Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 11404
date submitted 13.10.2011
date updated 11.05.2013
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Romance, Crime
classification: moderate
incomplete

Secrets We Keep

Gail Cleare

Nell and Bridget discover their mother has hidden a secret life for thirty years, with a cottage in Vermont and a Westie named Winston.

 

Sept. 1, 2012 - AUTHONOMY GOLD MEDAL WINNER!

98,000 words of contemporary women's fiction — a family drama about three generations of women, the sacrifices they've made and the secrets they carry.

If you ever wondered what your mother is really like, you should read this book.

Educated at the best schools and raised to live happily ever after, the Reilly sisters never dreamed their lives would only be perfect on the surface. Nell is a devoted mom and corporate wife who struggles to keep her demanding husband happy. Bridget is a glamorous interior designer who transforms herself for every new man, always attracted to the bad ones.

When their mother Mary Reilly turns up in a hospital hundreds of miles from home, the sisters find out how she has dealt with regret. Her lakeside hideaway is the vault for family secrets never suspected, and the gateway to change for all three women.

 
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avon contemporary, book club fiction, commercial fiction, crime, danger, daughters, death, divorce, dogs, drama, family secrets, fbi, freedom, friends...

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HarperCollins Wrote

The book has a strong premise: Nell receives a call from a hospital with news that her mother is in intensive care and that she is required right away. Only the hospital is in Vermont and Nell’s mum is supposed to be in a nursing home in Massachusetts. But this is no case of mistaken identity; Nell discovers that her mother has been leading a secret double life for years.

So, yes, that’s quite a neat idea and the strengths of the story all reside in that plot and how it is slowly revealed. When the author concentrates on that element we are on steady ground and it works well. I have a few small issues with unnecessary information being outlined too soon, but these are pretty easy to fix. I wanted to know what happened next and kept turning the pages in the hope of doing so. This is the sign of a strong plot in capable hands.

I had more serious issues with other sections, though.

Dialogue needs addressing. It feels a little bit forced and stilted in places and not how people actually speak. One way of fixing this is to hand the dialogue to two friends and get them to read it out in front of you, then listen to them in normal conversation. Spot the difference in word use, rhythms etc. See if you can get your dialogue a bit closer to that pattern. It can make a huge difference to the believability of a book.

I felt the other story strands, which were just starting to develop in the section I read, were not as convincing as the main one. Bridget’s story feels a bit ‘daytime drama’ and somewhat clichéd. I can see why it is there but I think it needs more work to be as strong as the main narrative.

David’s story is also important but felt less well rounded that Nell’s.

I have gone through the first 50 pages or so and made detailed comments which I will pass on separately.

In summary, this is, at its heart, a compelling story. It needs a bit of work but a good rewrite and a copy edit could fairly easily knock this into shape and deliver a commercial and publishable book.

Emma Barnaby wrote 622 days ago

This a measured, controlled piece of writing which instantly puts the reader at ease as we feel we’re in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing.

The atmosphere and environment are set up effectively and economically and without intruding on plot development. Characters are rounded and believable, and the premise intriguing enough to make us want to read on.

I read more than I initially intended to because I was caught up in the story and wanted to find out what was going on – which I think is the highest compliment one can pay a thriller. This is enjoyable, extremely easy reading which I can imagine wolfing down in one sitting on a beach somewhere tropical.

I have no nitpicks so will just say well done and lots of stars!

Thanks

Emma

Stephen Hilling wrote 599 days ago

I love the strong opening to this. It grips you immediately. Your characterisation is excellent and I found myself quickly absorbed in to your story. I like the air of dark foreboding about your mystery and your writing is well paced and believable.

A well-deserved place on my shelf and hopefully you’ll make it to the editor’s desk.

Stephen
Chasing Shadows

Roopop wrote 600 days ago

Somebody asked me to read this story, and once I'd started, I couldn't put it down. I felt the adrenaline pumping right from the start. I thought, what if that happened to me and my mother? Everything was just so real and believable. The writing is brilliant. I must know how this continues, and no wonder, so many people have supported this book. I'm giving it six stars.

