Secrets & Church Ladies

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies”


A fierce collection of nine stories reveal the lives of Black women and girls throughout generations moving through life with secrets that mold who they are, want to be and the double standards created by the church. Author Deesha Philyaw debuts with this extraordinary, tender and proudly black and beautiful novel revolving around race, gender, the black family unit, religion, homosexuality, the black church and black generations of women. Although there are nine different stories, Philyaw completes each one with an understanding of the character(s) in a way you can relate or figure out the moral of the story. She does not leave you wandering , but does leave you wanting for more.


Out of the nine collections, if I had to choose one as my favorite it would have to be “Peach Cobbler.” This particular story reveals how dirty secrets are burden on children to keep and ultimately learn from. At a young age Olivia experiences the lack of guidance, love and nurturing from a present mother who rather put her affairs with the Pastor before that of her daughter. The dynamics of the mother /daughter relationship are exposed to the reality of some experiences of a real black traditional family where it is the man versus the child, the preacher’s kid(PK) standard and reality of belief and the hypocrisy of it all is revealed.


For me this was a solid four star book. A part of me wanted more collections, continuous storylines and developments and a few happier endings in which each one felt like more sorrow than joy. The author created collections relatable to the black community and the black church. Although fiction;to some, it describes a reality one might have experienced before or in the near future. It speaks of faith, holiness and godliness, but in the midst of it all, ones imperfections that delays their soul salvation . Bravo Deesha Philyaw we want more!