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Review: A Secret Kept

January 7, 2011

Antoine and Mélanie grew up close.  Their mother died when they were young, and their father has always been somewhat distant.  They are adults now and Antoine thinks he has come up with the perfect gift for Mélanie’s birthday –  a trip to Noirmoutier Island, a place they vacationed as children.  While they are returning from their trip, Mélanie recalls a memory from their childhood and it causes her to run off the road.  She is injured so it’s a little while before she recovers and tells Antoine about the memory that came to her.

Antoine is shocked by what Mélanie recalls and has to re-think some events from his childhood and his relationships with his father, grandmother and children.

I was really excited to get a copy of A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay, but I’m sad to say the book did not live up to my high expectations.   I was drawn into the book at first, curious about what memory was so disturbing that it caused Mélanie to run off of the road, but have to admit that I was let down once the secret was revealed.  I couldn’t help but think, “That’s it?” and I really couldn’t see how the secret affected Antoine and Mélanie all that much.   There just didn’t seem to be enough background for  me to see why this secret was shocking enough to be the main plot device in the book.

I listened to the audio version of A Secret Kept and it’s read by Simon Vance.  As usual, he does a marvelous job – his voice was enough to keep me listening, but it wasn’t enough to make me love the book.  It ended up being just okay for me.  The audio book is on 7 CDs and runs for approximately 9 hours.

Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
41 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2011 7:23 am

    Sorry it wasn’t a winner for you.

  2. January 7, 2011 7:30 am

    I just have to find a book read by Simon Vance. Everyone who listens to him falls in love with his reading!

  3. January 7, 2011 8:16 am

    eh, I think I will skip this one. I would want more

  4. January 7, 2011 8:24 am

    I really hate when the build up is better than than the payoff. Hopefully the next book will have both.

  5. January 7, 2011 8:26 am

    It does sound like a big build up for a secret that leaves you feeling deflated. Sorry it didn’t work for you.

  6. January 7, 2011 8:44 am

    Yes, sorry to see that it didn’t work for you. I haven’t read this one or Sarah’s Key. The customers in our used bookshop rave about Sarah’s Key, and I was wondering if you liked that one?

  7. January 7, 2011 8:46 am

    I thought that was Sarah’s Key. The cover is so similar, that it looks almost the same.

  8. January 7, 2011 8:48 am

    Oh shoot. I was looking forward to listening to this. Well, may give it try anyway.

  9. January 7, 2011 9:08 am

    “That’s it?”
    yes, bad reaction. I was hoping for something really big and shocking.

  10. January 7, 2011 9:37 am

    you know, I really liked her first book, but from what I’ve been reading all over this one was much more of a disappointment. I am sorry to hear that it wasn’t that great of a read for you, but I think I probably would have felt the same feelings that it was a bit underwhelming. Maybe her next one will be better.

  11. January 7, 2011 10:02 am

    I’ve had both this and Sarah’s Key sitting on my shelf for a long time and don’t know why I haven’t read them. I’m sorry it didn’t live up to your expectations. I’ll be sure to lower mine a little before I start this one.

  12. January 7, 2011 10:14 am

    That’s too bad that this one didn’t cut it for you. But I do have to admit that I kind of felt that way about Sarah’s Key. I know many people loved that book, and although I liked the story something about it just fell a little flat for me.

  13. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 7, 2011 10:14 am

    Well if the build up is toward some big earth shattering secret and your response to said secret was “That’s it?” I’m going to be skipping this one for sure!

  14. Elisabeth permalink
    January 7, 2011 10:20 am

    I am disappointed that you found A Secret Kept so underwhelming. Sarah’s Key was such a great book, I was looking forward to this one, now, I must reconsider.

  15. January 7, 2011 10:21 am

    I hate it when a book doesn’t live up to expectations! I’m sorry this one wasn’t that great for you. 😦

  16. January 7, 2011 11:04 am

    That’s sort of how I felt about her first book, it was promising, then, eh. Sad to hear that this one was the same, I have the audio lying around somewhere too.

  17. January 7, 2011 12:00 pm

    I was drawn to this one, but I have avoided it as well. Always sorry to hear that it didn’t work out, especially in an audio book. For some reason, I expect a lot out of them, and when you add Simon Vance into the mix it would have huge expectations.

    Hope it goes better with your next listen!

  18. January 7, 2011 12:47 pm

    I’m so sad to hear this! Well at least you had Simon Vance!

