Book Review: This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done



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 fifteen years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal with his arrest and imprisonment. Now, seventeen 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.


Britney-Spears-Cringe-Face-1I decided to read this book just based on the synopsis.   I tried to read the book without any  pre – judgment but there were quite a lot of cringe-worthy moments so probably I wasn’t as open minded as I should have been.

This Secret We’re Keeping by Reecca Done is told in two timelines. There is the present which is mostly narrated from Jess’s perspective. Readers only get to meet Mathew/Will when he is with Jess. The second timeline is the past which is narrated by Mathew. The two timelines were interwoven really well. The present was mostly told in two chapters before a chapter on the past. Rebecca Done did this perfectly. Clues from the past explained the present and vice versa. For instance; a piece of jewelry will be described in a manner to show that’s it important in the present but going back to the past would then explain the importance.

This Secret We’re Keeping is narrated masterfully. It’s hard to believe that this is Rebecca Done’s first book. The pacing is also really good, I found myself turning pages up to the end. There was no real suspense for me though. For instance; Jess kept alluding to a secret but I pretty much guessed what it was from the start. I think what had me at the edge of my seat was thinking about whether or not Mathew’s secret and identity would be revealed.

Despite all that, I didn’t like the protagonists at all. Mathew was 25 when he started hooking up with Jess who was 15 then. The story is narrated in a way that portrays Jess as the initiator of the relationship although Mathew was the grownup in the relationship. However, it sort of seems like he was just seduced and couldn’t help himself. Jess was clearly a troubled teenager with so many issues at home. There was also a scissor self-cutting incident that was just brushed off. She had some issues  so Mathew just seemed like he should have known better. On the other hand, I also didn’t like Jess. Her actions even as an adult didn’t make much sense to me. The other main characters were Anna and Zak who were both portrayed as unstable people.Anna was Jess’ best friend with one single preoccupation. Zak was a doctor who had some ‘mafia’ blackmailing tendencies. He alternated between being really sweet and then just creepy. I can’t explain that without spoiling the story.

supernatural-books You have to read the book to understand what I mean about the characters. Let me not spoil it for you by giving away any more details.

The final chapter was almost like a wrap-up. Everything was concluded in just one or two sentences.  However, the book ended with a cliffhanger so perhaps there is a second book coming.

I don’t really rate books but if I had to, I would give this one 3 stars. I liked it and read the whole of it but couldn’t get past the controversial topic which clouded my judgment and influenced my feelings towards the characters (seriously, she was a troubled 15 year old). If you want to read This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done then go into it with an open mind and you may actually enjoy it.

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a meme currently hosted by Books and a BeatThis is an opportunity to share the books that you have recently found and added to your bookshelf.

I have added four more books to my shelf this week.

Obsession by Nora Robert

Synopsis(from goodreads)

obsessionNaomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.


When I’m Gone by Emily Beeker

Synopsis9(from goodreads)

goneLuke Richardson has returned home after burying Natalie, his beloved wife of sixteen years, ready to face the hard job of raising their three children alone. But there’s something he’s not prepared for—a blue envelope with his name scrawled across the front in Natalie’s handwriting, waiting for him on the floor of their suburban Michigan home.

The letter inside, written on the first day of Natalie’s cancer treatment a year ago, turns out to be the first of many. Luke is convinced they’re genuine, but who is delivering them? As his obsession with the letters grows, Luke uncovers long-buried secrets that make him question everything he knew about his wife and their family. But the revelations also point the way toward a future where love goes on—in written words, in memories, and in the promises it’s never too late to keep.

Sleep Sister by Laura Elliot

Synopsis9(from goodreads)

sleep sisterTwo childhoods destroyed.
One story they will never tell.
Until now.

Beth ran away from her family when she was a teenager. She left behind a terrible evil that took her innocence. She also left behind her sister, Sara. When Beth returns home, she is shocked to discover her terrible secret is not just hers alone…she shares it with Sara. Under the shadow of a remote headland, the sisters make an oath they promise never to break.

Eva’s birth is a mystery that remains unsolved. Years later with her marriage in ruins, and her future uncertain, she realizes that to move forward with her life, she must first understand her past. But while Eva is drawing closer to the truth about her roots, Beth and Sara’s lives are falling apart, crushed under the weight of the secret they carry. They must confront the past and face the darkness once more. But this time, their story will be heard.


When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Synopsis9(from goodreads)

breathe airAt the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Have you read any of these books? Did you find any interesting books this week?Let me know in the comments section and share your Friday Finds or any other similar links.

giphyHappy Friday and Have a lovely weekend ❤