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The story of an emotionally distant family as it struggles to come to grips with changing dynamics and the mysterious death of a young mother many years ago. She promptly steers the car into a wreck, putting herself in the hospital, unable to remember the important detail she once recalled. His father, who comes from a well-known Parisian family, is old, paunchy and distant—a complete shadow of the man who was married to the gorgeous Clarisse.
In the meantime, he becomes involved in a relationship with a woman his own age who impresses him with her independence and sexuality, squares off against his eldest son and helps his daughter through a tough loss of her own.
But the plot meanders to a conclusion that seems anticlimactic at best, a letdown at worst—the secret is hardly worth the trouble it causes. Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced.
Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot. With humor and insight, Straub creates a family worth rooting for. When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus run over a longtime acquaintance of hers—Barbara Baker, a woman she doesn't like very much—it's only the beginning of the shake-ups to come in her life and the lives of those she loves.
Astrid has been tootling along contentedly in the Hudson Valley town of Clapham, New York, a year-old widow with three grown children. After many years of singlehood since her husband died, she's been quietly seeing Birdie Gonzalez, her hairdresser, for the past two years, and after Barbara's death she determines to tell her children about the relationship: "There was no time to waste, not in this life.
There were always more school buses. Nicky, the youngest Strick, is disconcertingly famous for having appeared in an era-defining movie when he was younger and now lives in Brooklyn with his French wife, Juliette, and their daughter, Cecelia, who's being shipped up to live with Astrid for a while after her friend got mixed up with a pedophile she met online. As always, Straub Modern Lovers , , etc. The cast is realistically diverse, though in most ways it's fairly superficial; the fact that Birdie is Latina or Porter's obstetrician is African American doesn't have much impact on the story or their characters.
Cecelia's new friend, August, wants to make the transition to Robin; that storyline gets more attention, with the two middle schoolers supporting each other through challenging times. The Stricks worry about work, money, sex, and gossip; Straub has a sharp eye for her characters' foibles and the details of their liberal, upper-middle-class milieu.
Already have an account? Log in. Trouble signing in? Retrieve credentials. Sign Up. Pub Date: Sept. Page Count: Publisher: St. No Comments Yet. More by Tatiana de Rosnay. Page Count: Publisher: Atria.
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A SECRET KEPT
The story of an emotionally distant family as it struggles to come to grips with changing dynamics and the mysterious death of a young mother many years ago. She promptly steers the car into a wreck, putting herself in the hospital, unable to remember the important detail she once recalled. His father, who comes from a well-known Parisian family, is old, paunchy and distant—a complete shadow of the man who was married to the gorgeous Clarisse. In the meantime, he becomes involved in a relationship with a woman his own age who impresses him with her independence and sexuality, squares off against his eldest son and helps his daughter through a tough loss of her own.
A Secret Kept
The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. This article was published more than 9 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current. One settles into Tatiana de Rosnay's world with a sigh, comfortable that one's sensibility will be neither offended or challenged. The journalist turned wildly successful novelist is hybrid French, English and Russian, but her territory is the Faubourg, the Haussmannian regions of Paris, which house the most effortlessly snooty bunch of aesthetes and elitists in the world. The phrase " bon chic, bon genre " was invented for the denizens of de Rosnay's fictional universe, and she has skewered them twice while they thrill to her every touch. No critic has ever been dressed in such sheepish couture.