Mini Reviews #5 | The Secret She Keeps & The Poisonwood Bible

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Two books that I read while being on vacation… wanna know what I thought of them? Let’s see…

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Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls. When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

The Secret She Keeps was a compelling and thoroughly addictive read that I enjoyed while on vacation. I had previously read another book by Michael Robotham, and it was quite different, to be honest. What I liked the most about this one were the two distinct voices. I greatly appreciate when an author makes me care for a character who isn’t a really good person. The way this book was written, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.

As for the plot, I can’t say the book was particularly original. I had read similar stories in the past and I was almost glad that the “twist” was revealed at about 40%, as I had suspected it from the beginning. The second part of the book was less psychological and more “classic thriller”, so I knew there wouldn’t be any surprises left, which was kind of a disappointment. Still, I enjoyed reading this one a lot and I explained the entire plot to my friends, so I think that’s a pretty good sign.

Netgalley, Little Brown UK, 2017

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This story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it – from garden seeds to Scripture – is calamitously transformed on African soil.

The Poisonwood Bible is celebrating a brand new edition featuring this strikingly beautiful cover. This is not a new book: it came out in 1998 and it’s already considered a classic. I read this book because I wanted to dive into a completely different story and I got exactly that.

This was a fascinating tale featuring a Baptist family who moves to the Belgian Congo and tries to settle down there. The father is a preacher and his mission is to convert the whole community into Christianism. The story is told from the four daughters’ points of view and despite some sad scenes, I found the narration pretty amusing. My favorites were Adah and little Ruth May. Rachel was fun to read because of her shallow personality, but on the other hand, I didn’t like Leah at all, and she was probably the main protagonist.

My only problem with Poisonwood Bible was the length. I usually avoid longer books because I don’t think I enjoy them as much as I would if they were shorter. This was exactly what happened here. My initial enthusiasm gradually decreased when I got to a point where I thought the book might be ending but there were actually many pages left. So I struggled a lot and I’m quite sad because I think I would’ve absolutely loved this if it had been around 350 pages.

Faber & Faber, 2017

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Published by

Annie

In a past life, I was probably a tortured police detective with a dark and traumatic past. Right now, however, I'm just a twenty-something bookworm who loves listening to old songs and watching 90s movies. I enjoy mystery and crime, southern coming of age stories and historical fiction set in the last century.

17 thoughts on “Mini Reviews #5 | The Secret She Keeps & The Poisonwood Bible

  1. It’s been soooooo long since I read The Poisonwood Bible. I remember loving it but just SOBBING at times while reading it. I keep thinking I need to reread it, but the again I don’t want to cry again! Ha ha!

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  2. I keep seeing The Secrets She Keeps around. It sounds like several other books I’ve read or seen lately, but still sounds kind of interesting. I’m glad you still enjoyed it even if it wasn’t very surprising.

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  3. I’m like you, the longer the book, the harder for the story to keep me hooked! I love that the author’s of the first book managed to make you feel for a character you can’t consider “good”, even if it’s a concept that is complicated, as we all are a bit bad too!!!

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  4. I have The Poisonwood Bible on my TBR so I’m glad you thought it had some positives even if it went on too long. I don’t mind long books if the story justifies the length, but quite often they feel as if they could lose a couple of hundred pages without losing anything important…

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  5. Poisonwood Bible is a book that normally would interest me but I am really not a fan of huge books.Probably the biggest book I read this year was Missing Ones and it was just a little over 500 pages. Glad you liked the storyline though despite the length 🙂

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  6. I read The PoisonWood Bible many years ago and remember liking it. It does seem that really long books can tend to drag. I know I really have to carefully consider at anything over 400 pages before I’ll commit these days.

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    1. It dragged a lot for me… but I enjoyed the first part a lot. Ive read two great books over 500 pages lately so Im satisfied, but I usually go for shorter too

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