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Book Review: ‘Secret Keeping for Beginners’ by Maggie Alderson

Title: Secret Keeping for Beginners

Author: Maggie Alderson

Length: 465 pages

Publisher: HaperCollins


Maggie Alderson is the author of many novels and this one has been released in the UK, but it was published elsewhere back in 2015

Synopsis: Recently divorced Rachel is juggling her new dream job in interior-design PR with the demands of two young daughters. She’s full of creative ideas but – even with a colourful childminder or two – some days she can’t make it into the office on time and in matching shoes. Sister Tessa, a talented muralist, is feeling flat. Her kids are growing up and she’s feeling upstaged by her husband with his new home restoration TV show. Younger sister Natasha leads a glamorous jet-setting life – she’s one of Vogue’s favourite make-up artists. Single and childless, she’s been focused on her career, but when the lie she’s concealed for years threatens to come to light, it forces painful choices. Meanwhile their mother, Joy, a hippy vegetarian caterer, is carefully ignoring the letters that keep arriving at her door. Into the mix comes Simon, Rachel’s urbane boss, hiding secrets of his own. And everything lurking beneath the surface of this seemingly happy family is about to come out…

See doesn’t this book sound good from the synopsis? I wanted to like this book. I really did, but for me, there wasn’t anything to like.

First of lets talk about the story. It was shockingly predictable. You just knew what was going to come next. Then, when the author tried to throw in a twist, it was just silly and unnecessary. It was also boring. I know that sounds harsh, but it just went on and on. So uninteresting. It all just felt stale, done before. The title of this book made it sound like it would be a page turning read, but unfortunately it wasn’t.

Now, not every book needs a fantastic plot if it’s got great characters. They can even save a bad book, but in this case, they just made it worse. What a tedious bunch of people. I can’t think of a single character I liked. They were all whiny, terrible people. Their problems were insignificant. Their romances were conventional and unbelievable. I felt absolutely no connection to these characters at all. Also the Mother, Joy, was treated like some all-knowing physic just because she did Yoga and used crystals. It was so annoying.

The ending was just one big cliche. Seriously, everything was wrapped up neatly, all their problems disappeared. The whole book is just a big cliche.

Would I recommend this book? No. Do you know what this book is like? It’s like that friend that just irritates you, and you have to just stand there and listen to all their problems. That was this book. This book is just a bunch of privileged people complaining, I mean, aren’t we past that?

Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with a copy of this book in return for a honest, unbiased review. It’s out now!

Until the next review


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