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Can You Keep a Secret?

by Sophie Kinsella

genre: chick-lit, romance

Another great book by the author of The Undomestic Goddess. Not quite 5 stars though. Read on to find out why.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Can You Keep A Secret Book CoverMeet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:

Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger… Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her.


I was desperate for a novel with a great plot, humor, and not too many explicit scenes. Can You Keep a Secret? had all three but I’ve only given it four stars. Unlike The Undomestic Goddess heroin, Emma is a quintessential dumb blonde personality. She had a few good ideas, but overall her contribution to the story was being a plain-Jane with a phobia of flying. The rest she pretty much lucked into after her coping mechanism for stress was to spill her life story to a stranger on a plane.

The other characters drove the story. I’ve found a new book boyfriend (it’s not cheating to have more than one so long as they live in different books). Jack Harper is a flawed prince charming full of contradictions–a unique blend of rude and considerate, attentive and oblivious. Wealthy but down to earth (comparatively speaking), you can’t help but love him and feel annoyed with him at the same time. Emma’s roommates were a breath of fresh air. I loved them both even though I wanted to punch one of them in the face at least twice. Each had unique quirks that really added humor to the story.

There was at least a little personal bias that knocked it down a peg. Kinsella made a mockery of the Marketing profession and Emma had the nerve to think she deserved a promotion. It’s one thing for a dull workday to be omitted from a novel for being dull or irrelevant to the story, but Emma was incompetent, as was the whole of her department. Kinsella painted it as though Marketing people use big words they don’t understand, stand around gossiping, answer e-mails, and pretend to talk on the phone because they don’t have any actual work. Perhaps that was the case in this one company?

Despite my complaints about the main character, Can You Keep a Secret? is a 4 out of 5 star novel. I recommend it for lovers of chick-lit. The audio book is especially well done.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

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