Customer Reviews for

Secret Keepers

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    great read need more like this.

    I read a lot but this was about my town a i really enjoyed this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Secret Keepers

    First off I have to say how much I love this cover! I love anything vintage and having to do with gardening, not that I am a great gardener. This book begs to be read on a front porch or in a garden gazebo while drinking a glass of sweet tea. It is a quiet southern fiction book about a family coming to terms with changes in their lives. We meet Emma Hanley who at age 72, is getting ready to take of on a trip of a lifetime with her husband, Harold and mentally ill son, Bobby. Her husband has an accident that takes his life and changes Emma's life. Her daughter, Dora and her husband, Donny have very different plans for Harold's funeral but Emma has her mind set and does things the way she sees fit. Of course this starts a family battle. Donny and Dora belong to a very zealous church set up in a mall built on property once belonging to Emma's grandfather. I can't say how many times I found myself laughing at the shenanigans that go on in this mall where all the stores are involved around the church. When Jake, Dora's high school sweetheart decides to open up his own landscaping business in town things get very interesting. Soon he realizes he needs help and hires an unlikely bunch of characters; Gordon, a homeless veteran, Kyle, Emma's rebellious grandson who hates his parents and Bobby. Soon secret, magical plants and lifetime secrets are revealed. If you enjoy southern fiction and dysfunctional quirky families then I think you will enjoy this book. There is a nice balance between the story and a hint of magic that is not overdone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    Must read this witty, delightful book!!

    Mindy Friddle has truly created a beautifully-written, engaging novel that is rich with drama, humor and whimsy. This charming tale begins with elderly Emma Hanley postponing her dream, a European cruise, following the untimely death of her husband. She quickly finds herself entangled in the problems of her adult children. A town native returns and starts his own landscape/yard maintenance business. He assembles a crew of misfits and they begin planting a mysterious, magical flower all over town. In the end, not only does the gardener save the Hanleys' yard and garden, but he is able to save the Hanleys themselves. Ms. Friddle is an extraordinary storyteller! She has brilliantly created a delectable cast of amusing, endearing characters, who thoroughly entertained me from start to finish. The added touch of magic embellished the story nicely. I absolutely loved this page-turner and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you grab a copy and get reading!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Winner for Friddle!

    I loved the Garden Angel and hoped Friddle's second book would be as good! I was not disappointed. The character development and story line keep me reading to find out what would happen next. If you want a good book to escape the problems of today this is certainly it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Filled with pathos and eccentricity, readers will enjoy the misadventures of the SECRET KEEPERS

    In Palmetto, South Carolina, septuagenarian Emma Hanley plans to see the world. However, she has to put on hold her tour when her spouse Harold suddenly dies while having coffee with his female admirers. Emma has no time to consider her loss as her adult children need her and make demands on her.------------

    She is the sole caretaker of Bobby whose illness left him mentally incapable of caring for himself. Dora has turned to religion, compulsive shopping and a martinet spouse. Even Will, who died decades ago in Vietnam, seems to haunt his mom. Dora's former lover from her hippie days Jake Cary comes home to mend a broken heart and fix gardens like that on the neglected estate of Emma's late grandfather Amaranth and indirectly people too so they flourish.---------

    On the surface, SECRET KEEPERS seems like the zillionth southern dynasty saga, but is actually much more as Mindy Friddle looks at how the present turns the past into a family mythos in which facts are irrelevant. Each of the key players in the hamlet extended family including the late patriarch, grandfather and Will seem like real persons with each one possessing a personalized definition of what heaven on earth would be to them; however that denotation is always out of reach. Filled with pathos and eccentricity, readers will enjoy the misadventures of the SECRET KEEPERS.------------------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Highly Recommend.

    Very interesting story. Enjoy it very much.

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An okay read, didn't peak until the end.

    I had high hopes for Secret Keepers. I'm not ashamed to admit I judge books by their covers and this one is fabulous. The synopsis uses words like "wayward past," and "old flame," and "mysterious, potent botanicals and resurgent memories." Sounds good right? Unfortunately Secret Keepers didn't really find its true potential until the last third of the book, at which point it was nearly over.

    Secret Keepers circles around Emma Hanley and her children. Told in alternating past/present snippets, we learn that Emma's ancestor had a penchant for gardening with foreign plants; her oldest son died in a war; her other son hears voices and sees people who aren't there; her daughter Dora was once wayward and lost until she became found by a religious zealot; and Dora's teenage son Kyle is trying to balance his father's religious demands with dreams of his own. Then Dora's old flame comes back to town, stirs stuff up, and all hell breaks loose. So much potential, just not a stellar execution.

    Secret Keepers plods along until the end when things get fanciful and dramatic and one whiff of a flower sends people reeling in memory to their favorite places and times. It seems like it was trying to be magical realism, but took to long to figure that out. In general, I am left feeling underwhelmed and slightly disappointed that it didn't peak until the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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