One of the great things about A Secret Kept is how Antoine matures over the course of the novel. What was your impression of Antoine at the beginning of the book? What about at the end? Did you like him better at the end, or no?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 05/31/11
He is not a man I would be interested in knowing. Too much whining and introspection. Yes, he was raised to be repressed and acquiescent but I just found him tedious. That may not be fair because he did show some signs of a backbone at times. And, Angele found him interesting so, he couldn't be all boring. His excuses for thinking like a 'male' in times of stress were a bit silly. Maybe being a Parisian contributed to his personality.
Join Date: 10/18/10
That's funny, because part of the reason I liked him was because he grew OUT of the repressed outlook. I'm a fan of self-improvement, and it gives me hope that some of the REAL men I know could also grow out of it.
Though I don't imagine I would have been attracted to him...
Join Date: 06/16/11
I like Antoine's vulnerability and his honesty. The book starts with him at a place in life that is so upside down from what he had and always thought he would have and he is struggling to figure out where he is and what he wants. I think pretty typical of a recently divorced person. But Melanie's accident, meeting Angele, Pauline's death, Blanche's death and all the secrets from the past are things he figures out how to deal with and get through while still doing his job and apparently doing it well. He grows exponentially in this book and I like him a lot.
Join Date: 10/12/11
I found Antoine tedious in the beginning of the novel--too self pitying and "lost." Thank goodness he matured thanks to Angele who showed him how to become whole person and his children who showed him that he needed to become a real parent. I must also credit him for the strength he shows in pursuing the truth about his family and accepting what he learns.
Join Date: 10/12/11
Join Date: 04/22/11
I am the same age as Antoine and really related to his tendency to reflection on his childhood and his troubles with his teenage children. I was very disappointed that knowing, as an adult, how the loss of his mother affected his father - that in the end he couldn't just reach out and hug him or hold his hand. I don't think they needed to discuss his mother's affair at that point. I really felt his dad deserved an attempt at compassion from Antoine.
Join Date: 06/16/11
Antoine's final visit to his father in the story was I think the best he could do. Their relationship had been cold and difficult for years. He did not take that opportunity to reveal his recently acquired knowledge which was compassionate in itself. To have changed the way they interacted would probably have been as painful for his father as it was for him. Perhaps his father was grateful that there was no emotional display since there had been none for so many years.
Join Date: 10/20/10
I completely agree with Joyce S. Antoine was vulnerable, closed off, stymied and confused at his inability to make a life that he felt was worthwhile. I admired his tenacity in pursuing the truth about his family, no matter how scary the unknown was. I too liked him. He had very subtle, self aware sense of humor. After the train accident caused by a suicide, he is wryly aware how even in the face of feeling acutely saddened for the person who died, he wants to hold the breasts of a young fellow passenger. He's just a man after all--made me laugh. Or this many layered observation: "I think of how, despite the death of a teenager, Christmas still approaches, inexorable, women still shop on the avenue Montaigne, and men like Parimbert [the man who hires Antoine to construct Think Dome!] take themselves seriously."
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