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Past Secrets

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  2,097 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Behind the shining windows and rose-bedecked gardens of Summer Street, there are lots of secrets. There's the one that hard-working single mother Faye hides from her teenage daughter Amber. Then there is the one that 31 year-old Maggie hides from herself.
Paperback, 615 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by HarperTorch (first published 2006)
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Aug 05, 2007 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first started reading Cathy Kelly, I hated how she had 3 very main characters and stories going on. When the chapter ended I wanted to know more about that character, not someone new. But as you get further into the book she nicely spins the three characters together. I love how the underlying theme of this book was about building inner strength and facing the "demons" of the past, leaves you feeling like "live for the future"!
Mar 10, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. To be honest, I bought it because I liked the cover and its about Irish families. But I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. You follow 4 women of 3 different families, all different generations. We all have secrets that we don't need to keep.
Anne Brooke
This all started out very well indeed and I was instantly hooked on Chrissie and her gift of sight, uptight Faye and betrayed Maggie. At the beginning of this book, I loved them all and couldn't get enough of them, to be honest. Heck I even liked teenage daughter Amber and that, for me, is a very hard sell.

So, a strange kind of kudos to the author then for somehow taking that very strong beginning and tearing the whole thing into tiny pieces. It all starts to go wrong about halfway through when
I honestly don't have a clue why I finished reading this one. Except that the paperback was lying on my desk for weeks and I needed something safe (as in I wasn't risking my Kindle) to read while travelling. I was expecting some kind of romance novel maybe with a bit more mature and realistic approach and that's about as much as I got.

What I didn't expect were three different novels in one about three different characters I never got the chance to like or care about. The only connecting thread
Jan 16, 2009 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read from this author and, after reading her reviews, I assumed I was in for a good story.

However, I just could not finish it. It was too bitty with too many characters and too much going on. she should have had half the stories and done them in more depth.

I gave it a good go and read the first 100 pages but, after that, I skipped to the last chapter. If you guessed the ending at the start, you were probably correct as it was completely predictable.

Will give her one
Jul 29, 2008 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first read from Cathy Kelly and it does remind me of an Irish Winteral Lane. Careful when you keep secrets from the past because they always come back to haunt you. The author does into just enough character detail to keep you interested and is all in all, well written. I'll read more from Cathy Kelly.
Apr 12, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this one - can't figure out why I prefer London and Irish stories but I do. Strong Irish women who all have a secret that catches up with them - Cathy Kelly is one of my favorites.
May 21, 2016 Say rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Why do I do this to myself? I can't sleep, get bored and go and buy a cheap audiobook. Well there's a reason they're cheap folks. Utter tripe.
Ketija Grēta
Jan 08, 2013 Ketija Grēta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grāmatas "Past secrets" nosaukums latviešu valodā ir "Meitiņ manu...", kuras autore ir Ketija Kellija. Darba žanrs ir romāns. Šajā grāmatā ir aprakstītas četru sieviešu dzīves, katra savā vecumā, ar citām domām un dzīves pagriezieniem, kā arī ar savu ģimeni, tomēr viņām visām ir kas kopīgs- katrai savs pagātnes noslēpums. Liela daļa šī romāna darbības norisinās Īrijā- Sammerstrītā, kur visi iedzīvotāji ir pazīstami viens ar otru. Sižets ir ļoti saprotams un pēc romānā rakstītā var saprast, ka da ...more
Ce livre trainait dans ma bibliothèque depuis un peu plus d'un an, mais j'étais trop absorbée par The Hunger Games et Harry Potter pour en entamer la lecture... ;)

Les secrets de Summer Street raconte l'histoire de quatre femmes et comment les secrets de leur passé viennent bouleverser leur vie paisible dans un petit coin charmant de l'Irlande. Christie Devlin est professeur d'arts visuels, mariée depuis longtemps à un homme qu'elle adore. Le retour de Carey Wolensky, un artiste polonais reconnu,
Lobna Amer
Probably under other circumstances, I would have fallen for the poetic, magical descriptions which this book is so full of, but, you see, stretching this "poetry" over the course of 650 pages is just pushing it. At many many many many many points the book was just plain redundant, slow, boring! I'm afraid Ms. Kelly's books will not have a place in future to-read lists.
Mιss •kαthєяίиє•  Τhε Emεrαℓd Pяίиcεss®
Apr 12, 2010 Mιss •kαthєяίиє• Τhε Emεrαℓd Pяίиcεss® rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all romantic souls
Recommended to Mιss •kαthєяίиє• by: my instict!
Shelves: favourites
Cathy Kelly's books always have a hidden meaning. This one taught me well the importance of never fearing my secrets - otherwise they will haunt me forever....
Three amazing woman and one teenager are the heroines of this book and soon they realise that their secrets will have to be faced one day and they must free themselves to live their lives with the best.
This is one of those annoying books that becomes unputdownable because of the strong characterisation but has awful writing - I felt the writer must think the audience is dumb and needs everything spelling out. A good light read though.
Mar 30, 2008 TMJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Be careful when you keep secrets from the past because they will always come back to haunt you. Comfortable, Maeve Binchy style read like curling up with a cup of Hot Chocolate.
Anne C.
Jan 17, 2008 Anne C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful Maeve Binchy read-alike.
Sheu Quen
Mar 18, 2017 Sheu Quen rated it really liked it
There have been way too many nights of sex, lies and secrets. Too many nights of debauchery and drama. All the Cathy Kelly's and Dorothy Koomson's. About how lying never helps any situation and it only gets worse when it gets out of hand. About how it's better to be yourself than to be someone you're not or worse, to be someone you think the other person wants you to be. Time to take a short break from the stuff that reality is made of and read something that's a little more me. Because in reali ...more
Mar 04, 2017 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the variety of characters and how their lives intersected.
SIMON Karine
Ce roman nous dresse le portrait de trois femmes de trois générations différentes. Leurs points communs, elles habitent toutes les trois la même rue : Summer Street, et cachent un secret qu’elle croyait enfoui à jamais mais qui malheureusement va finir par remonter à la surface, et va venir bousculer leur vie tranquille, du moins c’est ce que laisse entendre le synopsis.

