Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Book Review: The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?

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…

My Review:
The Secrets She Keeps sounded like it was going to be interesting. I was in the mood for a good mystery thriller, and this book sounded like it would hit the nail on the head. Plus, I liked the book cover.

The pacing is really slow for the first half of The Secrets She Keeps. I found myself really bored, and I wondered if I should keep on reading. There really wasn't a plot going on within the first half, so I was wondering if I had made a mistake with this book. However, something urged me to keep on reading in case it got better. I'm glad I kept on reading because the second half did get better, and the paced picked up a bit. The pacing wasn't very fast, but it wasn't as slow as the first half, thankfully.

As I stated earlier, the first half of the book lacks a plot. The first half of The Secrets She Keeps is dedicated to learning about all the characters and fleshing them out. There is one small plot twist in this book, but it was easy to figure it out. As soon as I read that both Meghan and Agatha were pregnant, I knew what the plot twist was going to be. Other than that, there really were no major plot twists which was a bit disappointing.

I did find that the characters were fairly fleshed out especially Agatha. The author, Michael Robotham, makes it easy for his readers to understand why Agatha is the way she is. After reading about her major life changing event, I actually felt a little bit sorry for her. I also enjoyed the character of Meghan. She came across as really down to Earth and very sweet. I would have liked to know a little more about her life, but Robotham does give enough information about her which makes it easy to feel like she's an old friend. The only character that annoyed me was Hayden. I also wanted to know more about him even though he is a supporting character. I also would have liked to know a little bit more about the character of Simon. Although the book changes between Meghan's and Agatha's point of view, I would have loved to also have read about Jack's point of view.

There are scenes of rape and sex scenes, but nothing too graphic. There's also some swearing, violence, drug and alcohol references. It isn't anything major though.

All in all, The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham is an alright book if you can get past the first half of the book. Although predictable, the second half of the book is fairly interesting and gives the reader more insight on the characters. I enjoyed the alternating views between Meghan and Agatha. I also enjoyed that the chapters were short which is a big part of what kept me reading.

I would recommend The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham to those aged 18+ especially parents who I think would get more feels from this. I also think fans of the mystery thriller genre will like this book.

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