Books,  Women's Fiction,  Writing

Book Review – The Secrets We Carried – Mary McNear

The Secrets We Carried – Mary McNear

Published: September 25, 2018 by William Morrow, HarperCollins

Swathi’s Rating: 3.8/5

Verdict: A cute little book with an emotional heart-warming story!

I’ve always a woman-centered storyline with a dark past, and a struggling present to achieve a brighter future. It’s just motivating and realistic as well! This book is cute as button, and has a charm to its midwestern setting. The description of the place called Butternut is about to teleport you to a beautiful rural atmosphere, which you would badly wish to be real!!


Quinn LaPointe grew up on beautiful Butternut Lake, safe, secure, sure of her future. But after a high school tragedy, she left for college and never looked back. Becoming a successful writer in Chicago, she worked to keep out the dark memories of an accident that upended her life. But now, after ten years, she’s finally returned home.

Butternut is the same, and yet everything is changed. Gabriel Shipp, once her very best friend, doesn’t want anything to do with her. The charming guy she remembers is now brooding and withdrawn. Tanner Lightman, the seductive brother of her late boyfriend, wants her to stick around. Annika Bergstrom, an old classmate who once hated Quinn, is now friendly. Everyone, it seems, has a secret.

Determined to come to terms with the tragedy and rebuild old relationships, Quinn settles into Loon Bay Cabins, a rustic but cozy lakeside resort, where she begins writing down her memories of the year before the accident. Her journey through the past leads her to some surprising discoveries about the present. As secrets are revealed and a new love emerges, Quinn finds that understanding the past is the key to the future.

Author Bio:

Mary MacnearNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary McNear is a writer living in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, miniscule white dog named Macaroon. She writes her novels in a local donut shop where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly-made donuts. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the Northern Midwest.

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Swathi’s Review:

When I started with a book, I had to struggle to keep it up with the pace, because it was pretty slow, and nothing was happening until a few chapters. But that’s what the genre offers, and I simply had to be patient! Meanwhile, the description of Butternut comes to fuller view, and the readers get a picture of the beautiful lake town and simpler lives of people who live there.

A 10-year old tragedy still haunts the locals, and they want to create a memorandum (or a dedication as its called here!) just to keep the future gen informed. It all adds to the mystery of what actually happened 10 years ago to those boys who died drowning into the frozen lake. The reader is never sure of the past, until much later when the events are narrated fully.

Written in a third person POV, Quinn meets every character from her days in Butternut, and makes a note of her memory in her Journal. She creates a story-like narration of her memory with the person she meets, and that’s how the reader gets moving into the story.

Romance. Is there a romance in this story? That’s something I wondered reading this book. Yes, there is indeed a Young romance, a cute love story in the past, between teenagers. The same romance that somehow led to the ever-haunting tragedy.

Have you ever thought something like this while watching a nice romantic movie, when the lead characters end up not being together? Why does it have to end that way? It could’ve been lovely, had they been together! That’s exactly what this book does to you.

That said, I just realised I’m due for my next vacay, as this book tempted me, teleported me to my favorite holiday destins and now I HAVE TO Go!

Happy reading! XO Xo!!

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