Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"A Secret Kept" Reveals an Awful Truth

No family is perfect.

That is probably the strongest message the reader will take away from "A Secret Kept." This book is probably going to go down on my top ten favorite books; not because it had romance, mystery or suspense -- but because it was real.

Tatiana de Rosnay touches upon the realities of marriage, rebellious teenagers, sex, love and life. Every experience a "typical" 13-to-50-year-old female or male could possibly live through is mentioned in this book. And once again, these experiences are not sugarcoated.

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. 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.

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. 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. A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.

This description doesn't do the book justice. There are 5 different story plots going on, a number of character stories being told, and a dozen different conflicts waiting for a resolution -- all of which will leave you wanting more as you turn each page.

To narrow it down, here are the two reasons why I really enjoyed this book:

Experiencing life through a man

The majority of the stories I read are told through the perspective of a female. Although enjoyable, getting to know Antoine Rey via his thoughts was a pleasurable experience. He is an honest, caring and kind person.

He isn't an ideal father-figure, but he is one of he most genuine characters I have ever "met." He may be a sex fiend, but he is also a lover with a broken heart. He may have a complicated and untrustworthy relationship with his family members, but he works hard to simplify things with his own children.

He is just a normal person who continues to survive day-to-day life, and I found it fascinating to experience what he does with him.

Re-defining the word "family"

My favorite author Nicholas Sparks typically touches upon life's tragedies. However, one of the ideas he hasn't gotten deep into is the reality that families are not perfect. Tatiana de Rosnay does that. She takes a "picture perfect" family and tears it apart with the revelation of one secret.

Although this secret tears apart one family, it helps mend another. That is the plot I really enjoyed. Not how the family falls to lies -- but how they move past it. It was an original family dynamic that has a complicate, yet (I think) happy ending.

I rather not relay too much information or description about the book because I highly recommend you read it. Like I said, it is not geared towards 20-year-old-females, but instead, geared towards anyone who belongs to a family.

I give this book 4 stars.

.............. More from Tatiana De Rosnay ............

I fell in love with this author's writing when I read "Sarah's Key."

This book was a thrilling, tragic but incredible book centered around the Holocaust. Never have I experienced a book like this that gave me nightmares as well as hope. It is one of the strongest book I have ever read.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Furthermore, I am delighted (as well as nervous) that they made this book into a movie.



1 comment:

  1. Great news! Sarah's key the movie has a release date. Tatiana just tweeted:

    @tatianaderosnay: Sarah's Key, the movie, USA, July 22nd