A Secret Kept, is a story about family, and about the skeletons of the past. In this story, Antoine Rey, a Parisian architect, wants to make his sister Melanie's 40th birthday extra special. He plans a trip to Noirmoutier Island, a vacation spot that held fond beach memories for Antoine and his sister, as children. All those vacations ended when their mother, Clarisse, died a tragic death some 30 year's earlier in 1974. He has never gotten over the death of his mother, who he adored. As an adult Antoine is lonely, divorced, still in love with his ex-wife and has rebellious teens to cope with as well. He is hoping that this trip will be just what he and Melanie needed to stir happy memories.
What happens is quite the opposite. While at the Island, a disturbing memory surfaces for Melanie, about their last summer vacationing there as children, and while driving back to Paris, she shares with her brother what she remembered. She is so upset by the memory, that she crashes the car while driving and is hospitalized. While Melanie is recovering in the hospital, and pretty much is absent from the rest of the story, Antoine is learning more about his mother's secret past and trying to cope with what he has learned.
MY THOUGHTS - Not having read Sarah's Key yet, I have nothing to compare this author's writing to, which in some ways is a good thing. The novel is a quick read, but the protagonist, Antoine was not a likable character, in my opinion. I found him emotional weak, to the point of being annoying at times. I totally lost interest in parts of the story when Antoine meets a sexy mortician who helps him cope with his issues at hand. Although I was anxious to get to the "secret", when it is finally revealed, it did not seem like such a big deal after all. The storyline started out good enough, but by the end, I was disappointed.
Rating - 2.5/5 stars - Review Copy