The Secrets She Keeps
by Michael Robotham
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Goodreads: See here
Suspense / Thriller
Plot at a Glance:
Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.
When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…
A riveting suspense novel that asks how far would you go to create the perfect family?
If you’ve been following my reviews for any length of time, you know I have a sort of eclectic taste that calls me to different genres on an alternating and completely random basis. You’ll find me reading fantasy most often, young adult after that, and then every once in awhile I love to read a suspense-filled book written for adults. They’re the perfect palate cleanser for me between fantasy tomes and darn it, I just love the books that mess with my mind and scare me silly.
When I came across this one the title and premise just called to me. I’m so glad that I was able to get a copy for review, and I will be buying a physical copy first chance I get – that’s how much I enjoyed it.
Per usual, I find suspense books difficult to review because I don’t want to to spoil anything for you guys. I can tell you that the story is told from alternating perspectives, each chapter swapping between Meghan and Agatha. Their dual perspectives on life, family and motherhood, while critically at odds, both feel unique and are incredibly important lenses for the reader to experience the events of the story through. Watching their worlds collide was tense, disturbing and threw me into a state where I sped through the second half of the story as quickly as I could, just because I had to know how it would end.
One of the things I think was so great about this story is that Robotham was clearly striving to do more than just scare the reader here, and introduces a lot of thematic content that overlaps the plot from beginning to end. While creating a tense atmosphere is definitely something he excels at, I was equally as interested in the characterization of the main and supporting characters and the way they inform on the many twists and turns of the plot, as well as the theme of the story. Agatha and Meghan, and their direct families felt real to me and it made it extremely easy to empathize with them and feel involved in their lives, even as certain secrets they’ve been cultivating begin to come to a head.
I truly think this is going to be a thriller on a lot of summer reading lists! If you’re looking for something engaging tense, with deeper themes than just plain scares, you’ve found the right book! I look forward to reading more books by this author in the future!
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 = 5 stars out of 5!
Have you read this book yet? If so, why not? Also what are some of your favorite suspense reads?