Review! Underwater Secrets By E.J. Hanagan

June 23, 2015

Underwater Secrets
By E.J. Hanagan

About the Book:
A mysterious photo of a handsome stranger. A forgotten china set tucked away in the corner of the attic...

Claire Fitzgerald is already struggling to live up to the perfect people around her when she's faced with her mother's death. While sifting through the pieces of her mother's past, she discovers a need to reconcile her memories of a woman she idolized with the truth of who she really was.

Alternating between generations and intertwining the stories of Claire and her mother, Underwater Secrets teaches that sometimes the key to loving ourselves involves learning to love the people around us, quirks and all.

My Review: 
4.5 stars!

Claire has just lost her mother and her whole world seems to no longer makes sense. She resents the close relationship her husband has with her daughter and without her mom to guide her doesn't seem to know how to bridge the gap that she has with her little girl. On top of that she becomes deeply in-delved into the mystery of her mother's life during the years before she married Claire's father and started a family. She finds the remains of a marriage never mention, of her mother moving to a place she never knew she had lived and a house on a lake that seemed to be a huge part of her mother's growing up, yet never a word was spoken about any of it. 

Perhaps this is Claire's way of keeping a part of her mother alive, learning the secrets of her past or perhaps her mother needed her to learn a few things for Claire to be able move forward in her life after the loss of her. A mother's love is so strong that even after death she may just be guiding Claire through a journey to help her cope with losing her mom to soon. As well as remind her what a blessing it is to be a mom and how overcome the insecurities she faces with her parenting and life. 

This was a wonderful read, at the beginning I struggled with the jumps into the past with Claire's mom and back to present with Claire, but it didn't take long reading the book to understand the purpose of it and it in no way took away from the story told. 

Excerpt :
           “Damn it!”  Claire shouted again as she stumbled over a rectangular box of pictures.  The box tipped onto its side as a batch of photos splayed out before her like a deck of cards.   Resting on Claire’s right foot was a white-rimmed black and white photo.
As she reached down to pick it up, she saw a familiar face staring back at her.  As if looking in a mirror, Claire tugged at the edges of her own brown, jagged hair and fluffed her bangs, letting them fall into delicate little wisps framing her face. The same dark blue eyes gazed back at her, the only difference being the tiny brown flecks that were sprinkled on Claire’s as if an afterthought.  Even in black and white, the blue stood out, dark against the woman’s skin.  Her brown hair, parted on the side, rested at her chin, cut into a classic bob just a few inches shorter than Claire’s own length.  Its ends were curled under, framing her face like a custom-fitted wig.  Claire coveted her seductive side-swept bangs, now back in fashion, which contrasted the modest button-down shirt that Emelia wore in the photo.  Her long, thin, sun-kissed legs stemmed from a pair of checkered high-waisted short shorts.  They were crossed and angled, a pair of platform sandals lacing up the ankles, one brushing the thigh of the man sitting next to her.  Her face was contorted into a bright, carefree smile, on the verge of laughter.   A delicate hand rested on the man’s shoulder like she was trying to stop herself from falling over from so much happiness.  They sat on a wooden bench framed by trees that looked like they were reaching toward them.  Behind them sat a massive rock with two striped towels spread out as if they had been sunbathed on not long before the photo was taken.
The man next to Emelia was strikingly handsome, with a chiseled jawline that looked like it was molded from a movie star’s face.  Straight, dirty blond hair swept flawlessly across his forehead, making him appear just disheveled enough not to be intimidating.  The hair that fell onto his forehead highlighted a set of eyes that were similar to Emelia’s in the way they were deep set and spaced.  Claire could only assume that they were the same deep blue as her mother’s because everything else about the two of them seemed to be parallel.  They seemed like they were one of those couples that started to look like one another, as if staring at the same face everyday somehow made you absorb their features as your own.  His shorts seemed short for a man, but he managed to look good in them with his runner-shaped legs dangling over the edge of
the bench, two bare feet touching the tips of the grass.  He was angled toward Emelia, clearly in on the same joke, as one hand touched her knee.  The top few buttons on his shirt were undone, revealing the type of smooth chest men nowadays paid good money for.  Despite his youthful, athletic form, laugh lines stemmed from his eyes, showing time spent in the sun.  Emelia had always been a pro at hiding her laugh lines with concealer.

About the Author: E.J. Hanagan
When not writing, marketing books for other authors, or contributing to the Word Menagerie book review site, EJ Hanagan is mom to an adorable baby girl and her two giant Newfoundland dogs. EJ's third novel is scheduled for release Fall 2015. Her debut, Saving Jason, encompasses the turmoil of combat that causes PTSD.  Her hope is to bring the invisible scars of war to the surface through the novel and community involvement. EJ and her husband call Winthrop, MA their home but spend several of their summer days on Suncook Lake in Barnstead, NH.

You can learn more about EJ, her books, and her charity work at

Connect with EJ online

Available on in Kindle and paperback versions.
Available on for Nook.
Underwater Secrets is available internationally – please contact us directly if you do not see it on your preferred book purchase website.
Discounts or customized editions may be available for educational and other groups based on bulk purchase. For further information please contact

1 comment :

  1. Thank you so much for hosting Underwater Secrets today.


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