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Best Kept Secret: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Amy Hatvany
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $3.01 (20%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Kindle Edition $11.99  
Paperback $14.23  
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Book Description

Cadence didn’t sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea.

Her drinking snuck up on her - as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that’s left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year old son, Charlie. 

It wasn’t always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all—a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist.  But with the demise of her marriage, her carefully constructed life begins to spiral out of control.  Suddenly she is all alone trying to juggle the demands of work and motherhood.               

Logically, Cadence knows that she is drinking too much, and every day begins with renewed promises to herself that she will stop.  But within a few hours, driven by something she doesn’t understand, she is reaching for the bottle - even when it means not playing with her son because she is too tired, or dropping him off at preschool late, again.  And even when one calamitous night it means leaving him alone to pick up more wine at the grocery store.  It’s only when her ex-husband shows up at her door to take Charlie away that Cadence realizes her best kept secret has been discovered….

Heartbreaking, haunting, and ultimately life-affirming, Best Kept Secret is more than just the story of Cadence—it’s a story of how the secrets we hold closest are the ones that can most tear us apart.


Editorial Reviews


"Grabs you from page one and doesn't let you go. The writing is visceral, the problems are real, and there are no clear solutions. You won't want to put it down."  --Emily Giffin, bestselling author of "Something Borrowed"

"Touching, hopeful, and so real. I loved these characters and this novel." --Luanne Rice, bestselling author of The Silver Boat

"Rarely do I find a book that stays with me long after I've finished it, but this is one. Warm, witty, thoughtful and heartbreaking, and that ending--I'm still thinking about it." --Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay

"Haunting, hopeful, and beautifully written. I couldn't put this book down, and I can't stop thinking about it." --Allie Larkin, bestselling author of Stay

"A captivatingly honest book that you won't soon forget."  --Lisa Tucker, bestselling author of Once Upon a Day

About the Author

Amy Hatvany is the author of Best Kept Secret, Outside the Lines, The Language of Sisters, Heart Like Mine, and Safe with Me. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her family.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1952 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 7, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G8QTUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,932 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Not Keeping This One A Secret! June 4, 2011
Best Kept Secret is one of the best and most thought-provoking books I've read in a long time. It was heart-breaking and uplifting all at the same time. At the center of this novel is Cadence, a single-mom who is trying the best that she can to get through her days raising a whirlwind of a happy little boy and struggling to make it as a freelance writer. When life becomes more and more difficult, she starts suffering from insomnia, and a glass of wine at night helps her to sleep. That glass of wine becomes two and three, which then turns into a couple of bottles a night. Within a year, she is a full-blown alcoholic on the verge of losing the most important thing in her life: her young son Charlie.

I adored little Charlie and my heart broke for Cadence, who was as real as a character could possibly get. If you are a mother or a daughter or a sister, you will see a part of yourself in her character. She's so real, flawed and lovely, you'll want her to succeed in everything: her fight for sobriety, and her fight for custody of Charlie.

I was drawn to this book for so many reasons. As a mom to three children very close in age, I know what it's like to need something to calm the nerves when you're at your wit's end, when you think you might blow a gasket over spilled milk. I also discovered that two of my absolute favorite authors, Emily Giffin and Sarah Pekkanen read, loved and blurbed Best Kept Secret. And, there have also been times in my own life that I have been unable to care for my own children because I've been too hung over. This book hit home for me, and I'm very confident that Best Kept Secret will unearth feelings in every woman out there.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets that aren't really secrets June 8, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the beginning of the novel,we meet a happy succesful journalist who is recently married and overjoyed with a new baby on the way. In the words that follow, we find a devastated divorcee with a dwindling income, an active toddler whom she loves with the depth of her being. She begins with a couple glasses of wine in the evening to "help her sleep". Then a couple in the afternoon to take "the edge off" before she makes dinner. Her life went downhill from there. Why shower, she wasn't going anywhere. She didn't need make-up or clean clothes..same reason. The ultimate rock bottom was the night she realizes she's out of wine! The store is only 6 minutes away...Charlie is sound asleep,he won't wake up. Her life is then taken out of her hands.
What follows is the slow climb through recovery, rehab, AA, with the ultimate goal of regaining custody of her son.
It is the beautiful story of the strength of women, the bond of motherhood, and her renewed faith in the need for supporting friends and family.
I was not surprised at the end of the novel, that the author has lived and traveled the journey herself. Some women [or men] might be turned off by the loss of control of Cadence. Some may see their stories in an author's work.
I'm new to reviewing books, I don't usually write more than a few words. This story called my name.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Story With Relatable Characters August 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Best Kept Secret was such an engaging read that I'm still thinking about it days later. Cadence's story is one that surely every woman can relate to. The pressures of being perfect in all aspects of life can get to all of us. We all have vices and outlets that we seek when we are overwhelmed - Cadence happened to gradually slip into her alcohol addiction.

