Book Talk Home | Search Book Talk | Login | RSS
Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
A Secret Kept
"A seductive, suspenseful, and trés formidable keeper" - Publishers...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

Created: 09/13/11

Replies: 31

Posted Sep. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
BookBrowse

Join Date: 11/16/10

Posts: 43

Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?


Posted Oct. 11, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 244

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I think this is an excellant story and very well written. It is fiction that feels and reads as very real as do the characters in the story. They are neither over the top or boring but real people.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenh

Join Date: 10/06/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I agree with JoyceS that this feels and reads well. However, I thought felt like there should have been more "clues" for the actual secret. About 1/4 of the way through, I felt like I was a little bored with the story line. At that point, it looked like the only secret going on was that the mother was having an affair and I thought "big deal" since adultery was already present in the storyline ( with Antoine's wife). There was nothing that made me think "what else might be going on?". At that point, I wasn't sure how interesting teh book would be. It took until halfway through for there to be additional "clues" to pull me back into the story. At that point, the characters really came into play and I was invested in the story/characters through the end. There was just that large chunk where it was uninteresting. I also felt like once I got to that halfway point and there were finally additional "clues", it was easy to figure out what the so-called twist to the story (the *actual* secret) would be. I enjoyed the characters because, as a newlywed twenty-something with no children yet it was interesting to me to read about the struggles the characters had with their marriages and their teenage children. It was like looking into the unknown future for us and all of our friends. Overall, I think it was a pleasent read, but beyond the entertaining character development, it was fairly dull and predictable for a story about a family secret.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Barb274

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I read and enjoyed the story but it truly was not as good a Sarah's Key. I think The Secret kept went off in too many unnecessary directions.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneb

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

Overall, I did not think that The Secret Kept lived up to expectations. I thought the characters were not well developed and the plot was rather thin.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 64

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I enjoyed the book, but I didn't think it was as well done as her earlier book, Sarah's Key.


Posted Oct. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 82

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I enjoyed the book but it certainly wasn't outstanding. Felt the plot was contrived and rather irrelevant. I have friends who will enjoy the read more than I. The only character who was well developed was Antoine. I guess it really was his story rather than Melanie's but would have been more interesting with fuller characters. The author started plots and then seemed to abandon the stream before it was developed.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 244

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I am a bit discouraged by the comments that indicate that this book is not as good as Sarah's Key and think they are a little unfair. I had not read Sarah's Key before I read A Secret Kept simply because I was too cheap to buy and had not been able to get it from the library. That said I have read it now since my reserve came through just as I was finishing Secret. The two stories are written in the same past and present voice style which I like but I think the key difference is that the pivotol point in Sarah's Key was a horrific event which was not fictional. I think the writing in Secret was equally good but dealt with an historical fact that was not as mind boggling so maybe did not strike such a strong empahty in people.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 558

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I think Joyces makes a very good point. Looking back over the many books that I've read multiple reviews of over the years, I think that those that are set against a backdrop of well-known historical events tend to have an advantage when it comes to reader reviews when compared with books with similar writing styles that are set in more mundane circumstances.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneb

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I read The Secret first and was very disappointed in the shallowness of the book. So I respectively disagree with Joyces' comment. Even The Key was light but the plot was well developed. I have read so many books about the wars that it is refreshing to read a book based on history that I know nothing about. History in ancient times or in countries whose history I am not familiar with.


Posted Oct. 13, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
erical

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 8

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

This book was not as good as "Sarah's Key" that started off with a bang and kept me engrossed right from the get go. This book was a lot more suttle. It was good but it was lacking something.


Posted Oct. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
maribethk

Join Date: 09/04/11

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I am only on page 81 but so far I have found it to be well writtne and keeps the reader interested in what is going to happen next.


Posted Oct. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 55

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

When I compare A SECRET KEPT with other novels I have recently read, I must conclude that I would not include it on "My Favorites" list. Most of the characters were static, not round. Clarisse was the only character who piqued my interest and that's because she is presented "in the shadows." What was she really like? What about her childhood and how was it different from that of her husband's? What attracted Francois to her? So. overall in its favor I would say, the book is a quick, not too heavy read; the symbolism one could draw between life and the Gois Passage is interesting .