JCS87 wrote 602 days ago

What a brilliant writer you are. In between writing my third book for my trilogy, I came and snuck little reads here and there. I can't think of any pointers to give you! Very well written, edited down to the T, and something I would definitely buy once it's available.

I wish you the best, as you sit on the editors desk!

JCS
Anguished Immortals Trilogy

angie3m wrote 562 days ago

I've only been to the first chapter so far. It has a strong introduction and I like that. I'm waiting to see the story unfold as we get to know more about her mother's secret life. It does need a little help on dialogue. I think maybe a little bit more emotion on what might be happening with her mother needs to come out. Maybe when she talks to the nurse or the volunteer at the front desk or something. A little more tearful in the hospital room with her mother. After all it is her mother and she should be outraged. Then again it might not be her character too. I'm intrigued to find out what happens next and to know more about the mystery of her mother! Nicely penned!

alanb45 wrote 565 days ago

Ms. Clare crafted an excellent plot - her mother's secret double life. The story flows well with tension in the opening line - "When the first hint of trouble intruded into Nell's serene world . . ." The first chapter ends with Nell discovering her mother's Vermont cottage- another in a growing list of troubling clues to a double life. I liked the plot and Ms. Clear's style and ability to weave a great story. Six stars.

alanb45 wrote 565 days ago

Ms. Clare crafted an excellent plot - her mother's secret double life. The story flows well with tension in the opening line - "When the first hint of trouble intruded into Nell's serene world . . ." The first chapter ends with Nell discovering her mother's Vermont cottage- another in a growing list of troubling clues to a double life. I liked the plot and Ms. Clear's style and ability to weave a great story. Five stars.

marcie8 wrote 566 days ago

Hi Gail,

A Club Nora Chapter One critique:

Overall, an intriguing story. Writing style is clear and easy to read. Voice is unobtrusive. The characters are interesting, and the story is set up well by the end of the chapter. I did feel a bit impatient at the very beginning, like I was waiting for the story to start. Consider starting later, perhaps with the airplane landing. Also, consider shortening the description of the house at the end; perhaps only five or six pertinent details to convince the reader that the house does in fact belong to Nell's mother, and that Nell is in disbelief.

You've caught my interest with this one. I'll be back to read more.

Marcie



KirkH wrote 571 days ago

Club Nora review.
It's an interesting story line and how the drama unfolds with the call from the hospital and all. I guess as a male reader I wanted to see the action go by a little quicker. Didn't see how Nell put the pieces together to discover her mother's secret double life but maybe that shows up in the later chapters.
All the best with this.

NinaMills wrote 573 days ago

Club Nora - Secrets We Keep by Gail Cleare

I'm afraid I don't have much to offer in the way of suggestions for improvement. This seemed fairly polished and flowed smoothly and easily. I loved the premise of the story. How alarming to discover your mother has been living a secret life! I look forward to reading further, eager to see what other secrets will be revealed. Best of luck, Gail.

♪ Nina ♪

ESanchez wrote 574 days ago

Club Nora Critique:

This book had me hooked at the beginning with a call about Nell's sick mother. I could sense how worried she was and confused to say the least. The twist of the mother living in a different house than expected was perfectly placed in the first chapter. The reader will certainly want to read more. Perhaps the writing could include more details about the setting and character's motiviations and internal thoughts. The first chapter was absolutely plot driven, but was missing something.

Just my thoughts...

Eileen Sanchez
"Craving the World" and "Flight 750 to LA"

Christina in AZ wrote 585 days ago

Club Nora Review of Chapter One
Gail:
I was already a fan, but reviewing only chapter one for Club Nora.
Hook - You had me at “Westie named Winston”!! Nicely done.
Opening - The reader is pulled into the place and situation immediately with the phone call from the hospital. The chapter unfolds to introduce the two sisters and the mystery cottage in Vermont. I couldn’t stop reading it when I first began it.

