Published by Harlequin Enterprises (Australia) Pty, Limited on September 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Women, Family, Fiction, General, Girls & Women, Realistic Fiction
Little secrets grow up to be big lies... They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything ... or so they thought.But Flick’s seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family’s happiness. Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can’t seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son. When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other.Perhaps some secrets weren’t made to be kept.
When it comes to home grown women’s fiction – Rachael Johns is an author you don’t want to miss. She writes wonderful stories with a local flavour which are relatable, interesting and have some incredible characters.
The Art of Keeping Secrets is a novel about three mums and the secrets which threaten to tear their lives apart. The story starts with Felicity (Flick), Emma and Genevieve (Neve) watching as their sons are about to attend their year 12 formal. Flick appears to have the perfect life – a doting husband, a daughter about to get married and a son all set to finish school and start university. Emma’s had a hard few years with her husband trading her in for a newer, much younger model and finding things a little tough financially. And Neve proud of the man her son is turning into despite her having to play the role of mother and father. But Flick’s husband wants to tell the world the secret they’ve been hiding from the world for the past two decades. Emma’s worried her kids love their stepmother more than her and her headaches have her popping pain killers like tictacs. And Neve’s son has decided he wants to meet his father… The secrets these women keep could ruin their friendships and hurt the ones they love the most with even the best kept secrets having a way of coming out.
This book is mostly about friendship and the relationship between the three women was a pleasure read. Flick, Emma and Neve have been friends for years and it shows. They survived Emma’s divorce together, and leaned on each other when things have been tough. The events in The Art of Keeping Secrets prove to be their toughest obstacle to date and I liked how they faced it as real people. They each have their own problems and morals. I loved that they approached situations with their opinions coloured by their pasts and personal histories. There was a sense of love between these women but what made their friendship all the more special was how they didn’t blindly agree with the others all the time just because they were friends. These characters for all their faults became all the more real to me and compelled me to read their stories.
I loved the pace of the novel right up until the ending. The resolution felt a little rushed and everything wrapped too quickly and completely for two of the characters and not quite resolved enough for the other. But I still enjoyed the journey. The twists and turns of the women’s lives right up until the final few chapters was exciting and I was drawn into the dramas and the friendships.
The Art of Keeping Secrets is perfect for fans of well written women’s fiction and books about friendship. A great standalone novel with a dash of romance, the struggles of family life and the power of friends, this book was highly enjoyable. I will definitely be reading more Rachael Johns novels in the future.