Book Review: Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany

February 9, 2012 book review 5

 Cadence is a woman in flux, her marriage to Martin has ended, she’s now a single parent to  Charlie, an active pre-schooler.  At her ex-husbands urging she gave up her job at a newspaper and decided she could freelance.  The problem is that parenting a young son is a full time job, with little time for brainstorming, researching, writing and selling those freelance articles.  As with all things that are good in moderation, Cadence feels that glass or two of wine after her son Charlie is in bed helps her unwind and relax.

Cadence doesn’t see the changes as she is writing nothing, avoiding her friends and her sister.  She’s taking bigger and bigger risks with her drinking.  She finds herself explaining her purchases to cashiers, and changing where she buys her wine.  When it all comes crashing down, her ex-husband taking Charlie to his home, her sister taking her to re-hab, Cadence thinks she’s reached her lowest point, but the climb out of alcoholism is a battle, a long long fight.  

I related to Cadence, being a mom is hard, being a single mom much be much more difficult.  Losing your husband and feeling like  you’ve already given up your career for motherhood and now left in a divorce, I can imagine the desperation.  I liked Cadence, and even though I couldn’t imagine drinking in such a way myself I know it’s completely plausible. 

I grew up with a father that occasionally drank to excess, it was a known factor that if he wasn’t home by 5:30, and didn’t have a meeting, something was up.  He was in a bar and there was no way to know when he would be home, or what his mood would be like.  My dad could go from happy to violent in two seconds and it was completely unpredictable.  He didn’t drink daily, and he wasn’t a bad person, he just didn’t know when to stop when he was stressed and decided to have a drink as a way to put his work behind him.  He has never admitted he had a problem. 

I share this because the reality and harshness of alcoholism is palpable in Best Kept Secret.  Amy Hatvany wrote this book after her own recovery, and while not about her, she knows what she’s talking about.  This book really made me think about my friends who discuss having that glass of wine or two when their husbands get home, or when the kids go to bed.  Is this a reasonable relaxation technique or do some of them have pending issues?  Would I really know? I’m not opposed to drinking, I drink, but would I be aware if someone had a problem, how well can someone hide their addiction?

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars, and I highly recommend it.
Amy Hatvany has a new book out, Outside the Lines.  It’s brand spanking new, and getting wonderful reviews, I can’t wait to read it. Please visit Amy’s website, or find her on facebook and twitter. 
I won this book from Andrea on her blog Great Thoughts.  She hosts a Twitter Book Club #greatbooks, check it out, they are always wonderful!!

5 Responses to “Book Review: Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany”

  1. Sandy Nawrot

    A book always means more when the plot touches on something that is close to your heart or a part of your life. I’m sure it was hard on you at times to read this! I have a friend that is going through something like this and it is hard to know what to do to help. I’m going to have to look this one up.

  2. Jenny

    This does sound interesting and very realistic. Thanks for sharing your personal story. I agree with Sandy, that can really make you connect with a book on a different level. I’m interested in the fact that the author wrote this after her own recovery… it must have been very therapeutic, and it makes me want to seek it out!

  3. Beth F

    This sounds like a novel both Mr. BFR and I would like. It can make such a difference when you can relate personally.

  4. Zibilee

    I think it was really courageous for you to share you personal experiences with your dad, and can imagine that this book touched you really deeply in that you felt a personal connection to the narrative. I do have this one and am hoping to read it soon. I really loved your review. Very thoughtful and open.

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