A Secret Kept

( 303 )

Overview

Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island , where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach.  It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased.  But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island...

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A Secret Kept

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Overview

Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island , where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach.  It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased.  But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer.  When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Trapped in the wake of a family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children.  How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself?  Suddenly fragile on all fronts – as a son, a husband, a brother and a father – Antoine Rey will soon learn the shocking truth about his family and himself.

By turns thrilling and seductive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family and the invisible ties that hold it together.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Together, de Rosnay and Simon Vance guide us through a sister and brother’s traumatic search for the real cause of their mother’s death some 30 years before. Vance is a reader’s reader, and he narrates de Rosnay’s novel with nuanced tones, rhythms, cadences, and subtle modulations, intonations and pauses to etch each character indelibly in the reader’s memory. He has the rare ability to do convincing women’s voices without sounding silly, and his French is very good (though his American accents are slightly overblown). A St. Martin’s hardcover (Reviews, July 26). (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312553494
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 108,865
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

TATIANA DE ROSNAY is the author of ten novels, including the New York Times bestselling novel Sarah’s Key, an international sensation with over 4 million copies sold in thirty-eight countries worldwide that has now been made into a major motion picture. A Secret Kept debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold over 550,000 copies in twenty countries. Together with Dan Brown and Stieg Larsson, Tatiana was named one of the top three fiction writers in Europe in 2010. She lives with her husband and two children in Paris, where she is at work on her next novel. Visit her online at www.tatianaderosnay.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 303 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(94)

3 Star

(73)

2 Star

(45)

1 Star

(26)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 306 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Although the cover is similar in look to Sarah's Key, De Rosnay's prior book, it is entirely different, but just as engaging.

    First, I would like to remark about the cover of the book. There is a woman walking down a street. The stark contrast of her wide, flaring coat against the narrow cobble-stoned road, is beautiful and evokes memories of the child in the red coat against a black and white background in Schindler's List. 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.
    For his sister Clarisse's 40th birthday, Antonio takes her on a trip to their childhood vacation spot. His family enjoyed several summers there until their mother died suddenly and, for them, mysteriously. The resort town sparks a memory in his sister's mind, which is so strong and so difficult to deal with that she drives off the road and is seriously injured. The remainder of the book is really about Tonio and Melanie's search to find out more about their mother, her past and her death. There are no pictures of her and they know little about her. Their father shut down after her death. Shortly after, he remarried and their mom's memory was basically erased.
    During the course of the story we meet many characters, Tonio's family and his children, friends, relatives and colleagues. There are many characters and there was a point where I was confused about the identity of some of them but eventually, they all fell into place and lent themselves well to this very original and creative tale. The characters are interesting in and of themselves. The scenes and locales are described very well by the author and it is easy to be absorbed into the events of the moment, with the images clearly pictured in one's mind.
    The story is a tale of loss, love and learning. The characters have to explore themselves and come to terms with their own shortcomings and strengths. It is about learning how to deal with life's unexpected tragedies and difficult moments. It is about dealing with and accepting death and the circumstances surrounding it. It is also about growing up, becoming independent and learning to accept responsibility. It is about attitude and attitude adjustment. I think on a larger scale, it is a story about the trials of life and how we choose to live it.
    The book touches all of our senses and emotions but is neither too tense or too laid back. It strikes the right chord and so it is engrossing and easy to read. It is a mystery, a love story and a tale of secrets and their effects on the lives of others.

    38 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    SECRET....BUT WHO CARES???

    A Secret Kept was an entertaining book to read.After reading De Rosnay's first book , Sarah's Key, which was so well written and such a good story, this one left me kind of disappointed. In A Secret Kept, De Rosney wrote the story from a man's point of view. Sometimes this just did not ring true, knowing the book was written by a woman. There were times this man was just too sensitive in certain situations. Maybe this reviewer is too jaded. As for the big secret.... it was not that big of a secret. This will not keep me from reading her third book. I like the way she writes... takes one down the streets of Paris with each book. It is worth the time to read, just don't expect another story like Sarah's Key.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    Not worth it

    I kept waiting for something exciting to happen but everything was predictable. I knew early on what the secret was. I am glad I read Sarah's Key first or I probably wouldn't have bothered after this book. I just got through it hoping it would get better and more interesting.

