Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Book Review - The Secrets Women Keep by Fanny Blake

Amazon UK
Title: The Secrets Women Keep
Author: Fanny Blake
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 31st July 2014
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Rose waits for her family to arrive at their villa in Tuscany when a casual glance at her husband's phone tips her world upside down. The text reads simply: 'Miss you. Love you. Come back soon.'
Daniel has always been popular with women, she knows that. But until this moment she has had no cause for worry. Has something shifted within their marriage without her realising?
As the family gathers for the summer break, Rose's faith in Daniel is shaken. How well does she really know him? She fears that, after decades of marriage and children, the man who lies beside her at night is lying in other ways too. Then events take a tragic turn.

I had high hopes for this new book by Fanny Blake, having previously enjoyed 2 of her other books. However I felt that this wasn't quite as good as those, and a bit of a slow burner. Once I was into the story, about half way through, I realised I was enjoying it, and that the first 200 pages were mainly setting everything up.

The Secrets Women Keep features quite a large family, since the main characters Rose and Eve are slightly more mature women. They both have grown up children, and in Rose's case a grandchild already.  To start with I was very confused with how the characters were connected, so I'm going to try and simplify it.

Rose is married to Daniel Rose's brother is Terry who is married to Eve. Daniel and Eve have past romantic history. Jess is married to Adam, and they have a child called Dylan. Jess and Anna are Rose and Daniel's children. Eve has children but they aren't key to the plot. 

Rose throughout the story is riddled with secrets. Not just her own, but those of Eve, and Terry too. Rose proves herself to be a valuable confidant to her family around her, despite her own life starting to crash around her.

I found at first Anna and Jess to be selfish and not really likeable, but as the story grows, you start to feel a lot more sympathy for them. To be completely honest, I'm not sure how many characters I felt a proper emotional bond with.

The Secrets Women Keep is split into five separate parts to show the passing of time, so you kept getting a new snapshot of how life in the family was progressing. 

I really hope that this book was just a blip for Fanny Blake and that her next ones are back to original very high quality. 

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