Customer Reviews for

Secrets from the Past

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
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(18)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

So ¿ I should admit right here and now that Barbara Taylor Bradf

So – I should admit right here and now that Barbara Taylor Bradford was my gateway author to the romance genre.  A favorite of my grandmother and great aunt, I would grab her books from their bedside tables and sneak off to read: devouring each book as soon as it appear...
So – I should admit right here and now that Barbara Taylor Bradford was my gateway author to the romance genre.  A favorite of my grandmother and great aunt, I would grab her books from their bedside tables and sneak off to read: devouring each book as soon as it appeared.  To have the opportunity to read one of her books for review was a major source of excitement.  And, Secrets from the Past did not disappoint in the least.  




Focusing on Serena, a recently retired from the front war photographer, we are slowly introduced into her life, as she reflects on her past while compiling her father’s photos into a memoir composite.  Recovering from her father’s death, the end of her first serious relationship, and at a bit of loose ends, she is the main point of view to guide us through her story.  One peppered with loving family memories, travel, antiquated clichés from her grandmother, and continuous ‘watching over’ by her father’s best friend and boss, Harry.  




Add to this, other story lines that involve Serena’s twin sisters, a co-worker, the maintenance for the house the three inherited from their parents in Nice, the Arab Spring uprisings, and a series of photographs that provide only questions with few answers, the different threads all weave a beautiful pattern of a life of a woman well loved and cared for by family and co-workers alike. 




The pages flew by, highlighted by descriptions of Venice, Nice, New York and Libya the sense of the worldliness of characters and the story was heightened and the descriptions helped to place visual references for the characters and scenes, making them more familiar.  The addition of information about PTSD and the oddly chaotic behavior patterns gives readers a solid sense of the difficulties experienced by those who suffer, and the glimpses into a photojournalists life felt like an introductory course in “can you manage this?”.   




The multiple story lines weave together to provide the reader with visual and tactile references and an emotional understanding of the story that enriches in a way that just reading words would never do without the author’s skilled writing.  Emotionally complex characters, with defined personalities and solid voices all present fact and display relationship dynamics that are easy to relate to real lives. Mingled with a touch of romance and sensually detailed intimate scenes that are a feast for the imagination, the connections romantic and familial are solid, defined and palpable. 




Solid writing, great characters, compelling action, glamor and secrets all combine to make this book a very good read – one that many can and will enjoy. 




I received a Galley Copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review for the Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

posted by gaele on April 9, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not as good as I expected from Barbara Taylor Bradford....

I was a little disappointed with this book. I picked it up because I remember reading A Woman of Substance years ago. This book doesn't even compare to it. As I was reading it, I felt like it was not written by the same author. The story isn't bad, it's just not gre...
I was a little disappointed with this book. I picked it up because I remember reading A Woman of Substance years ago. This book doesn't even compare to it. As I was reading it, I felt like it was not written by the same author. The story isn't bad, it's just not great.

posted by jac38 on May 17, 2013

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    Posted May 5, 2013

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    Posted May 10, 2013

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