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Woman of a Thousand Secrets

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  481 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
The Bestselling Author of The Blessing Stone and Daughter of the Sun

She came to them from the sea, and to the sea they returned her. . . . A story of sacrifice and survival in the New World.

Tonina lives an idyllic life on a small island in the Caribbean hundreds of years before Europeans discovered it. But she has always been an outsider among her people. Unlike them, Toni
ebook, 496 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Erin McGowan
Aug 12, 2016 Erin McGowan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
there were so many twists that I couldn't contain my excitement. however, I did find that a lot of the events seemed like an easy out. very convenient deaths for a lot of them.
Sep 04, 2008 Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1323 and this historical novel begins on a small island off of the coast of Cuba called Pearl Island. Tonina is twenty-one years old and lives with her Grandparents, but she is not related to them. When she was a baby she was found floating in a watertight basket by the islanders and has been raised among them. Unfortunately, as much as her foster Grandparents love her they cannot protect her from being ostracised from the rest of the group because of her differences. They are short ...more
I was pleasantly surprised with this book and I have to thank my Buddy Reads group for introducing me to this book & this author. I went into this book with very little expectation of enjoying it (it just didn't seem that interesting to me when I read the description) but quickly became intrigued by Tonina & her journey. There were so many great characters & I was thoroughly impressed with how the author delved into each ones story to the point where we got to watch them grow. I won' ...more
Jan 03, 2009 Marian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
rarewly have i decieded that i can't read past the first 40 pages of a book. This one had a lovely cover, great plot synopsis on the back blurb and was so improbable. The writing just bothered me.

A girl baby found abandoned in a watertight "Moses" basket washes ashore on an island and is raised by the natives, but is always different than the locals, reaches adulthood and is sent back to "the Mainland" which is Guatemala/Yucatan. In two days in the new land, after a shark attack on her canoe, ki
May 14, 2016 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dejando de lado que me encantan las obras de Barbara Wood, esta en particular me llenó como ninguna otra de esta autora.

La historia me envolvió desde el inicio, con Tonina viviendo en La Isla, y después el trayecto realizado ella sola, después con Águila Real hasta encontrarse con Kaan. Me emocioné en los últimos capítulos; tal vez porque narra la historia de la fundación de uno de los primeros asentamientos de mi bello país, México

Cuando llegué al punto donde Águila Real se posa en lo alto del
Jul 02, 2011 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple, easy reading. Not so complex that you can't put it down and walk away, but not so simple that you want to leave the book. Love scene is a bit too descriptive, but short.
I like the main character, Tonina. She is sent on a quest to find a flower, and ends up finding what her heart truly desires, her true destiny. It is set against pre-european arrival in the America's, which for me, is not a very visited history, and so that was unique and intriguing. It seems to be well researched histori
Jul 09, 2009 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tall and lean and light skinned, Tonina has always been an outsider among the dark, stocky people of Pearl Island. Her parents found her floating on the sea in a basket, and now that she is 21, unmarried, and unlikely to be (considering her differences), they send her on a made-up errand to the mainland, hoping that she will find her people. What she finds is one harrowing adventure after another. Believing that she is seeking a healing red flower, Tonina makes her way to Mayapan, heart of Mayan ...more
Toninia is washed up on an island in the Caribbean in the year 1323 in a little basket and soon adopted by an elderly couple who cannot have children and think that god has rewarded them with this baby. As Toninia grows up, it is apparent she does not look like the other islanders who outcast her for being different. When she is nineteen, her parents on a ruse, ask her to go in search for a magical flower on the mainland thinking they are giving her back to the sea where she belongs, and that is ...more
Wisteria Leigh
Jul 23, 2008 Wisteria Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woman of a Thousand Secrets is a well researched historical epic revolved around Tonina, who is found floating down a river in a basket as an infant. She is raised by a childless couple until she comes of age and the couple knows they must send her off the island to find her real people. On a ruse that her grandfather is gravely ill, Tonina is sent away to find a red flower that will cure him. She always assume she will return to the island. Little does she know that in her search for the red fl ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Keksisbaby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, read-2009
Tonina ist eine tolle Perlentaucherin, mit Leichtigkeit schlägt sie sogar die jungen Männer der Insel bei einem Wettschwimmen. Aber sie ist eine Aussenseiterin. Als Kind wurde sie von einem alten Ehepaar von der Perleninsel adoptiert und sie unterscheidet sich durch ihr graziles Aussehen von den anderen. Als sie zur jungen Frau heranwächst, findet ihre Ziehmutter das es an der Zeit ist, dass Tonina ihre Wurzeln kennenlernt. Sie schickt sie unter einem Vorwand aufs Festland, wo das Mädchen mitten ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

WOMAN OF A THOUSAND SECRETS is a saga of one woman's journey in the New World, long before the Conquistadors' time.

Tonina, delivered to Pearl Island as a baby by dolphin spirits, considers Pearl Island her home, though she has always been an outsider. As much as she wishes she could fit in with the Islanders, there has always been something different about her, and the time has come for her to leave Pearl Island and find her own people.

Tonina's adop
Jenny January
I tried to read this book twice this year but could never get past page 50 for some reason. I kept on putting it down and it wasn't until I read The Blessing Stone, also by Barbara Wood, that I decided to give Woman of a Thousand Secrets a good and honest try.

The book follows Tonina, an island girl, who was washed ashore Pearl Island in a basket when she was a baby. She's taken in by an elderly couple named Guama and Huracan who were never able to have children and therefore see Tonina as a ble
Not having much knowledge about Central American geography, or history, or the mythology of the peoples native to that region, I can only assume that Barbara Wood has done her research. And if you want an easy-to-read primer on any of those subjects, this would be a great book to read.

