A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules?
Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley. After all, he was her first love when she was 15 years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal, with his arrest and imprisonment.
Now, 17 years later, Matthew returns to Norfolk, with a new identity and a long-term girlfriend and a young daughter who know nothing of what happened before. Yet when he runs into Jessica, neither of them can ignore the emotional ties that bind them together. With so many secrets to keep hidden, how long can Jessica and Matthew avoid the dark mistakes of their past imploding in the present?
From debut author Rebecca Done, This Secret We're Keeping is a powerful and provocative novel about the ties which can keep us together - or tear us apart.
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By donna on 07-01-17
Well...... a few small spoilers
I'm torn. It was a decent book. Well written, well narrated, interesting points of view, good characters. It had a lot of potential, it just wasn't at all what I was expecting when I started and for all the rave reviews I've read. It was, however, utterly heartbreaking. So so many things were just tragic. I think any book that includes a beloved pet dying, especially when so central to the story, should have a disclaimer so that I can be prepared for it. I've been blindsided by a few lately and it's not cool at all. I was already on the fence about the book and that ruined it further. So here's your warning if you feel the same.
But onto the more reasonable points I didn't like; it was way longer than necessary and some areas progressed so slowly I was actually bored. A good portion of the book seemed pretty pointless.
I tried, I really really tried to like Matthew/will. But, I just couldn't. He was just a weak, sad, immature character in my opinion. Like the mindless, stereotypical male who's life is completely run by the women and stronger personalities around him. He was to weak to escape the seductions of a 15 year old girl, his adult girlfriend runs the show and makes his decisions for him but he can't change that because he can't support himself and she'd take his child away. Ugh, I wanted to shake some sense into him. Quit making excuses and be an adult! They made ridiculously terrible decisions throughout the book, which for a 15 year old is understandable but for a 25 year old is just sad. It really hit me (small spoiler) when he was trying to convince her to ditch college to run away to Italy. He's just grooming her like an actual predator. He's so selfish. Maybe he loved her but he's still trying to change her life and her future to what he wants, not what's best for her. It says a few times how she's so young and impressionable but he uses it to his advantage every time. Even as adults he treats her like a child who will sit and wait with bated breath for his call or attention, and sadly she does just that. I just couldn't make myself like him and that made me question her sanity. I guess it made such an impact on a 15 year old girl she would still be attached, even if he is pathetic.
Every character besides the main two, was somehow evil and terrible to them. Every one. There wasn't a redeemable quality in the bunch which also got a bit old. Well, except smudge but look where that got him.
The narration is great and I'll look for other books by both narrators, I'm not sure I'll read another by the author though.