Customer Reviews for

The Book of Secrets: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    this was an amazing book and if i could of just sat and

    read it w/out putting it down, i would of.. The end is awesome and and u won't waste your money if u purchase!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2014

     As the title stats this is a book about a notebook of secrets,

     As the title stats this is a book about a notebook of secrets, Chloe husband up and leaves giving very little detail as to why. She finds the notebook some some stuff she couldnt read because it was written in code. The was a really great book and was hard to put down. The author refers to some of the classics and their story lines through out her book. This is one book that I wanted to crawl into and be apart of it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When I got to the end of the book I was in shock. I could not be

    When I got to the end of the book I was in shock. I could not believe what and how this hole secret came to be revealed. Plus the way author uses classic childhood books to not only describe moments in the characters lives but also used to help decipher the code that was being used. We all have secrets some good, some bad but they all help shape us from how we live our lives to the people we come. I feel there is nothing wrong with going back to the past to figure out and learn how the present took shape.

    Extremely well written and an incredible must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2013

    A very different read!

    This is a tale of children who form a tight bond - ending up in tragedy for all. Two girls and one boy from a family who were very sheltered and "protected" from outside influences by their father who was a "man of the cloth". The other person, a girl, comes upon these children playing and they immediately form a bond out of loneliness and common love of reading.

    Therefore, when the girl comes on the scene the father demands she go away and not return. Of course, she does return. Over the years, the girl and boy become a couple, and the inevitable child comes - and then disappears. Therein lies the real secret. I won't go into how this ends - you can read it yourself without my spoiling it for you.

    The story ends and leaves one with sadness about these lives ruined by this controlling person.

    Because the story is very much about reading and performing stories from their favorite books, two books are included at the end of the Book of Secrets. First is Romeo and Juliet and then Robinson Caruso. I love the idea of this! I haven't read Romeo and Juliet since college - and didn't enjoy it then either! However, Robinson Caruso was a book I loved as a child, and enjoyed reading it again.

    This book isn't for everyone - there are lots of book references, and not everyone will understand the reference. I enjoyed it very much. Not your everyday book. Worth reading in my opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reading Elizabeth Joy Arnold's new novel, The Book of Secrets, r

    Reading Elizabeth Joy Arnold's new novel, The Book of Secrets, remineded me a lot of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  This story has the same aura of mystery, the same twisted family dynamics, and the same ability to suck the reader into the story being told.  At least it was that way for me.  It was a solid story from start to finish that intrigued me the whole way through. 




    The story is told from the point of view of Choe Sinclar, who returns home one day to find that her husband, Nate, is gone.  He has returned to the town where they grew up, a place that holds bad memories for both of them, and where she never thought he would want to go again.  Ms. Arnold continues the story, alternating her chapters between the present and the past.  Through this device we are treated to the mystery of why Nate would return home, as well as the tumultuous history of Chloe, Nate, and the rest of the Sinclair family.  Alternating chapters in this way is a device that really works for this story.  I flew through each chapter in anticipation of what came next for both stories.   And speaking of devices, the way that the author integrated books into the story was one of my favorite things.   Most of the books were old favorites of mine, and as each one debuted in the story, it brought back wonderful memories of my first encounter with them. 








     Another hit for me, was the cast of characters in the book.  Through them I was able to experience  the emotional impact of the story being told.  I felt the joy and wonder of love, the anger of deciet and betrayal, the pain of loss, and the fear of the unknown.  They were wonderfully imperfect  and real.  In the end, I felt like I really knew and understood each of them.  




    Although the end of this book was by no means the best ending that I have ever read, I did feel that it was appropriate to the story.  I am one of those readers for whom the end of a book can really "seal the deal".  In the case of The Book of Secrets, the ending deftly answered all of the questions that I had been pondering throughout the story, many of which I had already surmised.   I guess that would be the only negative for me.  As satisfying and appropriate as the ending was, I had figured out where the story was leading long before the author revealed the last peice of the mystery.  What speaks well to the story, though, was that knowing the big twist did not in any way lessen my enjoyment of the book overall.  




    Elizabeth Joy Arnold is yet another new author for me, as most of the authors that I read these days seem to be.  If this book is any indication, I think that she has a bright future as an author.  I would certainly read another book by her, and intend to recommend this one to my friends.   A big thanks to Bantam Books and Netgalley for making this book available for me to read in exchange for a review. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Book of Secrets has all of the elements of a good story and

    The Book of Secrets has all of the elements of a good story and it did not disappoint. This may be because the book brought me back to my childhood at my Gramma’s house. A good portion of the book takes place in a white house with a sprawling lawn that ends with a creek and some woods. My Gramma had this exact same setup (albeit smaller than the one in the book), and I remember playing hide-and-seek in the woods and crossing the creek on stones that my cousins and I dropped in the water. Of course, going down to the creek as an adultI was surprised to learn that it was not a huge, rushing river. But even now, I wonder whether the old shopping cart that was overturned in it for as long as I can remember is still there. Next time I visit, I’ll have to sneak down there and find out – I’m sure the new homeowners won’t min (so long as I do it in daylight). And thanks to the internet, I can show you what I envisioned.
    But – back to the book. The story starts out with Chloe, who is in her early 50′s, coming home to find that her husband has disappeared. As she searches for clues as to his whereabouts, she comes across some cryptic messages written in the code she and Nate used as children. From here, she embarks on a mission to find out where her husband has gone and, most importantly, why.
    Let me give a little history here: At the age of 8, a little girl named Chloe stumbled upon the Sinclair children playing in their yard. Home schooled and very well off, the Sinclair children were completely different from Chloe’s classmates and they immediately welcomed them into their playgroup. The catch, however, was that their father, a local pastor, was not to know about their friendship, and so they played in secret (with the help of Mrs. Sinclair) for years to come. As they grew older, Chloe began a relationship with the lone Sinclair son, Nate. It was around this time that Chloe began to understand that there was a dark side to the Sinclair family, but because sneaking and hiding was a decade-old habit, she overlooked any strangeness.
    And so now we are back to the present day storyline. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t go into detail about why the family hid Chloe from their father or why her missing husband wasn’t so odd. I also won’t go into what it was that was encrypted in the messages or why it was there in the first place. But, I will tell you that this book has all of the elements of a great book, including:
    A missing child
    A villainous man
    A very sick woman
    A young mother
    A nun
    A good bit of religion (more undercurrent than active storyline)
    Chronicles of Narnia and other rare first edition books
    Like I said, this book was fantastic. I flew through it in a weekend and it’s close to 500 pages, which takes a little bit of time. The writing flows in a way so that you do NOT want to put the book down. I wouldn’t quite call it lyrical, but it does have a calm and deliberate flow that works exceptionally well. But don’t listen to me – go buy one for yourself!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2015

    Amazing

    Loved this book! It is a must read!

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  • Posted June 9, 2014

    I couldn't put this book down, was enthralled with every word an

    I couldn't put this book down, was enthralled with every word and became entangled with all the characters and their personalities. I can't wait to read her other books.

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