Hachette Book Group (AU)
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The Secrets She Keeps: Now a major TV series starring Laura Carmichael Kindle Edition
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|Length: 385 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Robotham captures the physical misery that often characterizes late-term pregnancies and writes convincingly in a female voice, but where this book excels is in the increasing sense of threat he crafts so well. With its interestingly imperfect characters and escalating sense of urgency, this novel will keep you reading as fast as you can."--"Kirkus (starred review)"
"Two terrific female characters, both with secrets. Add Michael Robotham's clean prose and whip-crack pacing...A book you won't be able to put down, although you may occasionally want to hide your eyes."--"Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author"
"Each woman reveals her tale in riveting, alternating chapters that merge into a series of chilling twists...A premium delivery."--"People" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File Size : 776 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 385 pages
- ASIN : B01N7SVPRI
- Publisher : Sphere (11 July 2017)
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,478 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Top reviews from Australia
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Meghan has the perfect family, a loving husband and a son and a daughter. Agatha is single, pregnant and working a mundane job in a supermarket. The highlight of her week is catching a glimpse of Meghan. Agatha has had a troubled past and a very strained relationship with her mother. Meghan too, although appearing to have a pretty idyllic life has her secrets too, secrets that could ruin everything for her. Both have secrets they need to hide to protect themselves.
To reveal any more of this story would definitely be into spoiler territory. There is so much to this tale but really it can't be talked about in a review as it will spoil the story.
The story is creepy as hell and ramps up and up as we read further into the book. The alternative POVs works really well as their lives are intertwined, we get the story from both sides. The minor characters as well are all really well written which all adds to sucking the reader into the story.
Told from each woman's perspective, this disturbing yet truly gripping book will have you clinging on to the end. The twists and turns and the way the two women interlink is well developed, as are their characters.
An easy five stars. If you haven't already, one click this book and put some time aside as you will be drawn in from the start and not let go of until the final words. This is the story of birth, death, loss, despair, happiness and never taking things for granted, just an excellent read.
“The value of a secret depends upon whom you’re trying to keep it from. You may think it’s worth a lot. I may think it’s worthless. Someone always has to pay.”
And she does pay in another good page-turner from Mr R, a favourite of many who can be relied on to throw his characters into all kinds of strife and see who survives to fight another day.
The “she” with the secrets is not only Agatha, it’s also Meghan. Agatha is childless and single, working in a supermarket, stacking shelves, although she’s on restricted duties due to her advanced pregnancy. She idolises Meghan, the pregnant mother of two cute little kids and wife of a handsome TV presenter.
“Meg looks like Andie McDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral. I look like Janet Leigh in Psycho before the knife starts shredding the shower curtain.”
She wishes she had Meghan’s Ideal Family, and finally, she manages to cross paths with her when Meghan’s in the supermarket one day.
Chapters alternate between the women, and headings are clear. Their voices aren’t particularly different – no difference in speech patterns that I noticed – but their attitudes and stories are so different that there was never any doubt as to who was thinking or saying what.
Of course Meghan’s life isn’t picture-perfect. She and Jack (he of the TV good looks) weren’t expecting number three child, but they’d been on holiday and got a bit swept away in the moment, and yeah, stuff happens. She’s pretty much okay about it.
“The truth is I don’t care as long as he’s healthy and happy and treats me nicely. As if reading my mind, he chooses that moment to kick me hard in the kidneys. ‘Hey! What was that for?’ He kicks me again. ‘Do that again and you’re never borrowing the car.’”
But pregnancy can be a hard time for couples, especially with demanding small children and a job that takes dad away from home a lot. They don’t have ding-dong rows, but things aren’t all hunky-dory in the Ideal Family.
“Jack and I have skirmishes rather than battles. We are like Cold War diplomats who say nice things to each other while secretly stockpiling ammunition.”
When she thinks of phrases like that, she feels like writing it down for her popular blog. I forgot to say, the Ideal Family’s mummy is also a blogger. High achiever. And Agatha is determined to be friends. She joins Meghan’s yoga class and they end up having coffee together at Meghan’s house.
