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A Secret Kept | [Tatiana de Rosnay]

A Secret Kept

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. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? 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.
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Publisher's Summary

This stunning new novel from Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present.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. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island - over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. 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. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

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. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? 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.

©2010 Tatiana de Rosnay (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (170 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.4 (70 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (72 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 11-12-10
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 11-12-10 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't finish"

    I read reviews complaining of the self centered, whining protagonist, and thought that perhaps those reviewers were being too harsh. I hoped that whatever The Secret of the title is would create enough of a compelling story to compensate for character weaknesses, as was the case in Sarah's Key. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to BE a compelling story. I have finally given up after listening to roughly half of the story - endless depressing descriptions of a man devoid of personality, admittedly at a loss as to how to relate to his children and moping about his ex-wife. But what finally did it was the unnecessary forensic descriptions of his "romantic" interlude in the morgue with the nymphomaniac mortician. I have not found a likable character yet and finally have decided I don't care what the secret is (although I do have a guess, and might go to my local book store just to turn to the end to see if I'm right). It's just not worth the hours more of tedious day-by-day woe-is-me. Grow a backbone and get on with it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 09-22-10
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 09-22-10 Member Since 2002

    Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    203
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    "Too Good to Keep Secret"

    Di Rosnay writes a compelling story. She mingles life and death with love gained and love lost as she chronicles the story of Antoine Rey and his attempt to unlock the secrets surrounding his young mother's death. Like Job, he has trials thrust at him all at once. His family disintegrates, people die, he and his sister, Melanie, have a car accident, his wife divorces him, and he hates his job. However, no good writer will leave her protagonist in the same condition that she first created him. Antoine is spurred into action by Melanie's revelation that she has just remembered an important incident from their childhood regarding their mother. Di Rosnay reveals the family secret slowly keeping our headphones firmly in place for hours at a time.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 09-24-10
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 09-24-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Skip it!"

    Not even the incredible voice of Simon Vance can save this horrible book. Bad plot, with major events not meaning much of anything in the end. Bad writing. Horrible characters. Not only do you not care about "the hero,"you don't even like him. Save your credits. Read The Little Stranger instead - a much better use of Simon Vance's voice.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor Corner Edmonds, WA USA 11-25-10
    Eleanor Corner Edmonds, WA USA 11-25-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great narration, boring story"

    While Simon Vance narrates this book extraordinarily well, it is insufficient to save this story from droning on about the French bourgeois, the French middle class, and subsequent ennui. The author's premise of an accident in which a sister is nearly killed is enticing but I think the real "Secret Kept," is why should the reader care.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 06-24-12
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 06-24-12 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    327
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    274
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    5
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    Story
    "Lower your expectations"

    Read it only because I LOVED Sarah's Key.

    This book was good, but not as great as S.K.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melissa Eagan, MN, United States 12-01-12
    melissa Eagan, MN, United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    11
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    Story
    "It wasn't the most riveting story"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Its depressingly sad and doesn't really go anywhere. But, its not written badly, so if you want to just listen to a sad mans story, told by a guy with an accent this is the book for you.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His lovely accent, and perfect pronunciation of all the french names and places, that for an american like me would have been impossible to pronounce.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzette HUMBLE, TEXAS, United States 11-12-12
    Suzette HUMBLE, TEXAS, United States 11-12-12
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not What I Expected"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, I would recommend this book but with reservations.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The beginning of the book is slow to get momentum with the story. The main character would be more personable, he's somewhat boring.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The French words would be glossed over, I don't speak or read French.


    Do you think A Secret Kept needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, not enough of a story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lloyd daphne, AL, United States 03-26-12
    Lloyd daphne, AL, United States 03-26-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Not her best"

    Not her best, but the story kept my interest. Perhaps if I had known more French geography.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Kapaau, HI, United States 03-05-12
    Julie Kapaau, HI, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    "An enjoyable read"
    Where does A Secret Kept rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the better audible books I've listened to. It's the second book I've heard with Simon Vance as a reader, and I will look for others.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Stony Brook, NY, United States 02-20-12
    Christine Stony Brook, NY, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Not my favorite"

    While the narration was done well, this was not my favorite story. Sarah's Key was one of my all time favorite books, maybe I set my expectations too high?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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