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Secrets from the Past

2.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,195 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
With Secrets from the Past, Barbara Taylor Bradford delivers her most powerful and emotional novel yet, about one woman uncovering the secrets surrounding her mother

At thirty, American photojournalist Serena Stone has already made a name for herself with her unique and dramatic coverage of wars in the Middle East, following in her famous father's footsteps. But after his u
Audio CD, 9 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,215)
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Aug 16, 2013 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh...the writing in this book is so bad that it is almost comical. I am only a little more than halfway through and I find myself now laughing at the dialogue. It is so bad it has achieved "camp" status!

I don't know how this made it to is like a poorly written infomercial:

"You know, Sharon, I just can not do the things I simply adore any longer because of this debilitating bone disease."

"I know Marsha, that happened to me too. I had that same debilitating bone disease that afflicte
Apr 13, 2013 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had never read this author before and I realize that my opinion is in direct opposition to the masses, as the librarian attested that "everyone" loves her books, and that she's sold a gazillion of them. Indeed she even won some award from the Queen of England for her writing accomplishments. That being said, I had to force myself to finish this book. In my opinion, it was poorly written, with stilted dialogue, redundant descriptions (one character was described as "incandescent" at least four ...more
May 11, 2013 Tracy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I should break up with this author. No character depth, repetitive, predictable story line, and unrealistic. Having said that, her books are certainly readable. This one centered on a photojournalist who discovers a photo in her dad's archives that reveals a family secret. However, it wasn't too hard for anyone over the age of 20 to figure out the secret. PTSD and a "rare form of osteoporosis" were also story lines. Why not just SAY what kind of osteoporosis? The book was kind of annoying, but I ...more
Aug 13, 2013 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read a Barbara Taylor Bradford book in years -- at least ten. And I think it will be at least another ten years until I read another one. All I can say is...really? This book actually got published? It was awful. Not even deserving of one star. The writing was repetitive, stilted, and tedious. I think I deserve a medal just for finishing this book.
Romancing the Book
Reviewed by Joanne
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Once again Barbara Taylor Bradford writes a contemporary novel with strong women at its core and their men beside them to be there to support them, love them and be there when needed. Secrets From the Past did not disappoint – my interest was captivated from the first page to the last. There was closure through the epilogue but there seemed to be much more story to tell although all the loose
May 01, 2013 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The cover was the first thing that attracted me to this book. The second thing was the fact that BTB had written it. The third was that the story sounded great. Well, the old saying never judged a book by its cover is soooooo true in this case. The story could have been a terrific tale whit all the interesting characters in the story but none of them were ever fully developed. Most times I wanted to shake them and asked them what they were thinking.
BTB started many different threads of the sto
Dotty Wright
Nov 19, 2013 Dotty Wright rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Knowing how much work it takes to put out a novel, I feel that Ms. Bradford did an admirable job of recording a sequence of events. However, she has done much better in the past and for that reason alone I keep picking up her books to see if the magic happens again, but it just doesn't. Perhaps it is typical of the English to show no emotion, to reveal nothing, but for a reader, that is exactly what this novel does. It states the facts, relates the emotions, but evokes no response from the reade ...more
Dec 10, 2013 Kelli rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
Very redundant writing. The author would use the same words to describe the same situation by the same, and even different, characters. The "secret from the past" is not brought up until well over half-way through the book, and even then does not become an engaging main plot point. Overall dull, predictable, pedantic writing. The main character should be a woman that women can look up to- being well traveled, and successful in a male-dominated career- however she is dense and dull-witted. I'm so ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Fiona rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pleasure
BTB used to be brilliant story teller but in recent years her books have been predictable, appallingly written and padded out by repetitive description. This one is no different. The basic storyline is good with so many possibilities that are not explored in depth.
I sometimes wonder if she is actually writing them now. I am sad to say that i suspect this is a case of using a well known and highly respected fiction writer to continue to make money.
I read the book but at each stage of it's develo
Heather Balog
I threw up a little in my mouth reading the dialogue in this book. The sisters were way too cordial with each other and their memories of their parents were way too perfect. They were a Hollywood family raised with complete ideals and absolutely no vices. Everyone was beautiful, kind and nobody had major character flaws. Even after discovering "the big secret" their view of their dead parents was still unsoiled. Completely unrealistic. The premise sounded promising, especially with the war photo ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Diana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was terrible. Don't even bother trying to read it. I've loved Bradford's books in the past but this one was painful to force myself through. The story was dry and uninteresting through much of the book and didn't begin to change until well into the 200's. The dialogue as it was written was annoying to read! I often try to "listen" to the dialogue as I read and found myself skipping over whole parts because I just couldn't take it anymore. This probably sounds REALLY harsh but if you're a fa ...more
Anne Harvey
I haven’t read a Barbara Taylor Bradford novel for many years (loved her Woman of Substance series) but thought this one sounded promising. I have to admit to being disappointed. The novel, in my opinion, plodded. Her style of writing now seems slightly old-fashioned. The heroine, Serena Stone, is following in the family tradition of war photography and has been asked, by her late father’s business partner, to help her former lover, Zac, to recover from what is suspected as PTSD. In the luxuriou ...more
Jul 09, 2015 Betty rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, cds-in-car
Where to start. First of all this book is just barely okay. The plot was so non-existent for much of the book. So much so that at the end of 1/2 the book I thought it was done. The characters are not very deep or even interesting. The main character was a photojournalist who had been to war. Given that she had the maturity of a 14 year old. In fact, I felt the book had been written by a young teen. 'Will he? won't he?' is fine if there's an actual plot that makes it a real question... but there' ...more
Charlotte Lynn
Apr 18, 2013 Charlotte Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read, new-adult
American journalist Serena Stone has followed in her dad’s footsteps being a front line was photographer. She chooses to leave the front lines when her father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. Serena finds out her former boyfriend and fellow was photographer, Zac, has returned from the front lines and is struggling with PTSD and is asking for her. In heading to help him she knows that her life will never be the same.

