My 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