Title: The Art of Keeping Secrets
Author: Rachael Johns
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Opens: Felicity Bell could think of a number of places she’d rather be on a Friday night than in the pretentiously decorated living room of a house owned by her friend’s no-good ex-husband.
Blurb: They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together and Felicity, Emma and Neve have shared everything … or so they each thought. But they all have a secret they’ve been keeping – Flick’s has to do with her perfect marriage, while divorcee Emma’s is denial about why she is always tired, finally single mum Neve has kept her secret so tight that even her son doesn’t know. One by one the secrets come out into the open and the women have to publically face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other.
My Thoughts: I have to say that I have never, ever, read a bad Rachael Johns book. Each time I finish reading one I think wow she can’t get any better – but then I pick up the next one – and she does. THE ART OF KEEPING SECRETS is so fabulous that I read until the wee small hours to finish it, and my husband had to heat us up leftovers for dinner for two nights as I wanted to read rather than cook!!!
I loved learning the secrets of the three women and then following them as they faced the consequences of the secrets being revealed – first alone, then among themselves and then family and friends as the revelations widened. Neve’s revelation comes first when her 17-year-old son says he wants to find his father. Her revelation results in her going to New York, but as the story twists and turns it ends up with all three women heading for the Big Apple for various reasons. While in New York Emma’s secret explodes into being, and Flick finally share’s her earth shattering secret with her friends. Not content with dealing with these events – Johns decides to throw yet another twist out for the reader after the women return to Australia.
It was amazing the way the storylines went, twisting and turning and leaving me breathless one minute, crying the next and then laughing my head off. Johns does not spare her main characters (or her readers) and they are pushed to their very limits of emotions. Each of the women have to make huge decisions, battle temptations, break down and cry then sometimes hurt people they love. Flick, Neve and Emma each take turn to tell their story – moving the overall plot ever forward. Often I was privy to their thoughts before their friends were which drew me deeper into the story. Together the three friends fight each other, say mean things, drink too much, support each other, cry together and have fun together. The three secrets are very realistic and all the characters are very multi-layered and, dare I say, real. Even Emma’s sleazy and horrible ex-husband shows surprising support when he learns what is happening, this act made me look at him quite differently.
If I had one complaint then it was that Flick’s secret was still only partially revealed and the journey was still ahead of her – she had made a decision as to how she was going to handle things, but how that decision was going to pan out was unknown.
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A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.