Christie mène une vie tranquille dans Summer Street avec son mari depuis trente ans. Ses enfants mènent à présent leur propre v
Melissa Johnson
Very easy to read and it was enjoyable but definitely didn't grip me. Just an insight into some ordinary lives really. Not my usual type of adventure or action packed book but a nice easy story.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2015 Charulatha rated it it was amazing
When I started reading, the first few chapters with description of 3 characters, the book had disappointed me; But when the story started spinning I couldn't keep it down. The transition of story from one character's hidden secret to another is done in a beautiful manner. The story involves Christe who is gifted of seeing the future, Maggie who has been bullied and Amber who has been brought up in a protective way by Faye. What happens when each of them decide to reveal their past secrets in the ...more
Oct 27, 2013 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time finishing this book. It seemed to drag on and on, and was repetitive. I got tired of the whining. Leave the past where it belongs, and quite hashing it over day after day. Also I found Amber's whole "following rock band going to America adventure" to be over the top and not believable. Honestly all of the characters made me feel impatient with them; I kept wanting them to get over themselves and stop living in the past. At times I found myself rolling my eyes, and wondering why ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
This book was really quite good.

I thought I wouldn't like it, seeing as I'm fairly sure it's an adult book and I am but a naive teenager. But I loved it!

I loved all the different stories, (and, oh my gosh, it was in third-POV, such a change!!) and how they all intersected and how dark pasts were discovered. And the secrets were revealed in a timely fashion, not all at once nor did Ms. Kelly wait too long and lose my interest. She released everything gradually, like an IV-drip, never too much at
Rhonda Rae Baker
This was an enjoyable read but didn't get as deep with meaning as I hoped. The premise is to not hold secrets from yourself or others for they do eat you up from the inside out. I like that part and it kept me going because I wanted to know what the 'secrets' were. But, in the end, there was little fizzle to keep me emotionally involved. Maybe it was just more predictable or stereotypical than I prefer.

Either way, I have enjoyed this author and am usually able to get past her writing 'accent' wh
Leanne Hunt
A pleasant but unremarkable read, "Past Secrets" deals with the lives of four women of varying ages, all with guilty secrets which end up dominating their choices. As someone recently said to me, "That which you do not talk about rules your life." By interweaving past and present, the author portrays her characters with hidden depths, so that it is possible to see how their circumstances have come to be. All this is entertaining but it isn't gripping to the point that one can't put the book down ...more
Karyne Gaouette
Mar 12, 2016 Karyne Gaouette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai vraiment aimé ce livre!
Dans cette histoire, l'auteure prouve bien que tout le monde à ses propres problèmes de vie et qu'ils ne paraissent pas toujours lorsqu'on regarde quelqu'un. Elle parle aussi de l'amour de la famille, de la confiance en soi et des relations amoureuses.
Comme l'adultère.
On apprends à connaître 3 familles différentes qui ont en commun l'endroit où ils habitent. Au début, il est vrai qu'il est difficile de différencier les personnages puisqu'il y a beaucoup de nom en m
Sep 01, 2015 IrishFan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Cathy Kelly's books, I just don't like that they are hard to find! Our library only carries a couple of them, and our used bookstores don't have a lot either. So when I find one, I grab it. I really liked the story lines in this book. The characters were very likable (except Grey, ha ha). I am so glad Maggie found someone that is worthy of her and adores her. Also that she found peace in her past. I liked that Amber came home, but also that she found her wings and is attempting to ...more
Jessica Cross
I did enjoy this book, I liked most of the characters and the stories were all interesting, however I found myself always waiting for Maggie's story and I got pretty bored with the other characters during the book. I found the mid section had no real action in the plot. I did think that the majority of the book kept me interested cause I did finish it but I felt myself wanting to know more about the characters.
Overall it is enjoyable because I think the writing make up for an iffy plotline and I
Jan 23, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, romance
Not exactly a Pulitzer nominee but easy reading with one or two quotes I’d like to share with you:

“You’re worth more, they’d said. Grey didn’t deserve you, they’d said. And she’d dismissed their advice because it was well-meaning girlfriend talk where people said the right thing to buoy up your spirits. It didn’t have to be true. It was just verbal hugging. We love you even if he doesn’t.” p 189

“He was easy company, (…) She didn’t have to make an effort to be scintillating or funny. She just had
May 06, 2014 Redfox5 rated it really liked it
So nice to read a chick lit after so long away from one. There have been many battles and kids stuff in this book year but not enough books like this. When I started this I fell in love with it, thought it was going to be a 5 star read. Was loving the plot, the characters and wanting to find out what all these past secrets were. It sort of lost itself abit in the middle and I slowed my pace down to match. Luckly it picked up towards the end, made me shed a few tears. I'm glad things worked out f ...more
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book starting to drag 2 14 Sep 21, 2012 08:32PM  
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Born in Belfast but raised in Dublin, Cathy initially worked for thirteen years as a newspaper journalist with a national Irish Sunday newspaper, where she worked in news, features, along with spending time as an agony aunt and the paper’s film critic. However, her overwhelming love was always fiction and she published her first international bestseller, Woman To Woman, in 1997. She did not become ...more
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