Author: Louise Candlish
When Ginny and Adam Trustlove arrive in Italy for what is supposed to be two weeks of relaxation in a boathouse on the edge of the beautiful and peaceful Lake Orta, the last thing they are expecting is company.
Twenty-four hours later, that company arrives in the form of the wealthy Sale family. High-flying father Marty, his gorgeous wife Bea and their privileged teenage offspring Pippi, Esther and Dom, arrive in the main villa and interrupt the Trustlove’s peaceful holiday in more ways than one.
It doesn’t take long for a new friend to be brought into the mix, and soon everyone is wondering just what is so special about enigmatic newcomer Zach. There is something about Zach that has everyone fascinated, something that manages to reveal hidden secrets – and create shocking new ones.
Louise Candlish’s Other People’s Secrets is an emotionally charged page-turner which tackles some difficult topics, and still manages to remain warm and romantic. It is a novel filled with family, friendship, heartbreak and love.
The novel focuses on the goings-on at a villa complex beside Italy’s Lake Orta. Comprising of a small cast of very well drawn characters, it pulls the reader in from the very first page. Each of the seven central characters is extremely well fleshed-out, and although I definitely did not like all of the decisions they made, once certain secrets about each character came to light, those decisions were not only believable, but very realistic too.
There is a definite focus on relationships throughout the entire novel, whether they are between and parent and their child, a married couple, siblings, or something else… These relationships are the main strength of the novel, and the characters involved in them are amazingly well written.
At first I didn’t like many of the main characters because of the choices that they made, but once the reason behind many of these choices was revealed I found myself reassessing my thoughts on each character and coming to like them more. This is also one of the only books that I have read where the main characters are a lot older than I am, but I didn’t have a problem with this at all. I could still relate to them, and still enjoy the novel.
The best thing about this novel is of course the secrets about these characters that are revealed throughout. These secrets are never too far off the reader’s mind; they are always present in the plot but are not revealed straight away. Even from the first chapter I was desperately trying to figure out what had happened to the Trustloves, and what the big secret between Dom and Ginny was all about! So many different theories ran through my mind the whole time I was reading, and I have to admit, not many of them proved to be correct at the end of the story.
Other People’s Secrets is thought-provoking and emotional, yet still quite an easy read. It’s pretty fast-paced, as nearly all of the events in the novel occur over a two week period, but this doesn’t make the novel less believable. This certainly isn’t a fluffy chick lit novel; there are no single twenty-somethings searching for Mr Right.
A very emotional read, it’s the sort of novel that draws the reader in, slowly feeding them information bit by bit, making them feel what each of the characters is feeling, whether it is good or bad. Very well written and totally gripping, Other People’s Secrets is a superb story of hidden secrets and the lives that are altered when the secrets are revealed.