Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Secret Kept (Tatiana de Rosnay)

Out of the books I have reviewed in my quest to reach 1,776, Tatiana de Rosnay's Sarah's Key has been my favorite bar none. I loved it so much, that I am very hesitant to see the movie. Movies are rarely as good as the books they are based on. I had such a profound experience reading Sarah's Key that I do not want the movie to change the images I have in my mind. Readers who think that A Secret Kept will be like Sarah's Key (even though the covers are very similar) will be surprised.

The narrator, Antoine Rey, takes his sister, Melanie, to a memorable place, Noirmoutier Island, for the celebration of her 4oth birthday. This island was a special place for them as children, as they spent summers there with their family. Even though they had not been back there since their mother's death, the weekend brings back memories, some welcome, some not. On the drive back home, Melanie is just about to tell Antoine something about a memory when she loses control of the car. Antoine escapes without a scratch, but Melanie is in serious condition. Will she ever recover? Will she ever remember what she was going to tell Antoine before the terrible crash? This is the "secret kept".

The problem de Rosnay (hopefully) knew she was going to face (along with Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help when she writes a second) is that the next book after such a moving one will bound to be compared to the first. This is unfair to de Rosnay because, as I said, the books are not similar at all. de Rosnay is a huge talent in the book world, and while Sarah's Key will always be my favorite, A Secret Kept is well written and worth reading.