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Those Secrets We Keep    by Emily Liebert order for
Those Secrets We Keep
by Emily Liebert
Order:  USA  Can
New American Library, 2015 (2015)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

Ever since her sister Amy died a year ago from cancer, Sloane has been unable to stop thinking about her. She isn't exactly mourning Amy any more, but she can't seem to find any contentment in her own life, even though she's happily married with a beloved daughter. She's not even sure that she still loves her husband and has pulled away from him to such an extent that when she announces that she's going to take advantage of a last opportunity to vacation at her aunt's Lake George cottage without him, he's afraid that she's leaving him. Sloane invites her best friend Hillary to accompany her, hoping that a few quiet weeks away from home will help her to reassess her life and regain her composure.

As the two women drive toward Lake George, Sloane gets a phone call from Georgina, an old friend who now lives in London. Sloane never heard from Georgina after Amy died, although they had been best friends since they were young, and, still feeling angry and hurt about that, she's annoyed when Georgina invites herself to join the other two. Hillary is the sort of quiet, stable person Sloane believes she needs at this time of personal crisis, whereas Georgina is an outgoing, fun-loving extravert who never stops talking. Sure enough, once unpredictable Georgina arrives, their quiet vanishes.

The three women each have a secret which they consider too awful to confide even to a close friend. These women are all in their thirties, and I found it remarkable that they weren't sharing their secrets. My experience has been that women talk to other women about their problems, even embarrassing ones. These three hide behind superficial conversations, angry outbursts, and outright lies, while drinking so much that they pass out, throw up, and feel awful the next morning.

The main character, Sloane, after accidentally running into an old boyfriend, seems ready to leave her husband or cheat on him because the boyfriend is so handsome and rich, and they were so in love ten years ago the last time she saw him. I found Sloane's behavior, which she tries to keep secret from the other two, more unacceptable and incomprehensible than the secrets that the other two were keeping, and her anger when she learned Georgina's secret showed even more of a lack of sympathetic friendship than Georgina had shown her after Amy died.

Those Secrets We Keep is meant to be light summer reading, but it was far too heavy for this reader.

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