Secrets from the Past is a captivating story in which every character jumps r
Jun 16, 2013 Dezra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think my son summed it up when he said, "If you don't like it, stop reading it!" I kept surfacing from the book to complain about it. I think what bothered me the most was the dialogue. I felt like BTB was using dialogue as an excuse for exposition because it sure wasn't dialogue that real people have. I expected some depth and grit to the story because of the wars and PTSD and the horrors people experience, but it was glossed over and ended being a love story, albeit a badly written love stor ...more
Mar 13, 2015 Janice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not very good. Her first book A woman of Substance and it's sequels where great reads. There is such a difference in writing that i wonder if it is someone else writing the books now but under her name.
Katie Rekowski
Read by Stina Nielsen. Author's 27th novel. Serena Stone is a 30 year old photojournalist. She has been on the frontline in the Middleeast for years making a name for herself, as did her father. Her father dies. she has older twin sisters. They live in Venice. Mother has already passed 4 years earlier. Serena is writing a biography of her father including some of his best works. She has a photographic memory, yet she cannot remember a huge fight with her mother, whom she adored. She discovers pi ...more
Donna Mcnab
The settings in this book are very attractive. Serena, together with her older twin sisters, Jessica and Cara, grew up with their famous parents travelling the world, but their real home was Jardin des Fleurs in Nice, France. After the death of their parents, the girls still kept their Nice house as their main home, along with an apartment in New York. Also involved in the plot is an apartment in Venice and time spent there. An interesting and enjoyable read.
A good book but cannot compare to some of the author's earlier offerings. Plot absolutely soon as an episode unfolds, you instinctively know the outcome. Characters not especially interesting and the protagonist really should seek professional help as to her choice of a man. Interesting background info as to life as a photojournalist in today's Middle East conflicts. Not memorable but worth a read.
Debbie Maskus
I was surprised by the blandness of this latest Barbara Taylor Bradford novel. Bradford paints all these lovely characters and worldwide settings, but the plot falls in crevice. The range of emotions so poignant in previous novels has taken a vacation. I felt as if I was reading a required book instead of a book for enjoyment. Maybe Bradford has reached the denouement of her writing.
Safiya Florence
Jul 01, 2016 Safiya Florence rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Two-thirds in and rather bored. I've reached that far because I have been skipping a few paragraphs per page since about halfway. The dialogues are insipid and repetitive... I gave it 2 stars because the first half was a bit promising with personal stories from war photographers and the background story of the family, and there were maybe less dialogues? :-P
I just don't buy the character of their late mum - a Grace Monroe hybrid as she's described. Then we have couples making up and new relation
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Sep 25, 2015 Jane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
B O R I N G.
Leggere A Colori
A metà strada tra il luccichio di un mondo che sa di oro e lustrini e i turbolenti scenari di guerra, si svolge in I segreti del passato la vicenda della protagonista, una giovane reporter di guerra alle prese con un passato che si svela lungo il percorso sempre più misterioso e ingarbugliato. Ultima figlia di una famiglia baciata dalla fama e dalla fortuna, Serena si ritrova a scavare nel proprio passato con l’intenzione di scrivere una biografia del padre scomparso da un anno, con cui condivid ...more
Apr 18, 2015 Wanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-book
As with the author’s other novels, Secrets from the Past has a strong and determined woman as the central character, with some family drama, but this one just didn’t measure up. The characters were flat, relationships felt forced, and the shallow storyline being rather predictable, had little to draw me in – very few unexpected twists.

