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Best Kept Secret: A Novel by [Hatvany, Amy]
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Best Kept Secret: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Rarely do I find a book that stays with me long after I’ve finished it, but this is definitely one. The writing is warm, witty, thoughtful and heartbreaking, and that ending—I’m still thinking about it.Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay

“This gripping novel probes the darker sides of motherhood and family secrets, and proves that redemption is never out of our reach. A captivatingly honest book that you won’t soon forget.” —Lisa Tucker, bestselling author of Once Upon a Day

Best Kept Secret is one of the most compelling books I've read in years. This could be any woman's secret—be it your sister, your best friend, or the mother you see on the playground. Amy Hatvany's heartfelt, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel will start an important dialogue about the secrets we keep . . . and it could even save lives.” —Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat

“Grabs you from page one and doesn’t let you go.”

—Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed

“I was transfixed by Cadence and her heart-wrenching dilemma. The writing is visceral, the problems are real, and there are no clear solutions. You won't want to put it down."Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed

“Best Kept Secret is touching, hopeful, and so real. Amy Hatvany writes with depth and compassion about a secret many have kept as she offers the miracle chance of starting over . . . I loved these characters and this novel.” —Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Boat

"Amy Hatvany's powerful language, delicious imagery, and tender treatment of motherhood is a love letter to women everywhere, who try and sometimes fail, but who always get back up again. She is a gifted writer, whose compassion and clear-headed view of addiction and recovery are inspirational and empowering." —Rachael Brownwell, author of Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore

“What makes this novel entirely original, is its fearless exploration of the place where addiction and motherhood intersect. What made me love Cadence was not her struggle with alcohol, but her fierce love for her child. This novel is a testament to the power of a mother’s love. I suspect this story will resonate with more women, more mothers, than this author might ever know.” —T. Greenwood, author of The Hungry Season and This Glittering World

“Haunting, hopeful, and beautifully written, Best Kept Secret takes a brave and honest look at the slippery slope of addiction and the strength it takes to recover. I couldn't put this book down, and I can't stop thinking about it.” —Allie Larkin, bestselling author of Stay

"Cadence could be you, your neighbor, your friend. At her core, she is the mother we all try to be. Her son's laughter melts her heart and her separation from him tears at her soul. Hatvany's novel is a gripping story of pain, love and renewal, one that leaves you cheering for the imperfect heroine who in some ways represents us all." —Kaira Rouda, author of Real You Incorporated and Here, Home, Hope

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: 1784 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 7, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 7, 2011
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G8QTUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,588 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steph VINE VOICE on June 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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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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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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Format: Audible Audio Edition
There were good parts to the story, but if you've ever dealt with addiction, lived with an alcoholic or known anyone dealing with addiction, then this story will frustrate you. I get the feeling the author got on the Internet and "researched" addiction like the main character researched her stories. This book really oversimplified the main characters quick trip to alcoholism, quick discovery and quick recovery. It just isn't like that.
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Format: Paperback
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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