I applaud the author for taking on such tough subject matter and turned it into such a special story that sticks with the reader. Highly recommend!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oscar Winner December 22, 2011
Best Kept Secret was one of my favorite books of 2011. After reading the synopsis I wasn't sure if this was something I would like, as I lean more towards lighter reads. But after hearing and reading such rave reviews, I knew I had to read it. All I can say is I'm so glad I did.

Amy Hatvany has a magnificent ability to get inside a character's persona, which is exactly what she does with Cadence, the main character. We first meet Cadence as a happily married woman, a successful journalist and a mother to her little boy Charlie, who she loves more than life itself. Then things start to change, including going through a divorce and leaving her full time job to start freelancing, so she can take care of Charlie. What started off as having a couple glasses of wine a day, to take the edge off and help her sleep, turns into Cadence drinking all the time. Cadence ends up admitting herself into rehab and must deal with all of it's aftermaths.

Even though the book does not surround the topic of divorce, I do have to say that I can indirectly relate, as my parents got divorced when I was nine years old. Even though my mother was not an alcoholic, I can see my mom in Cadence's character. It's unbearable having to cope with all that happens before and after a divorce, especially when there's a child involved.

I felt as if I was actually side by side with the characters, and could really experience and feel their emotions. It felt as if I was struggling right along with Cadence. Amy does a fantastic job portraying the world of alcoholism, and how it takes over the addict's life, their choices and actions. They don't realize that they are actually addicted until it's too late.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love Amy Hatvany
Published 19 days ago by Lp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Will probably read it again. All moms struggling with addiction should read it as well as family and friends struggling to understand.
Published 1 month ago by Charlotte B.
3.0 out of 5 stars it was an ok book. Little repetitious. It ...
it was an ok book. Little repetitious. It was an eye opener about alcoholism.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a very good story. Because it was based on her real ...
This was a very good story. Because it was based on her real life experience with alcohol addiction, the author writes with great insight into the alcoholic mind. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. A. Cliff-pease
4.0 out of 5 stars Ope's Opinion of Best Kept Secret
This is a book with a heavy subject. It seems on the surface that this book is about alcoholism - and it is. But is also about any secret that is kept, that could be harmful. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Margie
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and honest.
This novel depicts the struggle one woman experiences in dealing with her alcoholism. The roller coaster of emotions is vividly described. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Prindaville
5.0 out of 5 stars achingly real
This is an excellent and realistic book. Cadence is a mother who becomes an alcoholic to deal with life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Theresa Leonessa
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book. Comes from the gut
Amazing book . Comes from the gut. Could not be more realistic ,
Published 4 months ago by Jake
5.0 out of 5 stars Think this enables a family member understanding of what an ...
Think this enables a family member understanding of what an alcoholic goes through. It is an important read for all concerned and gives one hope that this disease is manageable. Read more
Published 5 months ago by LINN CANNING
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More About the Author

Amy Hatvany graduated with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs - some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist.

In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on her passion: writing books. Her background in sociology inspires and informs much of her writing as she tackles timely and controversial issues in her novels including mental illness, domestic abuse, and alcoholism. She is the author of BEST KEPT SECRET, OUTSIDE THE LINES (a Target book club pick in 2012 and a Costco Pennie's Pick in 2013), THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS, and HEART LIKE MINE. Her next novel, SAFE WITH ME, was released March 4, 2014.

Amy lives in Seattle with her husband and children. You can learn more at

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