Lauren @ goodreads.com says: "I’ve realized that Ms. de Rosnay’s books are a bit like cheap bottle of wines – when you’re immersed in them, they’re hard to put down. Then you finish them, have some time to think things over, and realize they really weren’t that great and it was more that you were caught up in the moment."
I totally agree. Based on all the glowing reviews of Sarah's Key, I picked up this book at the same time. I actually enjoyed it more than Sarah's Key, but it has some of the same flaws. There are some beautiful descriptions of seaside France in the summer that I really enjoyed. deRosnay can turn a phrase now and then that's for sure. But this plot in this book is shallow and predictable (I won't give any summary of the plot as any attempt to do so spoils what little suspense there is).
Again, this book contains scenes that do not contribute to character development or plot in any way and seem to clunk along - granted the scenes are very emotional (ex. abortion clinic in Sarah's Key and funeral of a 14 yr old girl in A Secret Kept) but in a gratuitous way. Some characters are more well developed, but many of the characters are flat and uninspiring. Some characters show promise and then disappear from the book entirely.
The highlight of A Secret Kept is the love interest of the main character (a spineless and whiney man named Antione) namely, a spunky, free-thinking, motorcycle-riding mortician named Angele. I'd love to see someone write a book about her!
Maybe I'm being too tough on deRosnay... maybe this is supposed to be emotionally-draining but intellectually-empty reading? Maybe readers like a mystery that they can solve by the end of chapter 2? Maybe believable characters are highly over-rated?
I (sadly) own this book - anyone want to borrow it and disagree with my review?!