"A warm mix of bitter sweet family secrets"
Reviewed by Bharti C
Posted July 6, 2018
Romance Contemporary | Women's Fiction
HOW TO KEEP A SECRET by Sarah Morgan is about
a family, three generations of women tied to each
other through blood, but more importantly by
In this warm, bubbling with quiet nerves
story we meet Nancy, her daughters Lauren and
Jenna, and her granddaughter Mackenzie. The
sisters with a couple of years between them
have a relationship worthy of being actual
Nancy bound by secrets, heartbreak, and
wounded self esteem is a complex character.
Add to it she is an artist, pillar of the
community on Martha's Vineyard where she's
lived all her life, as have her ancestors. I
can't say I enjoyed or loved her character as
the story mainly focuses on the sisters and
Nancy takes center stage only towards the
end. I will say she is a smart woman,
knows herself well and embraces her mistakes
as well as her achievements. She is the type
of women we see around us, all bright and shining, confident
but with secrets of her spouse dimming her brightness. What
makes her a strong character
at the end of the day is how she redeems and
liberates herself of the past. She even
gives love a second chance which was simply
The sisters have a strong bond, entwined
together by their love for each other,
secrets, and a crazy dynamic of a wild cat
and a scaredy cat together. The grown up
versions are more reversed, but that soon
changes as tragedy and death brings them back
to the Vineyard, the place embedded in their
lives and secrets.
Then there is Mack, Lauren's daughter, whose
teen angst adds another layer to the family
dynamic. It's a pleasure seeing her being a
typical teen with glimpses of developing
The men, ah! Scott, though not a major role, I loved him
from his introduction as reckless and irresponsible. Greg,
too, is a sweetheart and well paired with Jenna.
The story sees the girls grow up, have a life
of their own, coming full circle, and
sorting their relationship with their mother,
who was essentially emotionally absent from
Secrets are at the heart of the story and
there is no doubt that the story revolves
around the family's past and its long living
impact on their present.
HOW TO KEEP A SECRET is a story with well written characters,
touching prose, and wonderful and introspective moments,
which I enjoyed. The mix of touching emotions, well
placed moments of romance, and some crazy
teenage drama makes this a wonderful read.
When three generations of women are brought together by
crisis, they learn over the course of one hot summer the
power of family to support, nourish and surprise
Lauren has the perfect life…if she ignores the fact it’s a
fragile house of cards, and that her daughter Mack has just
had a teenage personality transplant.
Jenna is desperate to start a family with her husband, but
it’s… Just. Not. Happening. Her heart is breaking, but she’s
determined to keep her trademark smile on her face.
Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother, but how can she
ever tell Lauren and Jenna the reason why?
Then life changes in an instant, and Lauren, Mack, Jenna and
Nancy are thrown together for a summer on Martha’s Vineyard.
Somehow, these very different women must relearn how to be a
family. And while unraveling their secrets might be their
biggest challenge, the rewards could be infinite…
Heartwarming and fresh, Sarah Morgan’s brilliant new novel
is a witty and deeply uplifting look at the power of a
family of women.
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