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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312553498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312553494
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The long-delayed resolution of a French family's mystery electrifies de Rosnay's (Sarah's Key) glimpse at the crushing cost of keeping secrets. Parisian architect Antoine Rey and his sister, Mélanie, celebrate her 40th birthday on the island where they vacationed as children with their mother, until she died there in 1974. Upon returning, Mélanie is gripped by a shocking repressed memory and loses control of the car. After a brief spell of amnesia, she tells her brother what it was she remembered: their mother had been in love with a woman. As a skeptical Antoine investigates this twist in their mother's past, an upsetting chain of events unfurls: his daughter's best friend drops dead of a heart condition at only 14 years of age; his teenage son is arrested; and he learns that his father is dying of cancer. Antoine gets support in his quest from a new lover, a Harley-riding mortician who teaches him how respecting death helps one to embrace life. This perceptive portrait of a middle-aged man's delayed coming-of-age rates as a seductive, suspenseful, and trés formidable keeper.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Frenchman Antoine Rey wants to do something special for his sister Melanie on her fortieth birthday, so he surprises her with a weekend trip to Noirmoutier Island, where the two spent many idyllic childhood summers until their mother’s untimely death. While the weekend itself goes well, on the drive back home to Paris, Melanie is overpowered by a memory of her mother and drives off the road. She suffers extensive injuries, and as she heals in the hospital, Antoine obsesses over just what it was that his sister recalled. He is determined to find answers, but where and how? There are few surviving family members, and those remaining resist his unsettling queries. Meanwhile, distractions abound, as Antoine takes up with the sexy hospital mortician (who wears black and drives a Harley-Davidson, ooh la la). He and his ex-wife must also deal with their badly behaving son, who’s recently landed in jail. Internationally best-selling French novelist de Rosnay renders swift, lucid prose and steady suspense (even though one of the novel’s big secrets is revealed mid-tale). Expect demand among fans of both literary mystery and high-end romance. --Allison Block --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Tatiana's new novel, The Other Story, will be published at Saint Martin's Press on April 22 2014.

Tatiana's books have sold over 8 million copies around the world.

Tatiana de Rosnay was born on September 28th, 1961 in the suburbs of Paris. She is of English, French and Russian descent. Her father is French scientist Joël de Rosnay, her grandfather was painter Gaëtan de Rosnay. Tatiana's paternal great-grandmother was Russian actress Natalia Rachewskïa, director of the Leningrad Pushkin Theatre from 1925 to 1949.

Tatiana's mother is English, Stella Jebb, daughter of diplomat Gladwyn Jebb, and great-great-granddaughter of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the British engineer. Tatiana is also the niece of historian Hugh Thomas. Tatiana was raised in Paris and then in Boston, when her father taught at MIT in the 70's. She moved to England in the early 80's and obtained a Bachelor's degree in English literature at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich.

Returning to Paris in 1984, Tatiana became press attaché for Christie's and then Paris Editor for Vanity Fair magazine till 1993. Since 1992, Tatiana has published ten novels in France (published at Fayard, Plon and EHO).

Sarah's Key is her first novel written in her mother tongue, English. Sarah's Key was to be published in 40 countries and has sold over 8 million copies worldwide. Film rights have also been sold and a movie starring Kristin Scott-Thomas has been released. 4 other of her novels are becoming movies in France.

Tatiana is married and has two children, Louis and Charlotte. She lives in Paris with her family.

Her website is at http://www.tatianaderosnay.com/
Her Twitter feed : http://twitter.com/tatianaderosnay

Customer Reviews

Read instead Sarah's Key which was an outstanding book.
working mom
It takes way too long to get to what the secret is, and the first half of the book almost made me put it down because it was so dry.
K.T. May
It was a waste of time reading this book which was no better than a dime store novel.
Booklover from Georgetown, Tx.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

171 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Denise Crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed this very interesting story about a French family and the unraveling of the "secret" that was at the heart of the mystery in this novel. Although set in modern day France, the narrative has a timeless quality about it as a forty-ish, newly divorced man, Antoine Rey, starts investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of his mother, Clarisse, after his sister Melanie is injured in an automobile accident after suddenly remembering something dramatically suspicious about their mother while the two of them are off on holiday.

While his sister is hospitalized and during her recovery from her injuries, Antoine becomes compelled to find out more about his mother and who she was and how she died since both of her children feel as if they never really knew her and the subject has never been talked about within the family. In the course of his inquiries, he discovers and faces the truth about a mother he loved deeply but lost far too soon.

Antoine is a very complex man who is simultaneously dealing with his love and longing for his ex-wife and their three children-- two of whom are surly and distant teenagers -- and with the sudden urge to finally know more about his mother. He suffers loneliness and self doubt, bored with his career as architect, and morose about his lack of close relationships with his children and his father's family. I found him an interesting character with a lot of depth and sentimentality that led to many moments of self examination and introspection. The other supportive characters were not so well drawn, but did provide the means for Antoine to interact with and to push the narrative along.

I read the novel in one sitting.
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134 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Roger Brunyate TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With her first novel, SARAH'S KEY, Tatiana de Rosnay hit upon a winning formula: link a contemporary story set in modern Paris to events that took place a generation or more earlier. Long-buried secrets can work well as a plot device. But the secrets in that earlier book were no small matter; they concerned nothing less than the fate of children in the French Holocaust, and their story was told with a simple directness that quite overshadowed the modern romance paired with it. In A SECRET KEPT, however, the modern romance is virtually the entire story; it is fuller and more detailed than the relevant sections of the earlier book, but is still relatively trivial. And the buried secret, whose disclosure is postponed by every means possible, turns out not to be much of a secret at all, and such tension as there was just dribbles away. This time around, the formula fails.

Antoine Rey is a fortyish Parisian architect dealing mainly in office reconstructions. He is bored with his job and has let his life fall apart since his wife Astrid has left him for a younger man. But he cares enough for his sister Mélanie to take her for her fortieth birthday to Noirmoutier Island, off the Atlantic coast southwest of Nantes, where they used to holiday as children. The visit awakens memories of their mother, Clarisse, one of which so upsets Mélanie that she crashes the car before she can tell it. The remainder of the book is the much-delayed search for that memory and the understanding of its implications.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Roxanne Mchenry TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the free preview browsing the Kindle Store, and loved the cover. The synopsis seemed intriguing and the author's background promised a good read. Of the several preview chapters, the first chapter contained enough to move the story along and compell me to read on. But after figuring out a couple situations that were hinted at, I grew tired of the brother progtagonist's internal monologue and the constant reference to the tide and Gois Pass. I was expecting more given the book is a bestseller already in Europe. Perhaps I would enjoy her other book, Sarah's Key, as some other reviewers mentioned under the complete print edition, but this one was just OK for me.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By deeper waters on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am always intrigued by the stories about families, particularly when the same experience holds such different meaning for the individuals involved. While the book started off with potential, it quickly became a tiring and tiresome struggle to read. The lives of the Rey family, historically and in the present, are heavy with repression, judgment, disappointment, and the burden of meeting the expectations of others. Translated from the French (possibly part of the problem?), De Rosnay's writing comes across as a MFA assignment that asked the student to make maximal use of metaphor, epiphany, conflict and other literary techniques to create a reading experience that is congruent with the inner turmoil of the characters. With the exception of the long dead Clarisse, none of these sad souls ever came alive or came together into a believable whole. While that may have been the author's intent and from an artistic perspective, this may be an amazingly successful novel, it did not grab me and would never be a book that I would recommend to anyone else.
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