A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules?
Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley. After all, he was her first love when she was fifteen years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal with his arrest and imprisonment.
Now, seventeen years later, Matthew returns to Norfolk, with a new identity, a long-term girlfriend and a young daughter, who know nothing of what happened before. Yet when he runs into Jessica, neither of them can ignore the emotional ties that bind them together. With so many secrets to keep hidden, how long can Jessica and Matthew avoid the dark mistakes of their past imploding in the present?
From debut author Rebecca Done, This Secret We're Keeping is a powerful and provocative novel about the ties which can keep us together - or tear us apart.
I liked this book very much in that it made me question myself on several occasions and I think it is a skilled fiction author that can make me, as a reader, deliberate over my feelings several days after I have finished the book. I suppose what I mean by this is that I was very engaged by the story of Jess and Matthew. I was very caught up in their relationship and hoping they would find a way. However, I had to continually keep reminding myself of the illegality and non appropriateness of their relationship and therefore, I should not be rooting for them. It is a very thought provoking read and one that I would recommend you read for yourself.
It was very well written and I enjoyed the dual narration. We hear Matthew's version of how their relationship developed in 1993 when he was still her teacher. Then we also have Jess' contemporary point of view. It flows seamlessly between the two periods and each enhanced the alternate narrative.
For a debut novelist this is a marvelous accomplishment. Ms Done has taken a taboo topic and built a really interesting story around it. I am looking forward to future work by this author.
Publisher : Michael Joseph
About the Author:
Rebecca Done lives in Norwich. After studying Creative Writing at the Norwich School of Art & Design, she worked for several years as a magazine editor. Currently a copywriter, Rebecca is also a keen runner, fair-weather surfer and one-time marathon canoeist. This Secret We're Keeping is her first novel.
Her new novel, My Husband the Stranger, is due to be published in April 2017.