A few positive notes – the descriptive writing is beautiful and is still what you’d expect from this writer. Also, a part of the story takes us to war torn Libya
Sep 09, 2015 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serena Stone is a thirty year old retired war photographer. She left the war zones because she realized her mental health was at stake. It's been a year and she receives a phone call from a family friend. Her ex-lover, Zac, another war zone photographer is suffering from PSTD and needs her help. She flies to Venice to help him recover. As they reunite and his healing begins, they fly back to New York. Serena comes across some puzzling questions about her father and family and starts to seek answ ...more
Ok, I actually still have two discs left in the book, but I'm not going to finish.
This feels like two different books smashed into one. The beginning with Zach and dealing with him and then the part with her father. I actually went back several times to read the back to make sure I had the right book. The back says a mystery with the father... but that doesn't seem to come in to play until halfway through the book. Some parts seemed slow and then the next thing I know several weeks have passed
I haven't read one of her books for years and when I saw this in the library with the picture of Venice on the cover I took it out. It was fine, really too, too light with some very disappointing decisions made by the main character. In addition, I felt the sisters relationship was phony and far too sweet, the whole thing was way too frothy for me!

I guess I've changed from the person I was when I really enjoyed her books! I have higher expectations of books today and want something deeper and m
Jun 01, 2014 Bea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was listening to this on cd in my car in the way to work. I got halfway through the CDs and had to give up. Over 5 discs in and nothing had happened! There was no sign of anything even remotely exciting happening. I got so nauseous from the dialogue between the sisters. It just wasn't realistic in any way. Sisters just would not speak to each other in this controlled and distant manner. I just kept waiting for something to happen or for the characters to become real. Didn't happen. I gave up. ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think this was one of Barbara Taylor Bradford's best, as it had no real depth and I found some the writing quite amateur for a very well established author. The main characters are Serena and her sisters Jessica and Cara. Serena is a war photographer, like her father who has recently died, part owning a photographic agency with Harry, her father's best friend. Zac is a former love, also a war photographer, who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and Harry asks Serena to ca ...more
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Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 30 bestselling novels, including The Cavendon Women, Cavendon Hall, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman ...more
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