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Mixed feelings about this book. I struggled a little at the beginning and almost gave up with the way the characters spoke and addressed each other although at the time it was set it was about a group of people belonging to a 'Community of Friends' so the form of speech would be authentic. In time I grew more used to this. The book is well written and the author has done her research. Set in Virginia around 1700 it is authentic in the description of how the people in the Community lived and the standards they lived by in their little 'Community of Friends' The main theme is about 'secrets' past and present held by the main characters, all of whom are deeply drawn. Given the time the book is set the way the characters interact is very different from the modern way people live, The secrets are so damaging between them all and emotions run rampant. Overall the many secrets reminded me of a ball of wool that has become so hopelessly tangled up it appears impossible to ever free them. Characters are prevented from gaining any happiness because they all refuse to give up their secrets for various reasons Some are afraid of causing pain to their loved ones, others keep their secrets out of the fear of consequences to themselves and their loved ones; then there are the ones who have been too hurt to speak of why or keep quiet due to personal guilt and blackmailing threats if they speak! The story is extremely complex. In a way it keeps you guessing, yet in another way the reader just knows that the 'baddies' will eventually get their just deserts and hopefully the main characters who are normal flawed human beings will eventually find the happiness they are seeking. I found myself feeling quite frustrated at the determination of each of them to keep their secrets, no matter what punishment came their way I found the ending a bit too pat. It was almost as if the author just wanted it all sorted so the feeling was for the reader that all would be well - eventually! As apparently there is a second book, hopefully more will be revealed but I am not sure I want to buy it to be honest, after feeling quite emotionally wrung out by the high drama of it all with the story's very many tragic twists and turns, some of which I felt as a modern reader seemed over the top as in the lashings.
An emotional roller coaster! The author has so capably drawn her readers into the midst of two families who have experienced their share of heartache, shame, pain, and anger. After their spouses passed away, Mary and her ex-boyfriend, Amon, renewed their friendship. Would their pass, plus the fact they both had a family, stand in their way of taking their relationship to a new level? This story will drive home the importance of truth and complete honesty in a relationship. As the story unravels, you will discover the challenges and sacrifices those two families had to make and for David and Annie the price would be high. I highly recommend this book.
Tuis book speaks to so many different emotions, a rollercoaster that leaves u wanting more. I find myself reading until the wee hours of the morning. It is definately wort reading. Thanks Ms Porter u to ok us on a journey.
Mary McKechnie finds herself in a desperate situation. Since her abusive husband died, she and her girls have sunk lower and lower into poverty. Her oldest brother is threatening to take the girls away from her and sell them as indentured servants, if she doesn't do what he tells her, and the Friends might let him, since the family is so poor. On top of all that, Amon Cayle, the man she wronged but never stopped loving, is about to come back into life. And, it gets worse.
Amon Cayle is still grieving for his wife, who burned to death in a kitchen fire. He almost lost his oldest son, David, also, and even now their relationship is strained. He’s manipulated into hiring Mary to sew his threadbare, growing family some clothes, but can he stand having her around. He loved his wife dearly, but Mary has always resided in a corner of his heart. And why won’t she tell him why she left him without a word to marry another?
David Cayle will do anything to keep his father and Mary apart. He’s too attracted to Mary’s daughter, Annie, and, if their parents were to wed, the Friends will consider them as siblings. With his cousin trying to cause trouble and his schoolmaster uncle unreasonable, David sometimes doesn’t know which way to turn. But he knows his heart wants to turn toward Mary.
There were more grammatical mistakes than I expected. Words were misused, like “understood,” when “understand” was needed. Letters were left out of words several times, and some sentences were just poorly written, like “I so not understand know why he hates me so.” The nominative case pronoun was used at least nine times, when the objective case was needed – ex. “between she and Grayson.”
This was an extremely hard book to read. It was difficult to keep all the characters straight, and the family chart at the beginning did not show well on my kindle. The first half moved by inches and was too drawn out. I liked the main characters, but nothing ever goes right for them, and much of it’s because of their own poor decisions and reactions and from keeping secrets. The tension was always so high these people I liked lived in misery, and it was frustrating and agonizing. I couldn't read it for too long at a time, because I had to walk away to ease the tension. I kept hoping the ending would make up for the anguish, but it didn't. One situation worked out well, but I wanted more insight to their happiness, which was skimmed over. The other situation is left up in the air for the next novel. I won’t be reading it. This one wasn't worth the gut-wrenching. After much deliberation, I ended up rating it 2.5. There were certainly parts about it that I liked, but the parts I didn't outweighed them.
Based on the rigid Friends society in 1700s Virginia, two young lovers marry others, maintaining secrets, until both of their spouses die. Despite an underlying love for one another, they have to overcome trust issues and secrets to emotionally reconnect and ultimately forgive. As a side story, both of their children form attachments complicating matters while dishonest kin seek to control and monetarily manipulate for their own benefit. Attempting to remain within the rigid society covenants further causes issues. This novel provides an inside view of the difficult lives of those living in the 1700s, attempting to find love while maintaining their very existence. Highly recommend for those who enjoy a clean historical novel with religious undertones.
Well worth reading as you struggle with the characters who have secrets and are afraid to tell anyone. Pretty fast going so much so you don't want to put it down. But this is a book, so you will have to off & on.
This is the first historical romance novel based on the 1700's that I have read and I am happy I did. Keeping Secrets is a refreshing story about two couples finding love, one as teens and the other as forty-something-year-old people. The influences of family and the community will open your eyes as to how different life was compared to today. Women were expected to marry and provide their husband with children, unlike today where our girls have careers and are expected to help provide for the family. Amon, Mary, David and Annie are characters you will cry for, hope for, and fall for. What really makes this a five star story for me is the freshness of the writing. For example, She shared a hug with Katie, her joy spilling into a smile; autumn laced across the Virginia countryside; Amon caught the boy as he slammed into his legs, his words dying as his mouth fell against Amon's thigh.
Wow such a awesome book ! The storyline and characters as I read had me glued to this book . The more I read the story it got better and better with each chapter. Totally worth reading for all romance loves.