Author: Amy HatvanySummary: Cadence didn’t sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea. Her drinking snuck up on her - as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that’s left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year old son, Charlie. It wasn’t always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all—a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist. But with the demise of her marriage, her carefully constructed life begins to spiral out of control. Suddenly she is all alone trying to juggle the demands of work and motherhood. Logically, Cadence knows that she is drinking too much, and every day begins with renewed promises to herself that she will stop. But within a few hours, driven by something she doesn’t understand, she is reaching for the bottle - even when it means not playing with her son because she is too tired, or dropping him off at preschool late, again. And even when one calamitous night it means leaving him alone to pick up more wine at the grocery store. It’s only when her ex-husband shows up at her door to take Charlie away that Cadence realizes her best kept secret has been discovered…. Heartbreaking, haunting, and ultimately life-affirming, Best Kept Secret is more than just the story of Cadence—it’s a story of how the secrets we hold closest are the ones that can most tear us apart. ~powells.com
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Bottom Line: Heartbreaking and realistic
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Review: After reading Amy Hatvany's Best Kept Secret, I have to wonder how many women are functioning alcoholics? It is definitely something that society isn't ready to acknowledge or confront but yet it's not helping families. As we meet Cadence she flashes back to the events that led up to her fight for custody of her son. Immediately you know that drinking for her isn't just to relax, that it's developed into a crutch, then into a habit and then into an addiction.
Cadence definitely has a wall up. It is one of the reasons that her marriage failed, well that and the fact that her ex-husband is a momma's boy. When she turns to wine to help her cope with her son during the day and at night, it is understandable. It is what helps her relax and de-stress but it then becomes the only thing she looks forward to. It interferes with her livelihood and her ability to make the right choices.
Ms. Hatvany does an excellent job of showing this reader what a slippery-slope drinking can be and how it is not easy to say you have a problem. How you really need to hit rock bottom to be able to admit a problem and even then it's not easy to grasp. I don't think it's something a reader can fully grasp just reading about it.
I also appreciated the ending of the book. I'm thankful that she didn't tie the story up with a neat bow but ended it realistically. I appreciate that Cadence's sobriety will be a life long struggle and that she will always be fighting for the things she loves.
I have several other books by Ms. Hatvany on my shelf and I am looking forward to seeing what other subject matters she writes about.