Silkworm Secrets – Lea Davey

#book-review #book-reviewer


A treehouse perched high in a giant mulberry tree provides a safe place for Bobby, and gives him solace from a disintegrating home life. His best friend Ruby considers it only as a place to play, to raise silkworms and to innocently view the events that take place in the yards nearby.

Ruby’s simple, family life however, is a far cry from what Bobby endures in the house next door and the secrets they share and events that they witness will not only impact their lives as children but also re-connect them as adults.

A work of contemporary fiction, Silkworm Secrets exposes the secrets that children keep, the consequences of a troubled family life, but more importantly the endurance of beautiful family relationships and the power of friendship and love to overcome the past.

My review

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Silkworm Secrets by Lea Davey is unlike any novel I have ever read. The novel is emotionally charged, deeply thoughtful and eloquently written. Silkworm Secrets explores and discovers the true meaning of friendship, love and life itself.

The novel follows the lives of best friends, Ruby and Bobby. They are young children growing up in the 70s in Australia, enjoying time in a tree house amongst the mulberry bushes, spending time with Ruby’s family and raising silkworms.

The innocence of childhood is, however, disrupted entirely by the horrors of disturbing adult behaviour. Bobby longs for the family life that Ruby has. Lea Davey portrays the true love that should exist between parent and child via the relationship between Ruby and her parents.

As Bobby and Ruby grow up they lead different lives and have no contact… until the secrets that they kept as children are brought to the surface and those in question must be made accountable for their actions. The storyline is intriguing and this is the first time that I have read a book with real, yet heartbreaking issues children often face in the home. Silkworm Secrets brought me to tears, as I considered the fact that we often don’t see what is going on behind closed doors, rather the facade of a family. As a teacher, I considered that some of my students may also be terrified in their own home. As a mother, I was also inspired by Ruby’s family. This novel was thought-provoking to say the least.

After having read The Shack by the Bay and now Silkworm Secrets, I am excited to read Two Heartbeats, by the same author. There is a focus in her novels of the appreciation of the simple things in life, which resonates with me. I love that the ideal family in this novel lives in a small home and their happiness comes from the love they have for oneanother.

I was drawn to the cover immediately. It is absolutely beautiful, reflecting the essence of the book in its appreciation of nature. The story starts in amongst the mulberry trees. I do feel that the blurb could paint the picture further to entice the reader. From the blurb, I had no idea that I would be reading such an amazing novel.

I love Lea Davey’s delightful descriptions of the Australian landscape and the significance of the silkworms. Silkworm Secrets takes the reader from the coast to the outback, I felt like I was there.

The novel has content that may be sensitive to some readers, so this should be considered prior to reading. I loved this novel and would highly recommend it.


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