Posts Tagged With: secrets

Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella


Emma is like every girl in the world. She has a few little secrets.

Secrets from her mother:
1.I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom to Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben Hur.

…From her boyfriend:
2. I’m a size twelve. Not a size eight, like Connor thinks.
3. I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

…From her colleagues:
4. When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day)
5. It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.

…Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
6. My G string is hurting me.
7. I faked my Maths GCSE grade on my CV.
8. I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is…

…until she spills them all to a stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger…

This is another gem from Sophie Kinsella. This is pure chick-lit, a light, fun read, humorous and heart wrenching. Emma, the protagonist, is flying from Glasgow to London after a dreadful work meeting. She is a nervous flyer, who was upgraded to Business Class. When the plane hits turbulence she believes she is going to die, and that the handsome American stranger in the seat next to her is the last person she is ever going to see. So she tells him everything – all her secrets and innermost thoughts and feelings. And then they land safely and Emma thinks she will never see him again – until he turns out to be the founder of the company she works for, and he is checking out the London offices. The story follows Emma as she adjusts to having Jack around all the time, struggling with her family, facing unbearable humiliation, love, friendship and revenge.

As ever, Kinsella kept me gripped. Her writing is fluid and engaging. Her characters were similar to those in the Shopaholic Series but I still connected with them. I loved Emma and her brutal honesty on the plane, and how the poor girl had to suffer the consequences. I was willing the best for her, and felt her humiliation and pain with her. Her flat mate Lissy founded gorgeous – what a lovely person to have around. Her other flat mate, Jemima was a hilarious character, with a warped way of viewing the world, but hilarious all the same. There were some vicious characters who I didn’t like as well – which is important to a good story.

Kinsella looks at the use of secrets in relationships. Although this is predominantly a chick-lit book, we do what can happen if you keep secrets. Relationships fall apart, there is a lack of trust and people often get it wrong. Once someone has been hurt through secrets they can be tarnished forever, as was the case with Conner, who turned into a bit of a wet lettuce – insecure and paranoid. However, being a light read, most things turned out OK in the end.

I really enjoyed this book. I laughed and felt pain, I was emotionally connected to Emma and wanted the best for her, and I recommend this book if you like quick, fun reads. The only complaint I have is there was a fair amount of swearing. Apart from that, this is a good novel.


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The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

Unfortunately, the trite and cliched writing let this book down – a shame, because the story itself is very gripping, even if there were a few too many convenient coincidences to move the story along.

In 1987, a young girl is found in dead on a ranch in the Kansas town of Small Plains, on a night when the town is facing a terrible blizzard.  That same night, young Mitch Newquist disappears suddenly and without warning from the town, leaving his devastated girlfriend Abbey heartbroken and confused.
Never identified, the dead girl is buried in a grave, and she quickly inspires a legend – that she is able to perform miracles, such as healing the sick and helping the needy.  
In 2004, the town is struck by another terrible blizzard, and three prominent families in the village are drawn back into the events of 17 years earlier – events that many of them want to keep secret.  And when Mitch Newquist returns to the town, it stirs up turmoil and anguish for these families, until eventually the truth is revealed.
I did predict some of the things that happened, but others I did not see coming.  The story itself was enough to keep me reading, but the writing was amateurish, and there was an excruciatingly bad sex scene!  Nonetheless, for a quick and easy read, this will do the trick.
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Out of My Depth by Emily Barr


Date of Publication: 2006, Headline Review

Number of Pages: 408

Synopsis (from back cover): When Susie decides to invite her old school friends to stay for a reunion she tells herself that it’s just about showing off. It’s about letting Amanda, Izzy, and Tamsin see how well she’s done, with her successful career as an artist, her gorgeous house in France and her delicious boyfriend. But this is a plan that could make or break her seemingly perfect life…and she knows it.

As the old friends gather for a long weekend of catching up and comparisons, it’s clear that, deny it though they may, they’re all still haunted by a dark secret. Up until now they have been treading water – waiting for the moment when they must face the truth.

But now that the time has come, who will sink and who will swim?

Review: As this book has already been reviewed by our own Michelle, I will try to keep this short. I read this book in one day…I absolutely could not put it down. The story grabs you from the very beginning, and doesn’t let go until the last page. The four friends, Susie, Amanda, Izzy, and Tamsin, are so different from each other, and yet they all seem to belong together. Also, their differences give the reader a richer experience, as all four of them experienced the tragedy that ultimately ended their friendship in different ways. One thing I liked a lot about this story is that not all of the characters were likeable. They were real. They had definite flaws and complicated relationships, and it made the story much more believable.

There were a few things I did not like about this book, however, and in my opinion, these things actually detracted somewhat from the reading experience. For starters, the impression I had of Tamsin, from the reaction of her friends at the prospect of seeing her again, was of someone evil and sinister. These women actually had a physical reaction to the thought of seeing her, almost as if the very idea made them sick, like they were afraid of her. This did not seem to indicate guilt at all. I instead thought that they had possibly witnessed Tamsin committing a horrible crime, like a murder or something similar. When Amanda and Izzy meet her on the plane and she’s perfectly normal, I was confused and almost distressed. I also felt that the final explanation of the “incident” felt a little bit implausible, almost like an afterthought.

In the end, though, I really enjoyed reading this book, and that is the most important thing. I think this book will appeal mainly to women readers because of the attention given to the emotional and sexual development of the four main characters. However, any fan of modern fiction and psychological suspense will enjoy this book, and I feel free to recommend it to basically everyone I know.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Sarah

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