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.
This book was incredibly compelling. Not because it was packed full of suspense & intrigue, but because it was thoroughly and completely absorbing. I quickly became intensely invested in main character Cadence’s story thanks to Hatvany’s remarkable storytelling and her ability to evoke empathy. I’ve read other books about mothers battling addiction, including Jennifer Weiner’s recent ALL FALL DOWN, but somehow this novel allowed me to truly understand the physical and emotional struggle Cadence was experiencing. My own mother suffered alcoholism for years, and I know firsthand how hard recovery can be, but only from the outside looking in, which often resulted in frustration. BEST KEPT SECRET provided insight into the inner turmoil associated with alcoholism and the inability to just stop drinking no matter how desperately you want to quit. It also dealt with the judgement and scrutiny that mothers, in particular, are met with when they can’t live up to the impossible standards and expectations society places upon women. And while I was sympathetic to Cadence’s situation, there were still moments where I thought, “here we go, again,” when Cadence exhibited behavior similar to my mother’s. In this way, Hatvany is faithful to the reality of being an addict, offering further testimony to the dangerous nature of the disease. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been affected by alcoholism or addiction, whether it’s a friend, family member, or yourself battling the affliction. And if you are lucky enough to know nothing of this struggle, BEST KEPT SECRET delivers a powerful, heartbreaking story of failure and recovery sure to touch even the hardest of hearts.
About the Author:
The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under “Yurk.”)
Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)