17.12.15

BOOK REVIEW: This Secret We're Keeping by Rebecca Done

One student. One teacher. A controversial story that breaks all the rules.
Jess Hart has never forgotten Matthew Langley.
He was her first love when she was fifteen; but he was ten years older and her maths teacher at school. It ended in scandal, with his arrest and imprisonment.
Now 17 years later, a 42 year old Matthew arrives back in Norfolk with a new identity, a long-term girlfriend and a young daughter who know nothing of his past. Yet when he runs into Jess, long-suppressed memories of their love affair begin to be rekindled. But with so many secrets between them, will they ever be able to escape the damage they caused before?

Publisher: Michael Joseph
Pages: 480
Publication Date: April 7th 2016

This book was fantastic and I can't quite believe that this is Rebecca Done's debut novel.
Jess Hart and Matthew Langley fell in love with each other. The ten year age gap was not actually the problem; the problem was that he was her maths teacher and she was only fifteen. The inevitable happened and they were torn apart by the scandal. Seventeen years have passed and Matthew is back in Norfolk where he is bound to see Jess again. Life for him is very different; he has a whole new identity, a girlfriend and a young daughter who he dotes upon. But he can't ignore Jess or the past they share. Will Matthew still have feelings for the person he was punished for loving?
Rebecca Done's writing is superb, I loved the many questions that this book raised and I have found myself thinking about it long after I read the last page. I enjoyed the love story between Jess and Matt but just as I was becoming immersed in it, I would then remember their circumstances which would then lead me to look at it differently. Which is right and which is wrong? Did they truly love each other or did Matt take advantage of Jess when she was legally still classed as a child?
It was interesting to observe the balance of power in the relationship, at times I felt like Matthew had all the cards but as the story continued I could see just how powerful Jess was and the influence she had over Matthew.
I found the last few chapters of this book quite shocking which was just brilliant as they took me completely by surprise. Rebecca Done is an exciting new talent, this story was intriguing and powerful, I didn't want to put it down.

Many thanks to Michael Joseph for allowing me to review this book via Netgalley. 

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