If you're looking for really great characters, though, this is probably not the book for you. For the first two-thirds of the book the two main characters go back and forth every few pages between "I can't wait to
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woman of a Thousand Secrets was a great read but in a beachy-no sex kind of way. I mean, I got to page 334 and had to stop. No sex yet between the Caribbean island girl and the Mayan ballplayer hottie! Come on! I think kids will give up way before I did. This novel really reminds me of some 600 pg mammoth paperback I read years ago about the early Americas. It's epic in that the main character is on a journey to find a flower to save her adopted father. The white people haven't arrived yet (mayb ...more
Kimberly DuBoise
This book was engrossing, interesting and very well written on many levels. I loved the character development, drama, and the setting!!! I thought several times as I was reading... Hey, I have been to the ruins. She mentioned ( when I was on vacation with husband) and oh, it is the mayan people! and...I love books set in the past. I felt that the story ended well and I would love for there to be a second one!
Yani Furi
Nov 16, 2015 Yani Furi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me encanto este libro por muchos motivos: la historia en si es atrapante desde un principio, esta muy bien narrada y a medida que van pasando las paginas te vas haciendo carne de la historia de cada uno de los protagonistas.
Altamente recomendable :)
Dana Burgess
Sep 02, 2012 Dana Burgess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, I may be slightly biased after spending a year living amoung the Mayan people of Belize and visiting the ruins of many of the ancient Mayan cities that provide the setting for this story, but I LOVED this book. The characters were three dimentional and involving and I especially loved the strength of the female characters. It was so nice to read about a couple that stood together, in good and bad times, and used their strengths as a team to accomplish their goal. Barbara Wood has written an ...more
Jennifer Cubillos
wonderful story , it tells a very detailed leyend it makes the Tenoch king into a human being that falls in love and suffers, i loved it because i love all mexican history.the only thing I did not like is that goes around and around in one spot to reach the same. She could have shortened the book about 100 pages without altering the book at all if she had taken the "I kill him?" , "I'm leaving", "I will not", "I hate you but I can not live without you" it gets a little boring after a while, othe ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Ibhthisam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite story , have read it more than 10 times , but never bored .
This book is a bit slow for Barbara Woods. It has a cookie cutter storyline. Not one of her best.

It is a story of a baby that is sent adrift in a basket to save her life. She is found by a couple on an island and takes her as their own daughter. Unfortunately, the girl grows up not looking like her people and having social challenges. To save her from danger her parents send her on a quest. She thinks she is off to find a healing flower but in truth.... they are hoping she will find her people.

Jan 05, 2009 Corky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a first of this author for me but I will be looking to read more. Wood is known for her historical fiction set in unusual settings. This one finds the tribes of Mexica searching for their native homeland. The journey starts out in Mayapan and ends when the People of the Sun find their ancestral home and have earned the right to call themselves by their rightful name - the Aztec.

It started a bit slow however I was soon caught up in the setting, characters, treachery, and ancient culture.
Amy Siegfried
I tried but just found this story so...predictable? I am at page 201 which I feel says I really gave it a try but its just not working for me. As I loved "The Blessing Stone" and "Domina" this saddens me. Tonina just seemed so innocent and just did not seem to pick up on cues. I did like One Eye- he seemed the most honest and flesh out character at this point in the book- as a supporting character he was well written.
Jun 05, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every fan of novels acting long, long time ago.
Her novels always new adventures, even though they may have (for the first time I think) connections to another one of hers. Always telling stories, legends, sagas that you would never have expected like that, interwoven lifes, people you expect to be evil, showing as the good ones in the end - and the other way around! Love her talent and telling of every single story!
Betty Slowinski
Excellent book. The story takes place in 1323 in the Caribbean and Central America. The central character is a woman who is on a quest and it shows her strength and determination against insurmountable odds. It shows how her mission changes on her journey but she remains true to herself. I found it a spellbinding book - hard to put down.
A. Cook
Aug 28, 2013 A. Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: barbara-wood
I love B. Woods stories about Pre Columbian America. She has such attention to detail and it sweeps the reader to those ancient times. In some portions the tale of Tonina, Kaan, One Eye and Balam was a bit repetitive as well as drawn out. But it was worth experiencing the evolution of the characters. Very good author.
Dec 22, 2015 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed Barbara Wood's books, but this one although well written was also repetitive. I lost interest half way through and didn't finish reading it.
Mar 10, 2009 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up randomly at the library and am really enjoying it, as well as learning a lot about 12 c. Mayan culture. Cover and title are pretty gay, but don't be discouraged. Interesting story and characters. B. Wood has apparently written many books, and I look forward to snacking on some others.
Christy Rivers
My least favorite of her books, and I've read most of them. I enjoyed learning a bit about the Mayans, but I don't like it when authors keep repeating things as if I am too stupid to remember something from one chapter to the next. It also dragged on a bit longer than I thought it needed to.
Not familiar with this part of the world, I think a map would have been helpful. The pace noticeably dragged on at the end with some of the villain's antics. Otherwise, I enjoyed the look into the daily lives of Mayapan’s citizens and the depiction of the Mayan and Aztec cultures and beliefs.
Oct 17, 2008 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Wood likes to write about indigenous peoples and I like reading about them! This is set in the Caribbean in the pre-Columbus time. A good read although a bit frustrating to me in some places due to unresolved elements that seemed to need to be resolved. Minor frustration.
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Barbara Wood was born on 30 January 1947 in Warrington, Lancashire, England, UK. Together with her parents and older brother, she immigrated to the United States. She grew up in Southern California and attended Los Angeles Schools. After High School, Barbara attended the University of California at Santa Barbara but left to train as a surgical technician. During this time, Barbara held numerous jo ...more
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