Friday, November 23, 2012

CBR4 #60 A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood.  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. Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash.  Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death.  Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.  Trapped in the wake of a shocking 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 learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way. By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.
I haven't read Sarah's Key, but the cover of this book really drew me in.  I loved the way the book was setup, drawing the reader in with the "event" that started everything and then working up to and past that "event".

I was surprised by the plot had so much push and pull about life and death as well as how family members survive and move on after death. I definitely didn't expect the characters to face more death throughout the book.  In a way, I could see similar plot structures to a crime drama series - just as the characters figure some part of the puzzle out a whole another twist of fate happens.

I enjoyed watching Antoine grow as a character from the beginning to the end.  This book is full of mystery and intrigue as well a heartwarming family centered story.

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