    11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Entertaining!!

    This was a good book, but not a Sarah's Key. Just like Key it shifts from past to present as a family grapples with a family secret. This is entertaining and De Rosnay keeps you hooked.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Disappointing

    This is a very slow moving book. None of the characters are appealing. I liked Sara's Key. Everyone in my book club agreed this was a disappointment.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2011

    An inch deep and a mile wide

    I can say nothing to recommend it. Boring right up to the end.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great writing however...

    the story line was predictable...and...dragged-out. The ending had no really excitement or "conclusion"; NOT really a disappointment but this story should have been better. Sarah's Key was/is incredibly-written. What happened...?

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting reading--walk back in history

    I read this book and was very entertained by the story line and the lesson in recent history. The story kept my interest and educated me at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    A bit slow in the beginning; however, if you can get through the first 100 pages or so, the book becomes addictive and you can't put it down.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2011

    Check it out

    Couldn't wait to see how it ended. Must read

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    This book is not as good as I hoped it would be. I like her wrti

    This book is not as good as I hoped it would be. I like her wrting style, the details of the scenes that become vivid, but the plot was too thin, and most of the characters seemed to be one-dimensional. Angele seemed to be the most complex character, but I just could not believe that she found Antoine so intriguing. The author also used a few words that were not used in an appropriate manner, which surprised me. I did like the book as far as the framework and how death plays such a major role, but I had wished that the plot had been better. This book makes me wonder whether her next one is even worth reading. She seems to stretch a one-note theme to its limit, so I do not think I will read any more of her books. Her talent seems to lie in her ability to describe surroundings, but not enough real meat on the people themselves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    A really good read.

    This is a really good book, totally different from Sarah's Key, which I also loved. Some authors books become very predictable after you read a couple' but Tatiana deRosnay's books are totally different from each other. In this book you can't wait to find out what happened to this family, and that's all I'm saying, I don't want to give anything away. Read it you will love it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Very good

    Thoroughly enjoyed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Highly Recommended !

    I Really enjoyed this book as I did with Sarah's Key. Once again there are family secrets that come to light and affect each character differently. There are some unexpected twists that may surprise you. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Outstanding

    Very well written

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Probably One of My Least Favorite Reads

    I wanted to like this book, I really did. I think Tatiana de Rosnay is a fabulously talented writer but this book left so much to be desired. First of all, there was the really weird relationship between Antoine and his sister. OK, perhaps there wasn’t a “relationship” per se, but he admired his sister’s body in ways that made me more than just a little bit uncomfortable.

    And speaking of Antoine, I thought he was too whiny. About everything. I wanted to grab him by the collar, shake him and tell him to man up! I know parents feel guilt over divorcing and they have a hard time reprimanding their children, but allowing them to become juvenile delinquents is not the answer.

    Also, without giving away the family secret, I think a homicide would have been a far better choice…

    The one positive in this story had to be Angèle. She warrants her own story. I like the way she talked about death and how we have to come to grips with the death of loved ones and the fact that we won’t always have answer to the “whys” of life.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Sarah's Key--it isn't

    I was excited to see de Rosnay offer a new book because I was thoroughly engaged by (on a variety of levels) her prvious book, Sarah's Key. I am disappointed by A Secret Kept. The characters seem flat, with a whiney protagonist that is often irritating. The slow pace makes the plot seem tedious with little to keep me engaged save for the occasional flashbacks. I enjoy books set in France so this is a positive, but even the quirky French culture is virtually ignored here. In short, I was disappointed but urge readers to make the time for Sarah's Key.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Great book

    This book is really good. Although i woild not recommened for children under the age of14.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Disappointing

    This book is nowhere near as engaging as Sarah's key. It is not worth the time necessary to slog through it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Not so good

    I was highly disappointed. There was too much babble & whinning for me. I found myself skipping pages. Hoping to get to a good/exciting part, which never came. I will not recommend this book to my friends. Loved Sarah's Key!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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