her victory is short-lived when she finds out she has breast cancer. As her health declines, Colton delves into the dangerous circumstances of his father’s death.
“Family Secrets” crept into Alexis’s life when she wasn’t paying attention. Will she and her son ever find out the truth? Or is it too late?

It's a nice little heart-touching story which centers around a NASA scientist, Alexis, who has recently been diagnosed with Cancer. She has a difficult relationship with her only teenage son, Colton, since he blames her for his father's suicide. But when the secrets started unrolling in front of Alexis, it seemed difficult for Alexis to keep on moving forward with hope.

The writing is good, and the pace is perfect for this family drama fiction. And the author have addressed all the sensitive family issues with enough compassion. I liked how the author molded her plot with emotion and depth. Moreover, mystery starts to spill when Colton believes that there is foul play in his father's death, so that shift from an emotional journey to a suspense-full ride was skillfully handled by the author.

The characters are all well developed and the author portrays their demeanor really smartly by reflecting the sense of loss of somebody close in their every act and move. Especially, it's very easy to contemplate with Alexis's character- the inner pain as well as her body pain, to the loss of her husband and the distant relationship with her son. The narration is pretty articulate to keep us going till the very end.

Flaws like some descriptions about what happens with a Cancer patient are wrong, moreover, it took time for me to accept the truth with Alexis's husband's death. Overall, it's an entertaining and engaging book.

Verdict: Recommended to those who enjoy a multi-layered family drama.

Courtesy: I received this book for a blog tour. 

Author Info:
Donna Zadunajsky was born and raised in Bristolville, Ohio, and resides in Illinois. She's written seven children’s books that are about her daughter, and all the adventures that she's done in her young life.
She spends her time writing short stories as well as novels. She published her first novel, “BROKEN PROMISES,” June 2012, second novel, “NOT FORGOTTEN”, and recently her third novel, FAMILY SECRETS, "Secrets and Second Chances, Book 1".
Besides writing, she enjoys spending time with her thirteen-year-old daughter and her husband, their dog and two cats. She enjoys reading, working on crafts. and scrapbooking. She graduated from The Institute of Children’s Literature, in spring 2011.

Visit her here

Book Purchase Links:


Alexis drove out of the parking lot and headed towards the Martin Andersen Beachline Express. When she arrived at Cape Canaveral, she drove to Canaveral City Park. There she sat and stared at the Atlantis Space Shuttle in the far distance. Imagining the day she would climb inside one just like it and soar through the sky towards the unknown; to a whole new universe where she didn’t have to think about her life and everything that had gone wrong.


  Now, it would take years before she received another chance. IF—and it was a very big “IF”—she ever received another chance. That is, IF she could beat breast cancer. This opportunity was something she wasn’t sure she could pass up. Her health was important to her, but so was her job, and if her boss found out, there would be no flying into outer space.

    Reclining her seat back, she closed her eyes and rubbed her temples, trying to calm down enough to ease the tension headache. Her thoughts involuntarily went to her late husband, and she wished Jay could be with her. Jay would’ve known what to do. He could always comfort her in a way no man had ever done before or since. He was thoughtful and kind, always putting her needs above his own. God, how she wished he was here with her now!

    There was never a day she didn’t think of him and miss him. She asked herself as she did all the time, “Why did he have to die?” Then, she wondered how she had been able to cope with his death. Of course, she had continued to mourn, but she really couldn’t remember how she’d got through the loss and pain of losing someone so close to her.

    After the funeral seven months ago, she’d concentrated on raising their seventeen-year-old son, Colton, but she’d jumped straight back into her work. She wasn’t thankful Jay had died when he did. She’d been glad at the time that Colton was almost old enough to take care of himself, but she wasn’t sure if he grieved the way she did. So many nights of lying in bed crying herself to sleep; then one day she climbed out of bed and moved on with her life as if nothing had ever happened.



  1. Oh wow, this sounds like it could end up being a very sad book. I can't believe the idea of having your dreams so close and then snatched away due to health. :(


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