Today is the third and final day of the blog blitz for Kate Hewitt’s ‘The Secrets We Keep’. Big thanks, as always, to Bookouture for the blog blitz invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:
My whole body aches. I trawl memories of her, now so precious… my darling child. I can’t lose her…
When Tessa arrives at the little house by the lake with her two children, it is an escape. The rental house may be a bit small – but it’s theirs for the summer. A place to hide…
However, their isolation is disrupted by the family from the big house next door. Three children and their glamorous mother Rebecca – who seems determined to invite Tessa into their lives.
Rebecca, however, is harbouring a dark secret. And when it becomes too much for her to bear, Tessa seems to be the only person she can turn to.
But as powerful bonds form between the two families, choices will be made that can never be undone.
And as the summer comes to an end, nothing can keep everyone safe. And one family will pay the ultimate price…
What does TWG think?
Oh bloomin’ ‘eck, how on Earth am I going to review this one?
‘The Secrets We Keep’ had me on the fence to begin with – it’s not that I didn’t like it, I just couldn’t gel with it. I couldn’t seem to figure out the truth behind Rebecca’s actions, Tessa’s emotions, and the children’s personalities. I know that that is the whole point of a story, but as the answers seemed to come very late on in the book, I knew that I wasn’t going to change my opinion until I was able to figure out where the storyline was headed in terms of the characters.
Now, before you ask why I didn’t give up on the book, ‘The Secrets We Keep’ had something about it. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what that was yet the idea of giving up on reading this book didn’t even cross my mind. Maybe it was because I was curious about the answers to the questions I had. Maybe I was intrigued by the path that the storyline could head down. As I say, there was just something about Kate Hewitt’s storyline which kept my hands firmly gripped on my e-reader, and my eyes firmly glued to Rebecca’s life.
I suppose I can feel slightly smug here and extremely pleased, as I am SO pleased that I gave ‘The Secrets We Keep’ the time it deserved to blossom fully. For a book which had me gathering splinters on my bottom from sitting on the fence for a while, my opinion couldn’t have changed much quicker if it had tried. Seriously. I finished this book with tears in my eyes, hope in my heart, and a loss that was so strong, I could hear something shattering deep within.
Yes, ‘The Secrets We Keep’ is a slow starter. Yes, the characters keep their cards very close to their chests for a good portion of the book. But oh my flipping goodness, just like one character in the book said; ‘once the tape is ripped…’, everything came spilling out. Basically this book, in my eyes, was like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Not just any butterfly either. A ‘Marbled White’ – understated yet undeniably beautiful. Simple on the outside yet complex in its choices.
So, if you hadn’t guessed by now, I ended up falling head over heels with Kate Hewitt’s novel and everything it stood for. Rebecca was proof that it is okay not to be okay. She proved that the hardest choices in life are the ones which have the biggest rewards. She highlighted the importance of speaking out. For a character who came across as a highly strung, unsure, and emotional person, Rebecca ended up showing herself, and me, that there was a lot more to her than originally thought. As for Tessa, from the very beginning I yearned to take her in a hug. I yearned to kneel down in front of Katherine, look into her eyes and tell her that it’s okay to talk. I only hoped for the best for Tessa and her family, I really did. I just didn’t expect the conclusion for these characters at all, and weirdly it hurt.
‘The Secrets We Keep’ is a deeply emotional, raw, and devastating novel which shows the reality of what can often lay beneath a person’s smile, a person’s laugh. I could relate a lot to Rebecca unfortunately, and I think that is why I ended up being emotionally bound to the book and its characters. I will not be forgetting this book anytime soon, as it is one of the most poignant and life affirming novels I think I have read so far this year. It’s harrowing. It’s hard hitting. It’s emotionally draining, but it is beautiful, thought-provoking, insightful….and everything in between. One last thing I will add – keep the tissues handy, you’re going to need them.