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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Patty's Pick for 7/31/14 - "The Art of Keeping Secrets" by Patti Callahan Henry

Patti Callahan Henry gives us a story of a family trying to recover from losing their father and husband to a plane accident two years in the past. When the wreckage of plane is found, it tears open the wounds they bore from this tragedy again. As the story opens, Annabelle finds out that her husband, Knox, did not die alone. 
The effect this news has on all the characters create interesting interactions. I love southern lit and Patti Callahan Henry does it well. "The Art of Keeping Secrets" comes with complex characters and beautiful descriptions of the places which they inhabit, like the low country town of Marsh Cove.

The love story and marriage of Annabelle and Knox starts with their high school romance and continued until Knoxs' untimely death. His death sets the tone for the actions and reactions of the characters in this book. The family and friends are left to deal with this tragedy again. Annabelle must learn to really move forward and really rebuild her life that has been on hold since his disappearance. She must decide if their marriage was a sham or the true love she thought she had. 

When we find out that there was a woman with Knox on the plane who also died, this story kicks into high gear. The mystery of why she was there and who she was has the family and friends questioning if they really knew the real Knox. Who was this mystery woman and why was she on the plane?  There are quite a few secrets these characters have been keeping from each other. From Marsh Cove in South Carolina to the coastal North Carolina town of Newboro, Annabelle and her son, Jake, try to unravel the mystery of this passenger. They discover old acquaintances and develop new relationships. When the mystery of the passenger gets revealed, many lives are forever changed. The rich illustrations of the characters and locations will pull you in and hook you until the end.