Thursday, August 26, 2010

109 - A Secret Kept; Tatiana de Rosnay













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

28 comments:

  1. Too bad. I had high hopes for this one... maybe I'll wait for the paperback or try the audio.

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  2. It's such a disappointment when so much of a book rests on a secret that ends up being not that spectacular. I remember feeling that way about Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

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  3. Hmmmm...my book group read SARAH'S KEY or part of them did recently (it was a reader's choice month) and some liked it and some were kind of "meh" about it. I was considering it and this one, but I may put them a little further back on the burners for now. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Ugh! I hate when that happens. I'm hoping Sarah's Key doesn't follow the same path. I've been looking forward to it for quite some time.

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  5. Thanks for the review...this book had caught my eye but I don't think I'll rush out to find it...

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  6. The plot sounds promising, but after finishing and abandoning Sarah's Key, I learned that's kind of this author's thing. She has a good idea overall of where she wants to take her story, but the devil is in the details, and that's not where she excels.

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  7. I really liked Sarah's Key, and was wondering how this book would fare. I guess it's just not as good as her first book, so I might have to skip it. Thanks for the excellent review!

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  8. This is disappointing to hear as I too had high hopes for this one. I did read Sarah's Key and liked the plot line of Sarah and her family during WWII but the present day thread of Julia and her marital woes was merely an annoyance and definitely not pivotal to the story.

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  9. Interesting that when I saw the book cover at first I thought it *was* Sarah's Key. Sarah's Key is very good - I hope you don't let this one keep you from reading it!

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  10. That's too bad this one did not work out for you. Most of the gals in my book group read and loved Sarah's Key, but when I read it, although I appreciated the historical element, something about the novel or writing just didn't click with me.

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  11. Oh, this is too bad-the story sounded promising! Thank you for the honest review.

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  12. This is too bad-the story sounded promising! Thanks for the honest review.

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  13. I'm not used to seeing morticians described as sexy!

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  14. I'm sorry to hear this was a disappointing book, as I really liked Sarah's Key and was looking forward to this one. I do hope you give Sarah's Key a try.

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  15. Well darn, sorry to see this didn't work for you.

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  16. Nice review. I'm really glad you mentioned the parts of it you didn't like, because a weak protoganist would annoy me as well. Thanks for sharing!

    I've posted my review of Burning Silk by Destiny Kinal at The Crowded Leaf if you're interested!

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  17. That's too bad. I haven't read anything by this author, but it looks like I should read the other book first.

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  18. Diane, I just received Sarah's Key so I will wait to read this one. Thanks for the review!!

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  19. What a shame as it sounded like a riveting premise - dark, family secrets coming to light years later. But sexy mortician kinda sounds campy.

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  20. I'm waiting for this one to come in the mail - it's a win from LT. Sorry to hear you didn't like it.

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  21. How very disappointing! I heard and have read wonderful things about Sarah's Key. It sounds like such a different book from this one. Characters are so important too, I get discouraged when they aren't very likable.

    Thank you for your honest assessment of this book, I really appreciate it.
    ~ Amy

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  22. At least you finished it. I find myself putting books down when I do not like the protagonist.

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  23. Oh....your ? and 2.5 has left me sad. I had high hopes for this one because I really enjoyed her first book. Well, I will be putting that one on the back burner!

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  24. Her first book is really quite good. It's too bad that this one doesn't seem to match up.

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  25. How disappointing! I loved Sarah's Key and as hoping this would be a positive review. Well...shoot. Guess I won't go running out to buy it.

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  26. Sorry it didn't work for you. I haven't read anything by this author. The cover looks lovely, though.

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  27. That picture of that child, with all of its implications about the nightmare to come, in that story, remained indelibly in my mind's eye and made me wonder if there wasn't some hidden sadness, locked deep within the pages of this book, as well. My suspicions were correct. One of the main characters of the book makes only a brief appearance in the early chapters. For the remainder of the book, it is her absence and the circumstances surrounding it, that is the main theme of the novel.

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