Posted Oct. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyb

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 19

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I agree with Joyce S.--I too am a bit disappointed that others did not like this book as much as I did. I didn't compare it with Sarah's Key--it had been a while since I read Key, so I didn't start Secret with any preconceptions. The car accident at the beginning drew me right in, and I trailed right along with Antoine's pursuit of the mystery of what his sister saw when she was little. I figured out that the mother was having an affair, and a clue early on in one of the mother's letters was a good hint at the twist on that little secret, but still I wanted to find out the whole "truth" just as Antoine wanted to. I thought that his pursuit opened up his feelings and his ability to express them as he had never been able to do in the face of his repressive family. Had his mother lived, she could have taught him how to follow his heart. And in the end it was she who led him there.


Judy
Posted Oct. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I think the biggest reason I liked this book is that I'm in the same place in my life as Antoine, and I've had many of the same experiences. I've been divorced, I've lost people close to me when they were too young, and my family never talked about anything. I don't have any cool lesbian affairs or beautiful island vacations in my history, but I have had loneliness and personal growth that mirrors some of what Antoine goes through. I've lost one parent, and my other parent is not in good health. This book is full of real life, and it reads like someone who has lived it.


Posted Oct. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pschulze

Join Date: 08/08/11

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I enjoyed the shifting time and scenes in the book and also thought she did a good job of character development, especially Antoine and Angele. I thought the subplots added depth to the novel and made it easy to believe the world of the novel.


Posted Oct. 16, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 244

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I am finding the differences in how much various people liked this book very much and others not so much very interesting. I think it points to the variety in what we all expect from a book and also where each of us are and have been in our lives. I know from my own experience that books I absolutely thought were fantastic when I read them 20 years ago now seem a bit trite and boring. I am sure it has to do with the changes in my life over that 20 years and may relate to the changes in the world too.


Posted Oct. 16, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneb

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I think that a really good book, ones that are very well written, hold the test of time. Some books that I read years ago are still very good books to this day as attested to the awards they have won. Some books that didn't win awards are still good books to this day. There are times when we are just not ready to read that book for whatever reason. There are other times when we just want to be entertained and not have too think to much when reading. It depends on what type of mood we are in when we choose a book to read. I do agree also, Joyce, with the points that you have made. They are very relevant. We are all on a journey and will take many different pathways to get to the same place. I'm sorry but this book just does not go on my list of one of the best books I have ever read.


Posted Oct. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyb

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 19

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I absolutely agree that any book can strike a single person in a certain way because of many things...where you are in your own journey through life is maybe the biggest factor! We have a book club at work, and our discussion benefits when people react differently to a book we're reading. I am enjoying the give and take of the comments on this book. They say a lot not just about the book, but about why we are all so passionate about books and reading.


Judy
Posted Oct. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
annotto

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

While for me, Tatiana de Rosnay’s latest book, A Secret Kept, didn’t begin to match the suspense and suspense and drama of her first novel, Sarah’s Key, it was still an entertaining read. This story of a brother and sister who are uncovering the mystery of their mother’s life and death carried me along until the last chapter or so because I simply wanted to find out what happened. But I thought it was just a little too wordy and slow-paced -- in fact I don't know that, once I realized exactly what had happened, I would have finished it, other than the fact that I said I would! I agree with someone who reviewed it earlier that the most interesting and compelling character was Clarisse, Antoine & Melanie's mother. I wish I knew more about her. I thought that Antoine was a little weak, even though I know that was the point of the book in many ways, but his weakness contributed to the slow pace of the book.


Posted Oct. 20, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shirleyf

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 15

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I liked the story however, I think the pace was a little slow. The story was really about Antoine and the way he copes with loss/death. There seemed to be a lot of unanswered questions and issues that he could never deal with and he seemed ambivalent re. the people who were important in his life.


Posted Oct. 22, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
maribethk

Join Date: 09/04/11

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I agree - it started out at a fair pace and interesting but then it really slowed down and picked up again at the end. I don't think the characters were well developed, including Antoine. At some points I felt the author just didn't "feel like" developing the characters more or perhaps had a rough idea for the story but never really developed much of it.


Posted Oct. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shellyb

Join Date: 07/04/11

Posts: 11

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

Overall, I did not enjoy this book half as much as I did Sarah's Key. I thought a secret kept played out more like a soap opera. I don't remember the details, I read it when it first came out. I was so excited to read another book by the author, that i bought it right away. I was dissapointed by this book.