  19. January 7, 2011 12:54 pm

    Hey Thanks for visiting my blog . I hope you found yourself encouraged to read “JOhnny Gone Down”. I am glad that you understand , sometimes you understand the character sp much and love the character , but the perfection acts like an obstacle

  20. January 7, 2011 1:07 pm

    I noticed that this was out, but I didn’t jump right on it. I know I am probably in the minority, but I wasn’t all that thrilled with Sarah’s Key. Part of it was good, and the other not that great, but I couldn’t gush about it like most people did. I won’t be chasing this one down soon.

  21. January 7, 2011 1:32 pm

    Too bad this didn’t live up to your expectations. I think if a book plot hinges on a secret, it ought to be a really good one.

    And I remember how much Sandy at You’ve GOTTA Read This loves Simon Vance’s voice … I’m sure I’ll be seeing her review of this soon!

  22. January 7, 2011 1:39 pm

    Too bad the secret wasn’t more compelling. Thanks for your honest review, Kathy. 🙂

  23. January 7, 2011 1:42 pm

    Oh no! It’s so sad when you have high expectations for a book and it just doesn’t meet. Sometimes happens after the first is so good. I actually started listening to Sarah’s Key last year and stopped for some reason. Really need to revisit it as I’ve heard such great things about it.

  24. January 7, 2011 2:10 pm

    I have the first book in this series (is it a series if it’s only two? I don’t know!) but I have hesitated to buy this one since I haven’t read it yet! Know I think that may have been a good decision. Thanks for the great review!

  25. January 7, 2011 3:26 pm

    Oh man. See that’s the thing with audio books- you know exactly how long it will take to read the book and when I hear “nine hours” and “just okay” I think “no way.” Never mind that that’s short for an audiobook, LOL. Oh well. I read her last book and wasn’t a big fan so I’ll probably skip this one. Great review, though!

  26. January 7, 2011 3:48 pm

    Sorry to hear this one didn’t work out for you. I have read other reviews that are similar in thought after reading this one, so I doubt I’ll pick it up, even though I loved Sarah’s Key.

  27. January 7, 2011 4:29 pm

    The teaser does make it sound great – I’m dying to know the secret now even though you said it wasn’t that interesting!

  28. January 7, 2011 5:21 pm

    Wow…I’ve read way too many reviews that are so similar to yours Kathy. I’m going to pass on this one and that makes me sad as I loved her last book so much.

  29. January 7, 2011 7:30 pm

    i also recently read a novel with a big reveal that turned out to be not so big or earth shattering and felt as you did with this one. as for simon vance, i really must give him a listen…but you know i’m totally smitten with scott brick! i’d feel like i was two-timing. lol.
    hugs to you, kathy.

  30. January 7, 2011 10:09 pm

    I really liked SARAH’S KEY, but have heard other similar reactions to A SECRET KEPT. Maybe I’ll keep it for a vacation read (and lower expectations).

  31. January 8, 2011 8:24 am

    I did not really enjoy this one either; I have not read Book One yet.

  32. January 8, 2011 11:57 am

    Oh. A reaction like “That’s it?” is not encouraging. I think I’ll be passing this one by. I’m looking forward to Sarah’s Key, though.

  33. January 8, 2011 12:09 pm

    This sounds like a potential library read, with expectations set appropriately. Thanks for sharing your review!

  34. January 8, 2011 2:44 pm

    I did hear many say that this book failed their expectations. I haven’t read Sarah’s Key yet, so I’m trying not to read this one first, even though I may also end up not liking it.

  35. January 9, 2011 11:49 am

    I’ve heard from enough people that this book didn’t live up to expectations so I’m definitely passing on it.

  36. January 10, 2011 7:51 am

    How disappointing! I really liked Sarah’s Key, so I was curious about this one, but it seems all the reviews I’ve read say the same thing. I guess I’ll pass.

  37. January 10, 2011 7:15 pm

    Sounds like one I can skip. My book club just chose Sarah’s Key for our next read so hopefully I will like that one better!

  38. Veens permalink
    January 11, 2011 5:58 am

    SAD! I loved Sarah’s Key, so I was looking forward to this one. Sad this one is not as good.

  39. January 11, 2011 9:46 pm

    I’ve been struggling with audiobooks lately – argh. I was hopin that this one might be a good one. 😦

  40. January 12, 2011 5:58 pm

    Sarah’s Key is a favorite of mine, and I’m crushed that you weren’t thrilled with A Secret Kept. I’ve been told the audio reading is great, but I really want to read the book in print this time around. I will read it soon, though. I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

  41. January 21, 2011 5:07 pm

    I just picked up the audio book of this too. I was hoping it would help me get into audio books, but from the reviews I’ve seen that isn’t going to happen.

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