Conflict & Plot - The “secret” is immediately unfolded with more questions coming up to keep the reader interested and turning those pages (so to speak).
Setting - Great description of the NJ housewife and, by contrast, the country around Hartland, VT.
Dialogue - very clear and natural.
Style - Excellent descriptions and analogies.
Technical - Did not find any typos or errors.
Pace - is excellent giving the reader a chance to glimpse both sister’s worlds “before” the secret is out AND getting us right up to Vermont to see what’s going on!

I was a fan and happy to have you on my shelf when you got your HC review. I hope they’ll agree with me that you have a very publishable work here!

Here’s hoping!
Christina
Modern Adventures in Sherwood Forest

Sanchez Lovers wrote 593 days ago

The pinch is already fascinating , sucking you into the story and leaving no imagination
unopened.
There's such a mystery about the story and such an incredible character view, I can't wait to read more.
6 stars from us again!

Michael.

Cait wrote 594 days ago

SECRETS WE KEEP:

Gail, this is an interesting story and the first chapter kept me wondering what secrets could the mother have been keeping. I also wondered if the neighbour in the next cottage is Nell’s biological father?

I’ve only had a chance to go over the first chapter for now. I’m no editor, but I noticed you have, what may be several passive sentences? Also, you tend to use ‘was’ a fair bit, also I feel the ‘look’ word is overused, which I tend to do myself at times. Go over what I’ve suggested in the attachment and see what you think?

Will try to do the second chapter soon.

Look forward to HC's review on this.

All the best,

Cáit ~ Reminiscing ~



hwf1942 wrote 594 days ago

Dear Gail, I've just had a chance to read your first chapter. I like the way you immediately pulled me into your story, the well-paced unfolding of events, the reactions — feelings and thoughts — of your main character, and the way you've introduced the sister and mother as part of the unfolding story. Well done. I can see why your book has reached the Editor's Desk. I wish you the best of luck.
Harris
http://www.authonomy.com/books/46331/irina-s-eye/

stearn37 wrote 595 days ago

Hi
Well done getting to the editors desk :-)
From
John stearn
Author of Derilium

Judes wrote 596 days ago

Congratulations and best wishes :o)

Mindy Haig wrote 596 days ago

Club Nora Critique:
Hi Gail, I read your first chapter last night. I wish I had something helpful or insightful to add here, but really I could not find anything I thought didn't work. The pace is good, the writing is smooth. Your description of New Jersey is very accurate! (I grew up on Bergen County!) Flying into Newark has to be the most depressing thing in the world! I find the single chapter review difficult because it is hard to know the characters after just 1 chapter. But I am looking forward to reading more!
All the best.
Mindy
The Wishing Place

Kate Buchanan wrote 597 days ago

Hi Gail - enjoying the book. Very intriguing. Causes one to read and read on, eager to find out the mystery buried in all those years at the cottage. Finished 6 chapters so far. All the best on the Ed Desk. - Kate

Sanchez Lovers wrote 597 days ago

Dear Gail,
I am sure you´ve heard so many times how excellent writer you are. And what else could I write?
Amazing, great talent, professional :)
I´ve been just through few chapters of your work but I won´t stop.
I wish you bes luck with your powerful novel you have all the stars from us.
Thank you for sharing!

Diane60 wrote 598 days ago

Gail,
want to quickly get this on here for you to end the month on a high. Am only up to chapter 5 at the moment and will continue to read.. but so far am liking this a lot. the characters and descriptions and the gentle way the narrative is making its way along is almost hypnotic.
looking forward to finding out what the twists and turns are going to be!
:)
diane

spc wrote 598 days ago

I tend to be fairly critical when doing reviews, but it’s not a comment on the quality of your work, just an attempt to provide useful feedback.
For me, the strongest part of your book is the plotline. The book opens well and I found myself drawn into the mystery of Mary from the very first paragraph. It helped me to keep on reading at a stage when people’s attention often wanders. In the following chapters you then deftly add in yet more layers of mystery and you begin to really suck the reader in to the story. Hooking the reader at the start is one of the hardest things to do with any book and even a great one will be overlooked if it doesn’t have a good beginning, so well done for that.
The characters themselves are nicely drawn and the descriptions are full and detailed. However there were times when I felt that the MS could be improved with a really ruthless edit, cutting out any words or descriptions that are not absolutely vital to the story. This seemed to be more of an issue with the first chapter and was much improved after that. I personally think that it would greatly improve the flow of the story.
Overall though, this is a very good piece of work and I am happy to back it.

