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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

At once a captivating mystery, a love letter to classic literature, and a sharp-eyed examination of marriage, The Book of Secrets is a gripping novel of family, friendship, and the undeniable pull of the past. 
This book really wasn't at all as I expected...and I confess it took me a little reading to finally go "OOoooo this is getting good." I really wanted to know what the BIG secret was, and how everything comes about. So it starts out with Chloe and Nate who have been married for over two decades, when one night Chloe comes home to see her husband Nate Sinclair has left. He leaves behind a cryptic note saying he has returned their childhood town, she never wanted to see that town again.

Chloe tries to get a hold of her husband, and comes across a notebook which was hidden inside his antique copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He wrote in a code that they use to use as kids, the pages contain secrets of their past which explains why he went home after all these years. While she begins to decipher the notebook, she beings to revisit seminal moments of their youth: the day she met the Sinclair children and the dangerous games they played to escape their troubled childhoods; the first time Nate kissed her, camped out on the beach like Robinson Crusoe; and the elaborate plan she and Nate devised, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, to break away from his oppressive father. Finally the reason for his sudden absence comes to light, the truth will forever shatter everything Chloe knows---about her husband, his family and herself.

When I got to the end of the book I was in shock. I could not believe what and how this hole secret came to be revealed. Plus the way author uses classic childhood books to not only describe moments in the characters lives but also used to help decipher the code that was being used. We all have secrets some good, some bad but they all help shape us from how we live our lives to the people we come. I feel there is nothing wrong with going back to the past to figure out and learn how the present took shape.

Extremely well written and an incredible must read!


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