The Secret of Clouds

By Alyson Richman

ISBN13:  9780451490773

Author website: http(://)alysonrichman(.)com


Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt


From the #1 international bestselling author of The Lost Wife and The Velvet Hours comes an emotionally charged story about a mother’s love, a teacher’s promise, and a child’s heart…..

Katya, a rising ballerina, and Sasha, a graduate student, are young and in love when an unexpected tragedy befalls their native Kiev. Years later, after the couple has safely emigrated to America the consequences of this incident cause their son, Yuri, to be born with a rare health condition that isolates him from other children. Maggie, a passionate and dedicated teacher agrees to tutor Yuri at his home, even though she is haunted by her own painful childhood memories. As the two forge a deep and soulful connection, Yuri’s boundless curiosity and unique wisdom inspires Maggie to make difficult changes in her own life. And she’ll never realize just how strong Yuri has made her — until she needs that strength the most……

A novel that will make readers examine what it means to live life with a full heart.


The Secret of Clouds is a truly heartwarming and special read. It is not in my normal genre, but I could not put it down. Author Alyson Richman has done a wonderful job with a touching story. This is her first book outside of her normal writing genre of fictional history. One of the best contemporary women’s fiction I have read. The characters are well thought out and reach the reader in many different ways. Maggie, the teacher who loves her job and wants to find that special student who will bring out the best in her.  Yuri, the child with a heart defect that is starving for learning and interaction. Maggie’s parents, such loving people. Her best friend, her live in boyfriend, and her classroom students, all play a part in bringing out the depths of this tale. Along with Yuri’s parents and their back story, this is a book that cannot be put down.

The main character in The Secret of Clouds is teacher Maggie. She is just in her second year of teaching and has just moved in with her boyfriend. The house she found was full of charm and close to work and her family. She is asked to tutor a child that has a heart issue that keeps him at home. Once she meets Yuri, she knows there is a spark there that she has to help grow. His parents, Katya and Sasha came to the US after things were not going well in their native Kiev. Not only were there health dangers there, but Sasha is a Jew and that was a problem there. It was also the reason they were allowed to leave. As Maggie teaches Yuri, she learns more about his parents and their backgrounds. She finds a connecting point with Yuri in his love for the favorite American pastime – Baseball.

Maggie is a good teacher, one that truly cares about her students. She wants to make a difference. She does that with Yuri and others in her classroom. She finds a kinship of sorts for Yuri in one of her students Finn, who I loved by the way. Mixed in this heart wrenching tale of determination and hope, is a bit of romance for Maggie. That part was pretty obvious and although I was happy with how it ended for her, I am not sure I needed it. I love that the author took this book to its entirety and gave me, the reader, a true conclusion. Even knowing/guessing the way the story would unfold, I was still glued to the book and truly enjoyed the writing, the characters and the wonderful read.

I really was caught up in this book from the moment I started reading it. Author Alyson Richman’s writing style is smooth and enjoyable. She is able to draw you into her story, let you get the true sense of the settings, feel the emotions and walk along with the characters as they take this journey. Yes there are very sad parts, but they are written with care and have joy in them. I would recommend The Secret of Clouds to anyone that enjoys women’s fiction, but also anyone that wants to read a great book full of love, emotion, sadness, and joy. And I would like to believe that “every family has its own special cloud”.


*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*