The Secret of Joy

The Secret of Joy


Rebecca is about to find out. The New York City paralegal thought nothing could shake her life off its fast track -- which includes her handsome lawyer boyfriend and their extravagant condo. The shocking revelation that she even has a half sister comes from her dying father, in a hospital bed confession of a long-past summer affair...and now the dad she adores has one last wish: would Rebecca deliver a cache of letters he never sent to his other daughter, Joy Jayhawk, in a tiny coastal Maine town?

But when Rebecca arrives in Wiscasset, with the life-changing letters stashed in a leather box, nothing goes as she imagined -- and Joy Jayhawk is less than thrilled to meet her. Joy already has her own life, her own family, and her own business: she runs a bus tour for singles, a matchmaking excursion that's brought lovers together, healed broken hearts, and changed lives. Rebecca joins the singles tour in the hopes of unlocking a door into Joy's life and forming a relationship with the only family she has left. But as she spends more and more time with Joy and the women who dub themselves The Divorced Ladies Club of Wiscasset -- and starts a flirtation with a seriously hunky local carpenter -- Rebecca realizes it's her life and heart that are ready for healing and change...and that sometimes, you just have to go along for the ride.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439107171 | 
  • November 2009
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Secret of Joy includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Melissa Senate. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. 



In Melissa Senate’s sweet and sentimental eighth novel, twenty-eight year-old Rebecca Strand is about to lose her father and be left alone in the world without a family. But her father makes a confession on his deathbed—that he had a secret affair twenty-six years ago and Rebecca has a half sister named Joy that neither she nor anyone else has ever known about. Shocked by her father’s infidelity and secrecy, Rebecca is determined to find her sister and make up for Daniel Strand’s abandonment of his second daughter. She leaves New York City, her job, and her boyfriend behind and heads to Maine to track down the only family she has left. But when Joy doesn’t exactly welcome her with open arms, Rebecca must look within herself to discover the meaning of the word sister, and to figure out what she wants out of life and where her future lies.


Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Is sharing the same DNA enough in and of see more

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About the Author

Melissa Senate
Photography by Monica Moore

Melissa Senate

Melissa Senate is the author of eight novels, including the bestselling See Jane Date, which was made into an ABC Family TV movie and has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide.  She's published short pieces in Everything I've Always Wanted to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, It's a Wonderful Lie, Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, and American Girls About Town.  A former romance and young adult editor from New York, she now lives on the southern coast of Maine with her son.