Stephen Hilling wrote 599 days ago

I love the strong opening to this. It grips you immediately. Your characterisation is excellent and I found myself quickly absorbed in to your story. I like the air of dark foreboding about your mystery and your writing is well paced and believable.

A well-deserved place on my shelf and hopefully you’ll make it to the editor’s desk.

Stephen
Chasing Shadows

Roopop wrote 600 days ago

Somebody asked me to read this story, and once I'd started, I couldn't put it down. I felt the adrenaline pumping right from the start. I thought, what if that happened to me and my mother? Everything was just so real and believable. The writing is brilliant. I must know how this continues, and no wonder, so many people have supported this book. I'm giving it six stars.

jimcoso wrote 602 days ago

Hi Gail,

Well written, excellent voice. Very intriguing read, excellent premise and well polished.

Jim Coso Passing Clouds

JCS87 wrote 602 days ago

What a brilliant writer you are. In between writing my third book for my trilogy, I came and snuck little reads here and there. I can't think of any pointers to give you! Very well written, edited down to the T, and something I would definitely buy once it's available.

I wish you the best, as you sit on the editors desk!

JCS
Anguished Immortals Trilogy

scottkenny wrote 603 days ago

Hi Gail,
not my usual read but it somehow drew me in. What an exquisite mystery. Good writing, vivid characters and most of all, an intelligent premise,
Scott.

nautaV wrote 603 days ago

SWK is an excellent read. I wish it to grow a couple of points and stay on the ED. It deserved to be there!

All possible stars, dear Gail.

Val But
Escape

Hannah Jennings wrote 606 days ago

I'm here as part of our swap. It's not what I normally read but it is interesting and written in a way that is believable. I will try to read more later as I really want to know what's going to happen, you engage with the reader and I can somewhat place myself in Nell's shoes ( not having gone through anything like this). It is an interesting plot line and I hope the mother (Mary Ellen) gets well enough to explain everything. Overall I am glad that I agreed to our swap.

Christine May wrote 606 days ago

Great! I can see why your book has done so well, it is a heart warming story of secrets, and love.
Your writing is flawless.
Look forward to reading on.
Christine

Soulhaven wrote 607 days ago

You've got a good premise here, as other reviewers have mentioned - the question of just what Nell's mother has been up to all these years will be interesting to see unfold.
Personally, I wasn't drawn in, yet, but I think that is just a matter of style preference - and everyone has one!
You have an excellent eye for setting detail - right down to the stitching, and I know a lot of people like that. And there is no faulting your polished MS - grammar and spelling perfect. Certainly ready for that one last pass by a professional - and I hope you get there this month!
Good luck with the ED, and whatever future that might bring ...

Emma Carey wrote 608 days ago

Club Nora Critique
Dear Gail,
I have nothing but praise for this book. Still reading and enjoying it immensely.
Nell is a great MC, throughout the story you are given a real feel of her confusion, anxiety and concerns for her mother. It's so difficult to put this book down.
The dialogue and story are compelling. The scenes are imaginative and the characters are intriguing.
So questions to answer but I'm sure all will be revealed.
A great book that should be enjoyed by all.
Best wishes Emma x

