A Secret Kept

Is a secret ever a secret if more than one person knows? Years after their mother’s death, Melanie and Antoine Rey revisit the site of their family’s annual summer beach vacations.

On the way home to Paris, Melanie remembers the secret that she has repressed since she was six years old, and has a car accident that is almost fatal. As Melanie recovers in the hospital, her memory of her mother’s secret gone again, Antoine meets the sexy mortician, Angelique, who becomes his savior.

De Rosnay treats you to an insider’s view of Paris as Antoine returns to his life as a recently divorced architect, with his own repression issues. The drama plays out among Les Invalides and the Left Bank.

She gives clear clues about the nature of “The Secret Kept ” early in the book through Clarisse’s letters – so the shock factor has less of an impact when she spells it out later. And the story continues with surprises, even after the secret is exposed.

More of a story about family relationships than skeletons in the closet, “A Secret Kept” has a subtle but haunting impact.

I won’t be a spoiler and tell you about the tantalizing revelations, just in case you don’t catch those clues and want to be surprised. Like Agatha Christie, de Rosnay summarizes and offers closure in the last chapters, but her ending is much more than a mystery solved – more a statement of life, death, and hope.

I haven’t read de Rosnay’s first book, “Sarah’s Key,” but now I might.