The Book of Secrets
by Elizabeth Joy Arnold
published by Bantam Books
I received a copy of this book though Net Galley in return for an honest review.
National bestselling author Elizabeth Joy Arnold brings us a compelling new novel about four friends bonding over beloved literature and the very different paths it leads them down. This thoroughly engaging story full of suspense, wonder, and surprise is a captivating combination of Eleanor Brown and Gillian Flynn.
After more than twenty years of marriage, Chloe Sinclair comes home one night to find that her husband, Nate, is gone. All he has left behind is a cryptic note explaining that he’s returned to their childhood town, a place Chloe never wants to see again.
While trying to reach Nate, Chloe stumbles upon a notebook tucked inside his antique copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Written in code, the pages contain long-buried secrets from their past, and clues to why he went home after all these years. As Chloe struggles to decipher the notebook’s hidden messages, she revisits the seminal moments of their youth: the day she met the enigmatic Sinclair children and the increasingly dangerous games they played to escape their troubled childhoods; the first time Nate kissed her, camped out on the beach like Robinson Crusoe; and the elaborate plan she and Nate devised, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, to break away from his oppressive father. As the reason for Nate’s absence comes to light, the truth will forever shatter everything Chloe knows—about her husband, his family, and herself. (from Goodreads)
I love that this story centered around books! I love those type of novels, like The Book Thief, The Bookman’s Tale, and Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour Bookstore. In The Book of Secrets, we see how Chloe befriends the Sinclair children. Their growing years is told through the eyes of the stories they read together, like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye, and Romeo and Juliet. We begin with Chloe and Nate married and in their forties. They have suffered the devastating lose of their son and we unwind the story through flashbacks. Chloe finds a book hidden by Nate in which he tell their son the story of their lives, written in code. As Chloe unlocks the code and reads Nate’s story, we understand what happened from the first day they met. I don’t want to go into too many detail and give anything away.
This is a wonderful, well written book, and I would recommend reading it!
“Cliche to say these books felt like my friends, but at times, the lonely times, that’s exactly what they were, my only and best. They were my shelter, I could enter and tuck myself against the margins facing in, forget my loneliness.”
“I ran my fingers over the text then held the book up to my face, closed my eyes and inhaled the sweet-sour scent of old paper and binding glue. Did everyone who loved books do this when they encountered a new one? I loved the physicality of books just as much as the stories inside, the feel of pages between my fingers, the intricacies of classic fonts winding along the neatly lined rows of words.”
Rating~ 4 out of 5