ScottDevon wrote 609 days ago

I like the premise behind this book; mother has a secret life and we are re-discovering her and it as the truth unfolds. Good idea, and certainly enough to carry us through a novel length story. Protagonist is well rounded and comes across as the average daughter trying to do her best. So, that works well. I confess though I took an instant dislike to the sister, perhaps this was deliberate, but there were too many sweetie and honey name calling when she spoke. Felt too flowery and was just overdone for me, but I am English so in truth I have no idea how people from that state actually speak. It is just my opinion. Also, I felt at times that this book was contradicting itself. For example, when Nell is driving in her rental car to the hospital she should, and is, filled with worry and fear about what she will find when she gets there, but you describe her reacting positively to a lovely countryside scene. I feel it would work better the other way around, coming from happiness in the country to dark and grey somewhere Nell felt unhappy. The climate and scenery does not match her emotion and thus diminishes it. But I did enjoy this read, and would read more time permitting.

yours,

Scott Devon.
When Both Sides Surrender

JB. Woods wrote 610 days ago

Good morning Gail, I've taken a look at your book as you requested and I must say that I'm impressed. Your history as a writer shows and there is very little you need to do to impress H&C. Like most modern authors especially those on Authonomy, me included, there is a tendency to over describe like in your first para you have the adjectives - stretches and cold. Your readers know that water is cold from the fridge and what Pilates comprises of.
Just niggly things but it does help to smooth the flow as adjectives are stopping words.
You mention a - large brick building where hospital front entrance would do or fuel efficient where all that is required is the word small and OK should be written - Okay, although I notice you do that later in your book.
It's me being pernickity and I think you'll do well at the end of the month along with TDonna who also has a good story to tell. Well done! JB. Woods. - 'George Barrington Hunter'

ellencolby5 wrote 610 days ago

This is the first book I have read here on Authonomy where I did not give up after the first few pages. Your story is very well-written, with vivid descriptions and authentic dialogue, and I have enjoyed reading it very much.

Incidentally, I chose to read your book based on a thoughtful and articulate comment you had made on another author's work. Unlike many comments I have seen here so far, yours was clear, concise, and grammatically correct, with no discernible spelling or typographical errors. In other words, you appeared to be a skilled, professional writer. I believed that your book would be a pleasure to read, and I was not disappointed. Kudos!

WhiteFingers wrote 611 days ago

Gail, both my husband Michael Arkin who has posted "Judicial Indiscretion" on this site, as well as Jack Hudson, asked me to take a look at Secrets We Keep and then back it. I have done so. I am hoping that you will take a look at Judicial Indiscretion when you can. And if you like it, my husband could use your backing as well.

Kirrily Whatman wrote 612 days ago

Hello, I've put your book on my WL. Looking forward to reading it, it sounds so interesting. Fantastic pitch, it's already suckered me in and made me want to read more.

eloravelle wrote 613 days ago

Club Nora Critique-

What an interesting start to a story. It makes me think. How could she not even know her own mother, and more importantly how did her mom get into the hospital.

There is that sense of urgency to find out from that first phone call what is going on.

The sisters dialouge between one another is funny until the realization of what is going on happens and you play each point out well.

This is pretty realistic except the one part about the volunteer nurse handing out her mothers information directly to her.

I could see that it would take a while for her to recieve that information and more importantly it wouldn't just be handed out by someone who is volunteering. Also I think it would make it a little bit more believable if you have the MC maybe possiblye slightly get lost on her way to Vermont or from the hospital on the roads to her moms house even if she has maps.

Maybe have her breakdown a little on the side of the road to cry. I dk just a thought that distracts me as the reader from how did she get to Vermont so easy.

Other than that it reads so well.

-Elora

TDonna wrote 613 days ago

After only two chapters, I stopped to write a comment, completely impressed with your writing style, the flow, the descriptions. You've a superb ability to capture the scene and deliver the mood of the moment, with all its intensity and current. One example I could quote is, "Nell's father's body was laid to rest on a cloudy day in November, when a Canadian cold front filled the cemetery with swirling snow flurries that unhooked his spirit from the flesh at last, blowing it free to find the next adventure." A snapshot in time. An eternal moment forever etched in memory. A chill that shakes away the temporary and brings a longing for the permanence. It's suspenseful, the mysterious photo, the nickname she's never heard her mom being called, the curious stranger who takes the blame upon himself, the quiet time pondering the unknown in vain. Mesmerizing in plot and delivery. The writing is charged with an unmistakable undercurrent of secrecy, and thus perfectly titled. I'll need to spend more time reading, but you've connected me to Nell very well, right from the start, and began developing her image for me so that I care about she needs to discover. Excellent. Truly excellent.
Donna
No Kiss Goodbye

