This next read is called Secrets and is from my Challenge 2020 in the category, books with one-word title. This book has been on my bookshelf for a while and I just haven’t gotten round to reading it…until now!
“We build too many walls and not enough bridges – Isaac Newton (1643-1727)”
The first character we meet is Tess. A single-mom wanting to escape her life in London that has fallen apart in dramatic fashion. So when she spots an advertisement for a house-sitter wanted for a house in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, she jumps at the chance…much to the shock and dismay of the homeowner.
“…think before you speak;…look before you leap.”
The homeowner is Joe. Single and a successful bridge builder who is often out and about travelling the world for his job and for a different lady in each country he visits. He lives in a gorgeous but unloved old house called Resolution with his dog Wolf and is adverse to any commitment.
“…if I look after it, it’ll care for me.”
He didn’t remember once offering Tess the job yet here she is and he’s not wholly convinced that she is right for the job.
Tess has left everything behind. Cut up her SIM card and got rid of her phone. She has no bank cards. Now she resides in a old house with a man and a dog who keep themselves to themselves and a town full of strangers outside. She is well and truly alone.
“She’s crying soundlessly…he detects the effort it’s taking her to counteract the need to let go with a stronger need for silence and invisibility…Musn’t let anyone know. But her desolation descends the staircase…”
Sparks fly. Arguments are had and Tess looks like she is here to stay! But why did she come here in such a hurry? What is she hiding?
“When people hide stuff from the people they say they love – you have to ask yourself, why would they do that, why would they have secrets? What kind of person does that make them?”
Tess isn’t the only one with secrets they’d prefer to keep hidden and when a shadowy character starts appearing in the garden of Resolution house, Joe’s secrets start unravelling.
But with every coming and going, Tess and Joe find themselves being drawn to each other but will commitment-phobic Joe change his ways? Will different sparks begin to fly?
“…they kiss each other with the same ease with which they talk and they find there’s so much to say.”
Secrets is cleverly written with both Joe’s perspective and Tess’s perspective being considered! It is a love story at just the right tempo and is more realistic than a fairytale. It is about two people, without any intention of becoming a couple, slowly but surely fall in love with each other but not without mistakes being made and arguments and disagreements along the way. This one seems real. I love how they help each other, I loved reading about them falling in love.
We all have secrets. Of course we do.
“…you’ve had to shoulder the truth, the secret and all the loneliness yourself.”
Some big, some small. Some we keep secret because we are embarrassed of what is is, some we keep because we don’t want to burden others with our baggage, some keep out of fear of hurting people and some we keep because we are scared that once it is out in the open it becomes real and we are worried about how the other person/people will react…will they think differently of us?
“…I do know it’s sturdy – and I trust it now to carry me, however much baggage I might bring.”
This is a story of personal struggles and a journey through it and how those that truly love us, won’t think differently of us but want to know our secrets because then they can help us.
“But bridges…are there to carry you…it breaks my heart, actually, that some people can’t see the other side. They are too lost to see their way across. That A flows over to B. That there’s another side, another way. They walk along a little distance – and then they let go. In that moment, the bridge somehow fails its function and it fails them.”
Find Secrets on Amazon now.
“To smile in the dark felt somehow safe; as if she wouldn’t be tempting fate if she couldn’t be seen.”
Until next time (when hopefully we all have our Christmas decorations up),