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The Safety of Secrets Kindle Edition

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Trail of Broken Wings
Top-Rated Literature & Fiction
Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Michel’s follow-up to Aftermath of Dreaming (2006) is the tale of two childhood best friends who fled their Louisiana roots for Los Angeles. Fiona is a moderately successful, married actress who has just learned she is expecting a child. Patricia is the one with the superstar career: as the host of a sports reality show, she is a high-profile celebrity, as is her new husband, Zane, a dashing but shallow movie star. Fiona feels a disconnect with Patricia after Patricia’s impulsive marriage to Zane in Las Vegas, and it’s further emphasized by her mixed feelings upon learning the sex of her baby, feelings she feels she can’t share with Patricia. When Patricia commits a startling betrayal and reveals a secret the two have been keeping since their teens, Fiona realizes their longtime friendship is at a crossroads and may not survive. Michel is deeply attuned to the subtleties in women’s friendships, the little nuances that indicate a slight or an attempt at making up for one, and she pays tribute to them with this layered, fluid novel. --Kristine Huntley


Written with tremendous narrative velocity, The Safety of Secrets is almost impossible to put down.

Product Details

  • File Size: 597 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
  • Publication Date: October 13, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0019HW0FG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,905 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
They met a quarter of a century ago as first graders in Lake Charles, Louisiana over a pair of socks. Fiona Marshall and Patricia Woods became friends with both eluding odious mothers. Whereas Fiona's mother was abusive, Patricia's was negligent. They left Bayou country soon after high school to make it in Hollywood.

Each was married and divorced; they survived the Hollywood night culture that has destroyed so many young. Both share a secret that no one else knows until now. Twenty-five years of best friend sisterhood may end with that secret revealed. Fiona and Patricia reexamine their friendship, other relationships over the years, and the difficult realities that have surfaced for them.

The story line moves back and forth between the present and past in Southern California and their childhood in Louisiana as events today have the lead females looking back in time. Fiona and Patricia are fully developed characters, but it is their deep friendship forged back in elementary school that DeLaune Michael focuses on. Though loving best friends who would do anything for the other, with warmth and caring comes hurts and anger. Healthy relationships have a down side to them even when they are mostly loving, upbeat, and supportive. THE SAFETY OF SECRETS is a deep character study that will leave readers examining their strongest relationships.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bingo-Karen Haney VINE VOICE on July 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the same vein as Firefly Lane and Beaches, THE SAFETY OF SECRETS is a true to life story of the enduring friendship of two women. It tells how their childhood bond is tested as they mature and their values and loyalties are formed and lives change.

Fiona and Patricia meet in first grade in Louisiana and their family lifestyles are different as Fiona comes from a "normal" family with two parents and a sister, while Patricia is raised by a single mother who has an older son from a previous marriage. Both of the girls' youth is greatly influenced by their mothers with Fiona's mother being abusive, while Patricia's mom neglects her. The girls experience a trauma young in their lives and they agree to keep it a secret for life.

Fiona and Patricia grow up and both pursue acting careers, and they are both successful in their own way. However, Fiona marries and has a baby while having a moderately successful and steady television career compared to Patricia's wild celebrity life filled with all the bells and whistles the paparazzi is crazy for.

The chapters alternate between the past as children and their current lives as adults, and thus the story slowly unfolds little by little until the "secret" that is alluded to finally is revealed. However, the way it happens is what brings us to the climax of the story and forces Fiona and Patricia to face the truth of that secret and the ramifications it has played in their lives for years. Fiona comes to realize how much the secret and her mother intertwined to make her the person she is today. Will Fiona's and Patricia's friendship be able to endure this explosive revelation? How will this affect their current relationships and especially the ones with their mothers?
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By booknerd on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Can't-put-it-down readable with a secret at its core, this book is a sensitive, canny portrayal of a decades-long friendship. It works as a great beach read because of Michel's funny insights into the Hollywood actors scene, but like an iceberg, it has unexpected solidity under the surface. It's depth snuck up on me. It's an atypical coming-of-age story in that rather than simply covering the familiar territory of the jump from girl-to-woman; it explores the maturity that is required to jump from young-woman-to-mother. The crisis in the main character Fiona's relationship with her childhood friend Patricia, coming at the same time as the birth of Fiona's first child, enables Fiona to step into her true female adulthood--to access the maturity required to be a stable and loving example to her baby. Having witnessed Fiona's journey into unconditional love and forgiveness, we are assured that her child will be protected from at least some of the pain and tragedy that Patricia and Fiona endured. I loved it from the beginning to the sweet and moving last page. Read it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By blackandwhitedog on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Maybe it's because I'm in the midst of deciding what to do about one of my own old relationships that this book hit me so hard. Like Fiona in the book, I'm struggling with a friendship that has emerged as a two-headed hydra--and that's what Michel gets at so trenchantly: just how difficult it is to maintain a long-standing friendship and to keep that monster the ego from taking over and sucking every bit of air out of the garden. Oh, and the mother is quite a piece of work, too.

Michel is a pull-no-punches kind of writer with a terrific way with a metaphor. SAFETY OF SECRETS reads like a thriller, the pacing is so taut, and in fact there is a very real crime committed within its pages. In Michel's hands this scene is both subtle and crushing. A lessor writer would have yielded to its prurient potential; Michel instead reveals her power to pull us deep into the character's feelings. A compelling read.
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