Posted Oct. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 57

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I agree with many of the comments already made. I too found Sarahs Key much more compelling. Maybe as Annotto commented about Antonios character it made the book less appealing. Did find the book a good read.


Posted Oct. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 64

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I didn't think that this book was as good as Tatiana de Rosnay's first book, "Sarah's Key." While the characters are well drawn and interesting, the plot seemed to wander all over. Some issues come up that are never resolved which is rather disconcerting. It's not a bad book, but I was expecting more from it than it delivered.


Posted Oct. 31, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
viviant's Gravatar
viviant

Join Date: 10/26/11

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

Although vastly different from SARAH'S KEY, I enjoyed A SECRET KEPT just as much. The fact that the main character was male gave it a decidedly different feel from most stories. Antoine knew that he had deficiencies in his character, as a father, husband and son, although he does seem to excel at being a brother. Others have remarked upon the unresolved issues in his life, but I think that there are simply some men that refuse to deal with too many emotional issues. They've been raised to be the strong, silent types (yes even in this day and age), and given the way Antoine was raised I felt he dealt with most of the issues he confronted appropriately.


aka The Book Diva
Posted Nov. 02, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lorie

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 24

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

Like a lot of you, I was disappointed that A Secret Kept wasn't as good as Sarah's Key. I wish authors would be more consistent with their writing. I want to be able to be sure when I buy a book by an author I've liked before that it will be another "winner". Nevertheless, A Secret Kept kept my attention, and I found it a quick read. I found the secret something of a yawn, but otherwise I enjoyed it enough to finish it, but not enough to recommend it to others.


Posted Nov. 02, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
viviant's Gravatar
viviant

Join Date: 10/26/11

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I wasn't disappointed with A SECRET KEPT and felt the writing was just as good as SARAH'S KEY but slightly different. If we keep in mind the social constraints of this family and the time period these events occurred in, then a married woman having a female lover and considering taking her children away from their father was scandalous.

Perhaps it is problematic when we expect an author to write similar themes just to keep us entranced. Writers must explore their styles just as we readers explore different genres and reading styles.

I personally applaud the authors that are capable of providing us with books in different styles with all being well-written. We may not enjoy one book but enjoy others by an author, this doesn't mean the writing is bad simply that this particular book did not click with us. I don't think it is possible for an author to maintain the exact same writing style in book after book, because then the books (characters and plots) become formulaic and we as readers know what to expect and get easily bored...just a thought.


aka The Book Diva
Posted Nov. 04, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianes

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 53

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I enjoyed the book, this author is a very good storyteller in general. I did find the pacing a little slow and would have liked more happening or insights, especially in the first part of the book. The second part of the book seemed a little faster and I think it would have kept people more interested if she woud have thrown in a few more clues in the first part.


Posted Nov. 07, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
ruthd

Join Date: 09/12/11

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I too did not feel that this book measured up to Sarah's Key. However, I felt that I was not comparing "apples to apples". We need to look at this book differently. It was originally written in French, by someone who lives there, and therefore is immersed in that culture. I believe that the French culture regarding the upbringing of children, the formality of life in that society, must be considered when reviewing this book.

When I looked at it in that light, I could agree that although I found it hard to get into, it was worth the read. The first chapters puzzled me because I couldn't keep track of the flashbacks, and the present time. Once I became accustomed to the presentation method, I had to read on. I became more sympathetic to the secret that the brother and sister were searching out. I realized that in the action's time period, in the economic group to which the family belonged, the rather stilted presentation was appropriate. I could not call it a favorite book, but was glad to have read it.


Posted Jan. 20, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 68

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I read this book because I enjoyed Sarah's Key so much. I read it in February of 2011 and must admit that I don't remember many details of the book. In my book diary, I basically only wrote a short synopsis of the book, indicating to me that it was not a favorite as I usually add a comment or two about books I particularly like or dislike (but continue to read) so my conclusion is that the book did not greatly impress me one way or the other.


Posted Feb. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
blacksnake

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Secret Kept?

I thought that it was an interesting book, had not read her first novel. But the revelations could have been more suspenseful really.


Reply

Please login to post a response.