klouholmes wrote 613 days ago

Hi Gail, Usually, the mysterious past life of someone deceased is about a spouse. The mother theme here attaches right away and you've maintained well the riddle of a familiar person having another life. My mother passed away this year and I was wholly absorbed in Nell's predicament while being convinced of the mother having eluded her children's planned care. It even brought tears to my eyes, the situation being more what an old lady might want. The details are good although I wondered if "fuel-efficient little car" needed to be there as it pulled me away from the story. Winston is absolutely precious, appearing familiarly, and while you've attained this type of realism, the riddle also kept me reading on. I liked how you could conjure a plot around usual life situations as it has more emotional pull for the reader and it is a different sort of plot. Happy to shelve soon and to support you for the Ed's Desk - Katherine

IamBerry wrote 614 days ago

You are very talented! This is a very engrossing read and I will definitely be back to read more. *adds to my growing stack of reads to finish* You are quite vivid with your imagery and I could see this one hitting the bestsellers list very soon. Best of luck to you and thank you for offering up a trade~~!

Henry E Allan wrote 615 days ago

Hello Miss Gail, "Secrets we Keep", you ask me to read and read I did. After reading parts of the comments from some of the other readers, there is nothing to say that hasn't been said. I enjoyed it very much, excellent writing.
A double hand full of stars to help keep it on top. The only reason that I haven't put it on my Bookshelf is that it is a very hard desision for me to make to take one from my bookshelf, which anyone should be able to understand.
My book has been partly removed for editing and I hope that you may find time to read it in the future.
Wishing you the very best, Henry E Allan,----"Before the Beginning".

L_MC wrote 617 days ago

Club Nora First Chapter Crit

Hi Gail, back for another read (must be about the third time). You already know I like your style and this story. I've done a full crit for it in the Women's Fiction Crit Group. Since then you've changed chapter one. It no longer opens with Nell already in the Vermont house. I prefer this version. The phone call from the hospital and the subsequent actions set the scene clearly, the relationship between the sisters is shown quicker and it's apparent that Nell's mum is in a critical condition. Nell's ability to be highly organised is also shown in this new version of chapter one.

A strong start to a book I've enjoyed.

Sueboopbedoo wrote 617 days ago

Congratulations at getting to number 4, you really deserve it. As you know I've been reading secrets, wish I had more time to read faster but I've got to chapter 12 and I really love it. You're characters are well rounded and the text is embroidered with details which makes this a pleasure to read. You've set the scene perfectly and I really couldn't find one thing that I didn't like about this book.

I'm going to keep reading and I wish you every success with this, can't wait to read the editors comments.

Sue - Lola's House

Kate Buchanan wrote 618 days ago

Hi Gail - great character development. Vivid descriptions - takes me there every time. The mystery and intrigue is captivating enough to keep me reading. Excellent. - Kate

FrancesNewton wrote 618 days ago

Review for Club Nora!

• Opening –
I liked the opening, straight into the action and easy to follow.
• Conflict –
Nell discovering her mother’s secret life.
• Plot –
The plot sounds very intriguing, and full of lots of drama.
• Setting –
America, various locations are mentioned early on.
• Characterization –
I think you have a fairly clear idea of what sort of woman, Nell is…but have yet to find out about any other characters.
• Dialogue –
Clear, easy to follow and understand. Fits into the story perfectly.
• Point of View –
The POV was good.
• Style –
I liked the style. It kind of reminded me slightly of Virginia Andrews, slightly dated (but in a good way), although as far as I can tell it’s set as now. But I think it’s because it has a family saga feel to it.
• Hook –
Yeah I read onto chapter two.