Agatha is obviously a troubled soul who wants what she thinks Meghan has – the perfect life. Agatha seems to have had a rough childhood and resents her mother.
“When my stepfather died, she tried to ‘reconnect’ – that’s the word she used, making it sound like one of us had accidently kicked a plug out of the wall.”
It’s hard not to feel sorry for her, but she does have some shocking secrets. One of them is learning something about Jack that Meghan doesn’t know, but I won’t go there.
And Meghan’s secret? I won’t go there, either. This is a stand-alone psychological thriller, not a hard-boiled detective novel or a grisly horror story. And it stands alone very nicely! I enjoyed it.
The outcome was predictable.
Secrets and lies abound and became a bit much.
The main protagonist plans to abduct an infant, but the victim is not clear of guilt. As the narrative unfolds we fear tragedy of the worst kind.
She admires another woman who is a customer at a supermarket where she works who seems to have the perfect life. What follows is the riveting story of the two women and their lives. Full of suspense and heartbreak.....The ending is tragic...sat up half the night reading it,,,,,
Top reviews from other countries
The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of two expectant mothers - Agatha and Meghan. Agatha is all of the creepy - think that kid that just wanted to be your 'friend' in the playground but would stare at you for just a little bit too long, and probably had a collection of doll's heads in their lunchbox. Yep, that kind of creepy.
Meg appears to have the perfect life - she's a mummy blogger, with 2 beautiful children and another on the way, a successful 'mummy blog' and a handsome husband with a high profile TV job. Don't you just sort of hate her already?
On the other hand, Agatha works in the local supermarket, doesn't really seem to have any friends to speak of, her baby daddy is in the Navy (and currently doesn't know she's pregnant) and is estranged from her family. Doesn't she just sound like a barrel of laughs?!
But obviously, with a book like this, all is not what it seems. Both these ladies are sitting on some mega stinky secrets! More than once, I caught my face doing that 'shut the front door!' thing as something else was revealed.
I could not put this book down. The alternating between the 2 narratives kept it really fast paced, as bomb shell after bomb shell was delicately dropped by Robotham. It was everything you want from a psychological thriller (my absolute favourite genre so I consider myself a bit of a closet expert) - fast, intriguing, great characters, some real creepiness and some great plot twists. I inhaled it in about 2 sittings. Thoroughly recommend it if that also sounds like your cup of tea.
On a serious note, there are some real intricacies in this story about what it means to be a woman, and the pressure for 'motherhood' to define your worth as a female. It looks at the heart breaking facts of infertility and the impact that can have on a couple and I found those sections breathtakingly honest. Bravo.
As a side note, I came away from this book feeling desparately sad for Agatha and wanting to give Jack a bit of a smack in the face - but hey, that might just be me...
All that said, this was a pretty fast moving page turner, with a good few surprises along the way. Agatha and Meghan are both 8 months pregnant. Agatha's first. Meghan's third. Supermarket worker Agatha wants married-to-minor-celeb Meghan's life...or rather...what she interprets as Meghan's life. She is extremely cunning and stops at nothing to try to get what she wants. Meghan, meanwhile, has a good few problems of her own and her glossy life may not be as shiny as it first appears.
I won't say more as it would spoil the book to reveal any of the plot. But I liked it well enough to look out Mr Robotham's other work.
I couldn't warm to either of the main characters. I found the detail of their lives stereotypical and sadly therefore quite boring. This was made worse by the story being told by alternating between their narratives so you are forced to remind yourself each time that this is the well off one and this is the poorer one.
I'm sure MR will be back on form with his next novel but I'm sorry to say thhat for me this was complete dud.
The Secrets She Keeps is an interesting psychological read but not especially thrilling. Some aspects of the plot were also highly improbable. However, Michael Robotham manages to keep things interesting and even succeeds in making you feel a level of sympathy for Agatha despite her appalling actions. He also exposes the dangerous illusion that is the internet. Through her blog, Meghan creates the impression that she has it all. Agatha’s vulnerable state of mind sees her buy into and covet this illusion, which ultimately leads to her downfall. Overall, a reasonably enjoyable read.