BOOK CLUB: Secrets My Father Kept

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[Total: 6 Average: 5]

Rachel Givney keeps you guessing in her book, Secrets My Father Kept.

Marie has been brought up by her father who has always refused to talk about her mother.  Now aged 17 years, Marie has had enough and decides she will do all she can to find out who her mother was and what has happened to her. No matter how many times she asks questions, her father simply refuses to answer or give anything away.

It is 1939 and the people of Poland live in fear that they will be invaded and their country taken over by the German Nazis.  Dominik, Marie’s father, is a much-respected doctor at the local hospital but he has secrets from his past that he does not want uncovered. 

As the fears of invasion become stronger so do Dominik’s concerns of his secrets being unearthed. He also holds grave fears for his daughter’s life.

While Marie spends her time digging to unearth any information on her mother, Dominik is doing what he can to ensure that Marie will be safe and survive when the invasion comes.

I very much enjoyed reading this book. I was guessing right up to close to the end and must admit I was surprised when all the answers came together.

This story shows us the power of a parent’s love for their child, the hatred that people sometimes have for those that are different from them, and it shows how far we have come regarding women’s rights.

I found this to be a very easy and enjoyable read.

Author: Rachel Givney
ISBN: 9780143794103
Copy courtesy of Penguin Books

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Secrets My Father Kept by Rachel Givney. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Secrets My Father Kept

  1. Wow! Secrets my Father Kept by Rachel Givney( Penguin Random House) is an amazing and completely engrossing book!

    Amongst the hundreds of books set around the time of the rise of Hitler and which outline the devastation and moral turpitude of the times, this one really stands out. Not only does it provide a new perspective of the racial, social and sexual discrimination of the time, it also tells an incredibly compelling story about love, sacrifice, secrets and survival.

    Set in Krakow, Poland the story centers around seventeen year old Marie who lives with her father Dr Dominik Karski, a respected researcher and doctor at the local hospital. Marie longs to know more about her mother, who she has been told abandoned her as a very young child. But her father will tell her nothing – not even her name… still Marie is set on uncovering the truth.

    Dominik thinks he is protecting his daughter but he and strong-willed Marie clash. Why is Dominik standing in her way, why wont he support her studying at the University and why is he now against her relationship with her Jewish childhood best friend Ben? As Marie determines to pursue her own dreams, and to follow her heart, long hidden secrets start to painfully leak out.

    This is a wonderfully creative book, very well written and great character development. It really does keep you enthralled, and then what a twist towards the end!! I did not see it coming but it makes everything leading up to it make absolutely perfect sense!

    As you can tell I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

  2. WOW ! What a fabulous book. A Historical fiction with some totally unexpected plot twists.

    Given the title you would expect some fabulous secrets and the author ( Rachel Givney ) does not let us down. Right till the end, you are kept wondering what will happen…

    A “heavier” subject matter than I would usually choose to read, I found myself really engrossed in how the characters interacted with each other and the times in which they lived. It made me grateful for the privileges we have. A few parts of it where hard to read and sad to think that these events would have taken place.

    However I would absolutely recommend this book.. brilliantly written and thought provoking.

  3. Thank you to Beauty and Lace, Rachel Givney and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and review “Secrets My Father Kept”.

    I have read many books centred around World War 2 however Rachel Givney’s story telling brought a new depth to the themes and characters throughout the book. From the first chapter, I was swept into the lives of the characters, in particular Dominik and his daughter Marie.

    I recommend others read this book and get lost in the characters and story so beautifully created. The plot twists kept me involved and interested in continuing the book and it was difficult to put down.

  4. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to review “Secrets my Father Kept”.

    I have to say that this book has now become a favourite of mine in the WW2 genres of which I have read many. Right from the beginning to end I was enthralled and captivated. Secrets my father kept, revolves around an emotionally stirring plot where 17 yr old Marie (who lives with her Father Dominick) in Poland sets about uncovering the whereabouts and identity of her Mother who left when Marie was a baby, as revealed by her Father who is a well regarded Doctor. Marie’s father Dominick is an enigma in my eyes, and it’s intriguing to read of his love for his daughter and soul aim in protecting her. Set with a two part narrative, pre-war and after. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and historical accuracy of the time, however I must admit, it was a little unsettling to read of the blatant sexism which existed.

    A thoroughly heartwarming read with great plot twists and engaging characters, I highly recommend this book.

  5. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Rachel Givney’s Secrets My Father Kept it was a truly engrossing read. I got swept up in the story of Marie and her father Dominik’s story in the lead up to World War 2 in Poland and the secret Dominik has and his mission to marry Marie off to protect her when he no longer can even though she has already fallen in love with her childhood friend who happens to be Jewish much to the despair of her father.
    All in all a great read ***** 5 stars

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Penguin for the book to read and thank you Rachel Givney for writing such an impactful story.

    It’s 1939 in Poland and 17 year old Marie has her whole life ahead to look forward to except for a few details.
    Firstly she doesn’t know her mother’s name. She can barely remember her and when she discovers something hidden she embarks on a quest to find out more about her mother.
    As Marie embarks on her journey to have the career she has always wanted she finds it not so easy and we find out about the many struggles and blocks that are in her way.

    Secrets my father kept is a big story in that it has many different parts that make it whole.
    The one thing is shown throughout the story is how much Dominik loves has for his daughter.

    This story is a gentle reminder of the world that was and how love and courage can get us through almost anything.

    This novel has characters to fall in love with, secrets to keep you engrossed, heaviness of wars and times past to remind you but mostly it’s about love. A fathers love for his daughter and love for friends.
    A wonderful read.

  7. What an awesome secret revealed after the end of this book .Great story about forbidden love between 2 religions, family bonds stronger than any sacrifice imaginable. Resilience of women going through extremely hard times as countries are heading towards world war . I had so much admiration for how Marie handled her challenges but more so for the father/daughter and mother /daughter sacrifices made. Parental love should be stronger than anything in the world and unconditional like the characters in this book … unfortunately in my case it’s not

  8. Wow! What a fabulous read! I could not put this down. It is definitely one of my favourite reads for this year.

    I have no doubt that I will read this book again and again!

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