A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

7963208My introduction to Tatiana de Rosnay’s work was Sarah’s Key, which I read and loved and obviously I wanted to read more of her work. I always do that when I discover an author and loved his/her book, I seek out other books by the author in question.

A Secret Kept is a novel that basically revolves around family secrets, the type of book I like if you read my blog for a while. Antoine Rey is a 40 something year old man who decides to take his sister Melanie away for a weekend as a gift on her 40th birthday. He chooses a place they haven’t visited for almost 30 years: Noirmoutier Island. The place where his family used to go for summer vacations when his mother was still alive. They both don’t remember much about their mother, but once they got to the island, memories came flooding back. Some good and some bad. Melanie has that experience, she remembered something that unsettles her. When she finally decides to tell Antoine what she remembered she lost control of the car while driving and they got into a bad accident.

Even though Antoine is very concerned about Melanie’s recovery, what Melanie wanted to share with him still bothers him, but he refrains from asking her. She does reveal this information to him eventually. This revelation puts their grandmother under suspicion around their mother, Clarisse’s death.  Apart from the story about Clarisse’s death (which the novel basically revolves around), a few other family dynamics comes into play: sibling relationships, divorce and raising teenagers (especially the rebellious kind).

I did enjoy reading this novel, family sagas is what I like reading about… almost as much as mysteries and secrets.  I did find Antoine’s persistent longing after his ex-wife annoying. Even though he met another woman and she makes him happy, he still longed for his ex-wife who cheated on him. Especially after the way he found out about them!  I think reading his thoughts – it was a little bit much and maybe depressing.  When it comes to novels like this, it’s quite anticlimactic when the ending falls a little flat, which happened with A Secret Kept. Like I said, I enjoyed reading the novel, it was a good read, but I wanted more from the ending. There is one family secret that was worth being uncovered by Antoine, even shocking, but the secrecy around Clarisse’s death and the buildup to the end had me believe that Clarisse was murdered and yet all it was, was negligence by her doctor. Really?

Have you read this novel? Did you like it? I did,  but I was a little disappointed by the ending

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  • I have not read it, but now I want to

    • I hope you won’t feel the same about the ending 🙂

  • Ah man, I hate when that happens…when a book idea has such potential and it just fails to deliver.

    • Exactly. All the build-up and then the resolution to the mystery is just something mediocre 🙁 I like drama!

  • I was hooked after you said “family secrets”, although the ending has put me off reading it.

    • Hi Akeem, Long time! 🙂 Yes, the ending didn’t satisfy me, but the read was nice, I must admit…

  • I haven’t read this one, though I did enjoy Sarah’s Key. It’s kind of a bummer to hear the ending didn’t float your boat. I hate when that happens.

    • Yeah, I like dramatic endings, especially if there was a build-up. Sarah’s Key is a great book, I still think about it

  • I haven’t read it yet, but I did enjoy The House I Loved. 😀 I hate to really like a book only to be disappointed by the ending.

    • Oh thanks, I should check that out!

  • Still have to start reading books by Tatiana de Rosnay. It is good to see you like them so much as that means I will probably do too!

    • I think you should read Sarah’s Key rather 🙂

  • I also enjoyed it but I expected a lot more from her after reading Sarah’s Key. I wanted her to blow me away, and this book was good, but it didn’t do that.

    • Exactly what I experienced with this one!

  • Great review! It’s been a few years since I’ve read the book but I remember enjoying the crazy family dynamics

    • Thanks Lianne! I did enjoy the book, but I still loved her first novel more 🙂

  • It always is disappointing when you love one book by an author and then are a bit let down with the second one… I’m glad it was generally a good read, though! I enjoyed reading your review!

    • Thanks Adria! I enjoyed the book yes and I’m sure if the ending had a little more drama I would like it more

  • I loved this book! I do agree that the ending was missing something. However, she is such an incredible author!

    • She is! I loved Sarah’s Key and I definitely liked this one.

  • I like books about secrets too, but I think I’ll give this one a pass given your disappointment with the ending. Also, unless it’s clear from the beginning that the wife wasn’t murdered or that’s a very small part of the novel, I think you might want to add a spoiler warning to your review. I’m not going to read this one, but if was going to, I’d pretty disappointed to learn that bit of info before finishing the book myself!

    • Book about secrets is my thing 🙂
      Apologies for the spoiler! I never give plot spoilers in my reviews and I guess that’s one of the reasons why I forgot to put a disclaimer in this review. Definitely isn’t an excuse, so sorry if the spoiler is a bit annoying. Will have to edit this post, thanks for letting me know

      • I enjoyed Sarah’s Key too and will definitely try this one. It’s maybe worth noting that the most frequent criticism of Hemingway’s novels was “unsatisfactory endings”. Sometimes it’s just a style thing and shouldn’t put anybody off reading this.

        • Most definitely not, because the read was good. I just had to put it out there that I didn’t like the ending or my review wouldn’t be honest. However, after reading Sarah’s Key, I’m definitely a fan of this author. I am yet to read some Hemingway, which I will soon as part of the classics challenge. Thanks for stopping by Dave!

      • No worries! In this case, I wasn’t planning on reading the book, so didn’t mind at all 🙂

  • Isi

    That ending…. what a shame!!
    Still, I want to read this book. Family sagas is my thing, you know 😉
    And I have also read Sarah’s key and I loved it.

    • Then you must enjoy it, but now you know what to expect. Yes, I loved loved loved Sarah’s Key.