Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £12.89

Buy Now for £12.89

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church's double standards and their own needs and passions. 

There is 14-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher's wife. At 42, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta's "same time next year" arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other. 

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

©2020 Deesha Philyaw (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Set of Stories

I didn’t know what to expect when I first got the book but I was pleasantly and happily surprised. Each chapter takes you through a different woman’s unique story. I won’t spoil it for others, but all the stories were moving, heartbreaking and touching in some sort of way. My favourite was the Peach Cobbler story. Fantastic writing from this young author, I look forward to reading her future work.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing story and not reflective

The story didn't reflect the hard work of many Christian women in the light of proverbs 31. This was a damming book that bordered on abusive and insulting . I personally didn't enjoy the book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Will come back and listen again

Well written stories brought to life by the exquisite narration.... Beautifully done. I will go back and listen to one or two of the stories because they are so lyrical... How to make love to a physicist ❤️

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I just wish it was longer!

I thoroughly enjoyed the narration of this book, it made the stories come alive! Highly recommend

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenee' Yvette Skinner
  • Jenee' Yvette Skinner
  • 06-01-21

An Honest, Modern-Day Telling

This story pulls no punches in discussing the struggles, desires, contradictions, and shortcomings that church folk or women with some linkage to the Christian church have. If I could ask for anything more it would be for at least one story that shows a relationship with God/spirituality in a positive light and in congruence with what a woman or girl is trying to accomplish in their life. not in a cheesy, altruistic way but in a realistic fashion that speaks to the women who choose to still make God and the church a part of their lives despite everything else.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for BenYL
  • BenYL
  • 16-03-21

New favorite

I was really moved by this collection of short stories— a new favorite for me. It seems like it’s about sex and God, and it is, but it’s really about mothers and daughters. Beautiful and funny and heartbreaking and real.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for suzanne
  • suzanne
  • 17-03-21

Beautiful and thought provoking

Loved these stories and their richness - these women are fierce, broken, beautiful and bawdy... such strength and truth in the storytelling

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris-ann Nunes
  • Chris-ann Nunes
  • 21-02-21

LOVED IT!

The stories were engaging and may make you blush. I loved them all., my favourite being Peach Cobbler 😌

The stories varied on a number of true to life topics and I highly recommend this book.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shauna
  • Shauna
  • 17-02-21

Entertaining and thought provoking

I'm glad this was selected for my book club's book. I can't wait to hear the different perspectives on the content. Great read!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon_Fanatic_17
  • Amazon_Fanatic_17
  • 06-01-21

Eh...

Let me start by saying I LOVED “How to Make Love to a Physicist.” Otherwise,
I wasn’t wowed or anything, in the slightest. Its hard to put my finger on what my issue is because wasn’t terrible; just cliche with zero edge. The title is not fitting, I mean I get it, but it’s a stretch. There were moments that stimulated a couple of my senses but...IDK...I’m going to revisit it because a group I joined will be discussing it. Hopefully, I’ll be updating my review.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Country Bookworm
  • Country Bookworm
  • 25-01-21

Loved it

I was very entertained. Dear Sister, reminded me of my Grandmother dreaming about fishes. My Grandmother always came to our house asking which one of us is pregnant and I'd say to her, you know which house you need to be at. But because my cousin was much younger than us she never wanted to believe it. She dreamed of fishes a lot. I didn't care for Tasheda. Married men are a big no, no.
Peach Cobbler, why couldn't her daughter have any of the cobbler? And why was her mother so cold to her. And why do side chicks tend to hate the wife?
Jael, is my favorite. She had me laughing out loud talking trash about the pedophile. "His arms were soft and pale, no muscles in sight, soft ass n!**@." So, did she know that her grandma was reading her diary?
This was a really good way to start the New Year.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for toni
  • toni
  • 15-01-21

Great Listen!

I so loved this book! The first story was so captivating and those that followed were real and relatable and so intriguing! I loved her writing style and I could picture each character!
The readers voice was overly and wall paced!
It was a quick listen I would recommend!!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris I.
  • Chris I.
  • 19-01-21

Fantastic quick listen. Can't wait for HBOMax

Highly recommend and looking forward to Tessa Thompson's show on HBOMax in the near future.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carl
  • Carl
  • 28-05-21

So So

Don't understand the hype unless you are a black fundamentalist "church lady" listening. It was nothing special and their are other writers that write about the same thing that are much more readable, interesting, and enlightening. Keep in mind this review is written by a 65 year old Cuban dude.

4 people found this helpful