2016 Reviews · Australian · Beauty and Lace review · contemporary fiction

Book Review: The Art Of Keeping Secrets by Rachael Johns

secrets art.jpg

Book blurb:

Little secrets grow up to be big lies…

They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything … or so they thought.

But Flick’s seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family’s happiness. Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can’t seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son.

When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other.

Perhaps some secrets weren’t made to be kept.


Rachael Johns enthrals her readers yet again with her second foray into the contemporary life literature genre with the release of her newest book, The Art Of Keeping Secrets. I am so glad Rachael Johns has decided to take this direction in her writing, as I really do believe that she has the knack for conveying issues close to women’s hearts.

At the core of The Art Of Keeping Secrets are three very close knit female friends, Emma, Flick and Neve. Their friendship is rock solid, having developed when their children entered high school together.  It is obvious as soon as the story opens, that the three women share a special bond. It seems from the outset that these women know each other’s ins, outs and unique quirks.  However, what they don’t know is each of them is harbouring a pretty big secret,  that will rock the very foundations of their current lives. Neve gets the ball rolling on the secret front when she drops a big bombshell regarding the identity to the father of her child. This leads the trio on a whirlwind trip from Australia to New York, where more secrets are confessed.

Rachael Johns never fails to wow me with her novels and The Art Of Keeping Secrets is certainly no exception. The Art Of Keeping Secrets is Johns second offering in the life literature genre and it clearly highlights Johns strength as a writer. Johns tackles some contemporary and very relatable subjects in this novel from love, marriage, affairs, separation, divorce and single parenting, to career choices. These are balanced with the overarching theme of the novel which is based on airing out long held secrets. The secrets, when they come, are pretty explosive. One secret in particular had me drawing my breath in from complete disbelief. I even re-read the passages, as it was a shock that I definitely didn’t see coming. Johns manages to tantalise her readers this way for the majority of the novel, gradually revealing pieces to a bigger puzzle surrounding the secrets these women hold. It was a big drawcard for me, as it wiled me to turn the pages as fast as I could and also prevented me from putting the book down.  Readers will find the combination of natural and relatable dialogue, along with characters that are realistically drawn, but with flaws any person can sympathise with, greatly appealing. Although The Art Of Keeping Secrets does not have a rural feel, I would have to say I enjoyed this novel just as much as the rural romances Johns is famous for. The movement in setting from Australia to the States was covered well by Johns. I loved the feel of being a sidekick on the trio’s big trip to New York, it was most enjoyable reading experience. Fans new and old will also appreciate Johns flair for romance which was a captivating feature of the novel.

There is no doubt Johns can spin a fantastic yarn around the bonds of female friendship and the knocks life deals out for the everyday woman. The Art Of Keeping Secrets is another very successful and memorable addition to the Rachael Johns collection.

*Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty and Lace. To read the original review on the Beauty and Lace website which is available to view here.

The Art Of Keeping Secrets was published in 2016 by Harlequin Books Australia.


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