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The Secrets She Keeps by Helen Cross

The Secrets She Keeps

by Helen Cross

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I dived into this with such high hopes. Another of the author's works is my fave read of the year so far. This one however started out with a bizarre set-up, and while I waited patiently for it to sort itself out, I had to admit one hundred or so pages in that it was unlikely to do so. Central to the story is 19 year-old sandwich maker John who is engaged as nanny for two young children - one a baby only a few weeks old. Presumably, I thought, he's got some kind of experience in childcare. But no, no, insists the book, he's a sandwich maker. And he hasn't got a clue either why he got the job offer.

It was as though this central issue was on one end of a bungee rope and I was on the other. Every time I tried to get into the story I was jerked back to this bit of improbable daftness, which by association made the rest of it daft too. John appears to fancy everything in a skirt, including his employer who has big tits and has in the past been some kind of model or actress or something like that, but can be (and is) mistaken for an old woman. So in my head she had Jordan's body and Helen Mirren's head, and frankly that was daft too.

One thing is undeniable: the author is a whizz with words. The text is lyrical and imaginative, and in places there are hints of profundity. But for me the scenario was too odd, the twists too guessable, and the moral of the story - always assuming I didn't miss a deeper one - too mundane. ( )
  jayne_charles | Oct 1, 2015 |
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No-one could tell you exactly why Misty Moore was famous, yet everyone knew everything about her - the marriages, the plastic surgery, and now, her baby. But, as she decamps to deepest Yorkshire to escape the eye of the paparazzi, some of her darkest secrets are about to be revealed.… (more)

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