I’m delighted to be on tour today sharing my thoughts on Can You Keep a Secret? by Karen Perry. This isn’t a genre that usually grabs me, however, the blurb on this story did and I was intrigued …
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin (30 Nov. 2017)
It’s time for a reunion
Lindsey hasn’t spoken to Rachael in twenty years, not since her brother’s 18th birthday party at their parents’ remote country house.
A night that shattered so many friendships – and left Rachel’s father dead.
Now Thornbury Hall is up for sale, and the old gang are back there, together again.
A weekend to say goodbye to the old place, to talk about the past.
But twenty years of secrets aren’t given up lightly. Some won’t speak about what happened that night.
While others want to ensure that no one does.
Surviving the weekend is going to depend on whether you can keep a secret . . .
I do enjoy a dual timeline and often find myself emotionally invested more in one time period than the other. The story in Can You Keep a Secret? unravels in 1991 and 2017 and for me, it was events unfolding in 1991 that captured my imagination.
At Thornbury in 2017 you can feel the undercurrents running through the friendships, most subtle, but for Lindsey and Rachael the antagonism is there from the first. I wanted to know what had happened in the past to cause a major shift in their friendship. Why was Lindsey so uncomfortable? What had she done? And with mysterious events happening in the house, was there someone else out to spook her? Was it Patrick? Were they all hiding behind masks? But maybe those things weren’t happening at all …
1991. Lindsey is an outsider and so desperately wants to belong. Her passive aggressive friendship with Rachael was so interesting. The deeper she gets into the Bagenal lives at Thornbury Hall the more her friendship with Rachael changes. An enigma, I want to know more about her own childhood and her motivation.
The reveal in the past (which didn’t surprise me although the twist did) affects two of the characters and echoes through the years. It was interesting to see how all the friends had weathered the intervening years. In the present there’s more than one agenda that affects everyone present for the weekend which unfolds in step with the past.
There is a heavy and foreboding atmosphere throughout both timelines. In both there’s something not adding up, something not quite as expected. The crows with their cawing connect both (very cleverly) and lend a sense of doom to the estate. The isolation of Thornbury is the perfect setting and I loved the contrast between the group as young adults and again as adults.
Can You Keep a Secret? is a recommended read from me.
Connect with Karen Perry
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