Olive Field wrote 619 days ago

Club Nora Critique:

It is no secret that I have been an avid fan of this book for a long time. Its one of the most professional scripts I have read. It is very polished. All of the relationships between the characters seem realistic. It is a difficult one to put down. I have read this book on many occasions so I flicked through a few chapters and they are all still brilliant.
I can't do much more for you. You are already on my shelf and I gave you six stars a long time ago.
All I can do is congratulate you on getting to the desk. Well deserved.
All of my best wishes, Olive.

SallyXB wrote 619 days ago

Wow, what a great opening chapter. This is a fabulous read. You build the suspense brilliantly. I'm desperate to know more about this double life Nell's mother appears to be living. You manage to make it dramatic without being melodramatic and overplayed. Well done! I will be giving five stars.

If you get a moment, I'd really love to hear your thoughts on Four Movements.
Cheers, Sally

Charlotte Lux wrote 621 days ago

Dear Gail,

From what I have read "Secrets We Keep" is very well-rounded. I found your descriptions very enticing, your language very well polished and had a feeling of a strong story from the get-go.

I wish you all the best and put "Secrets We Keep" on my shelf.

- Charlotte Luxhoej

Abby Vandiver wrote 621 days ago

I got through Chapter Seven and honestly did not want to stop. The story is very good. It moves along slowly, but evidently that didn't bother me. I usually don't like switching POVs especially in the middle of a chapter but I got used to it here. My only complaints are continuity. In one chapter Nell said her daughter was 10. Then somewhere else she remember twelve years agos and the "kids" (plural) were playing on the floor. Does she have another child somewhere? Because the ten year old wouldn't have been born then. Then I thought it said in one place that Eric was Bridget's second husband and later, she had two ex-husbands. I meant to go back to look to make sure but didn't.

I loved your book. I remember when my mothered died, she had three days the doctor said, and in that time I found out so many secrets about her, that she refused to admit. Her only response was "Oh, I hope they don't put that in my obituary!" I laughed and was happy that my mother, who always sacrificed so much, had did things, in secret, that made her happy. Bravo. I'll give you six stars and find a place on my shelf for you.

I'll be back to read more.

Sue Harries wrote 621 days ago

Added to WL and rated, will back as soon as I have space. Very well writen.
Sue
'It's a Dog's Life'

Emma Barnaby wrote 622 days ago

This a measured, controlled piece of writing which instantly puts the reader at ease as we feel we’re in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing.

The atmosphere and environment are set up effectively and economically and without intruding on plot development. Characters are rounded and believable, and the premise intriguing enough to make us want to read on.

I read more than I initially intended to because I was caught up in the story and wanted to find out what was going on – which I think is the highest compliment one can pay a thriller. This is enjoyable, extremely easy reading which I can imagine wolfing down in one sitting on a beach somewhere tropical.

I have no nitpicks so will just say well done and lots of stars!

Thanks

Emma

Greenleaf wrote 623 days ago

Club Nora Critique

I've read the first chapter of Secrets We Keep for the Chapter One Competition of Club Nora. I read this a long time ago, and I'm glad I came back to read it again. It's been on my watchlist for a while now. You've done a great job of pulling the reader straight into the story, with only a minimum backstory sprinkled in the right places. Nell and her sister are real, and very different, characters. I like the details you included, especially in the hospital. Good descriptions all around. I really like the mystery that is building already. I would love to see this book also entered in the Club Agatha for Mystery Writers Round Two Competition if you have time. This would fit in nicely with the other books.

I am intrigued to keep reading. Great job.

Susan/Greenleaf (Provenance; Chameleon)

pclady wrote 623 days ago

Club Nora Critique:

Well written, excellent voice. More mature than other posted work. Can empathize with Nell's reaction to learning her supposedly healthy mother is in hospital and very ill. The hint of secret[s] draws the reader in.

Well done, and will return later to read more [after completing some other obligations on this site].

Chrysta Mane,
[aka pclady]