The Art of Secrets

Emma wants to forget, Charlotte never can. Together they remember

Emma is an enterprising young journalist with a bright future, but her life and career are falling apart. She agrees to interview the ageing and reclusive, best-selling author Charlotte Day. Preferring her roses to people, Charlotte has a reputation for being cantankerous and is highly secretive about her past: a past she considers too painful to relive and too shameful to share. Emma forces her to face her past. As Charlotte and Emma’s relationship deepens, they find themselves enmeshed in a tangle of secrets that changes both their lives.


What made this book work for me was that it was believable. The characters are real, their actions and reactions grounded in genuine emotions. I've read other books in this genre where the writer fails this essential test. Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale is one. But where Setterfield's characters descend into madness and implausible behaviour, Vicky Adin keeps a tight rein on her two lead actresses to make sure their reactions are always credible. I liked the alternating viewpoint from Emma to Charlotte and the change in tone from the young woman to the old one. It was also a good way to see behind the lies and half-truths they told each other. Their progress from antagonists to friends was seamless as the layers of the story peeled back like petals, exposing the truth at the flower's heart. Highly recommended.

  • Bev Robitai
Profile Photo Vicky Adin

About Vicky Adin

Vicky Adin is a New Zealand historical fiction author. She lives on the North Shore of Auckland within walking distance of the beach, the coffee shops and inspiration.

Three words sum up her passion in life: family, history and language.

After decades of genealogical research and a life-long love affair with words she has combined her skills to write poignant novels that weave family and history together, based on real people, with real experiences, in a way that makes the past come alive.

Vicky is particularly fascinated by the 19th Century pioneers who undertook hazardous journeys to find a better life. Especially the women, who needed strength of mind and body to survive, let alone flourish, in a new country still coming to terms with its existence. Being a genealogist in love with history, these men and women and their descendants drive her stories.

Vicky Adin holds a MA(Hons) in English and Education. When not writing you will find her reading; travelling (especially caravanning and cruising) with her husband and biggest fan; spending time with her family, walking or gardening

All books by Vicky Adin

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