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Best Kept Secret

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  4,137 Ratings  ·  479 Reviews
A timely and captivating novel about a mother whose life spirals out of control when she descends into alcoholism, and her battle to get sober and regain custody of her beloved son.

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
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published May 23rd 2011)
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Sep 28, 2015 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommend
This is an amazing book. It is the story of Cadence, whose once perfect life slowly slips out of her control, as does her drinking. When she endangered her son's wellbeing, her ex-husband takes him from her. After stint in a psychiatric hospital and rehab, she is slowly trying to figure out how to live sober and regain custody of her son.
What is so incredible about this book is how well it portrays the journey that alcoholics take. From social drinking to out of control binging, those first few
May 29, 2011 Sheree rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Motherhood & Alcoholism; grim subject matter, not a novel I thought would be a favourite read but how wrong I was. While Best Kept Secret made my heart ache and my gut churn it wasn't a depressing read. It's honest and real and courageous, with a depth not often seen.

When life hands you lemons, some make lemonade and some don't. Whether it be seeking oblivion in pills, escape in retail therapy, comfort in eating, or solace in a bottle, when you can't stop, it's addiction of one form or anot
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Oct 25, 2013 Shelby *trains flying monkeys* rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Cadence didn't set out to become an alcoholic. She had recently divorced Martin (a mommy's boy) and was having trouble sleeping, dealing with a young child, and struggling financially. She would just have a glass of wine at night to help her sleep. A glass of wine turned to 2 bottles of wine per night before long. She didn't see that she had a problem. One night she was out of wine and left her young son at home by himself to run and grab a bottle (I didn't like her much then) The author did not ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Apr 06, 2013 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, kindle, non-genre
Anyway. Really enjoying this book. I do think she spoiled her son rotten and the boy behaved rude.
read 46 % now

A Very Personal Review

Finished this morning and yes a very interesting book.
What I liked most is that it was quite realistic as well.
Sometimes it did feel a bit like advertisement for the AA. I am sure they loved the book ;)

Oh who am I fooling? I did too! I love when a book feels real cause that does not happen often enough. From the first pages I
Judi/Judith Riddle
May 26, 2011 Judi/Judith Riddle rated it it was amazing
A couple of months ago I picked up this book on the library shelf and flipped through it to get an idea of the content. I decided that I wasn't much interested in the subject matter and put it back. A couple of days ago I picked put he same book and took another look at it because it has a compelling cover. I checked it out with about six other books and thought I would take a closer look at it at home and would probably abandon it, after all. The minute I read the first paragraph, I couldn't st ...more
Nov 13, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading this book, I was instantly on the defense. Being a recovering alcoholic and a single mother, I was really curious to know if this book was written by "one of us", or if it was penned by an imposter, whose only experience with this disease was watching reruns of Intervention. Once I had satisfied myself that this was indeed written by someone who "knows", I was able to open up and let this story in.

Alcoholism has a voice. It is loud. It is constant. And it lives in my
Diane S ☔
Jul 31, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4 1/2 but I can see why this book has received all 4 and 5 ratings. I got so emotionally caught up in this book, it was a brutally honest portrayal of a woman who descends into alcoholism putting herself and her son in jeopardy and her attempt to climb back out. Plus I love the characters name, Cadence.
Jan 02, 2017 Myrna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Another great book by Amy Hatvany! Best Kept Secret felt so real and emotional. Cadence's story sucked me in and I was rooting for her sobriety. At one point, I was yelling at her (well...the audiobook) not to pick up another drink. LOL. I need to read more of this author's work.

Feb 09, 2017 Tania rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio, 2017
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this audio-book, the narrator did a good job and the story kept my attention. I learned a lot about alcoholism, the explanations formed part of the story, and I never felt like I was being info-bombed. I loved the authors descriptions, on being asked by her son what alcoholism is she explains to him that it is an allergy to alcohol, and that the allergic reaction is the inability to stop drinking. I really felt empathy for Caydence and the other moms - this book serves as a ...more
Jun 19, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
After enjoying “Somewhere Out There” by author Amy Hatvany, and reading reviews on that novel, I learned that many of her followers enjoyed “Best Kept Secret” even more. This author has a devoted following, and I understand why. In this novel, as with the above mentioned, Hatvany delves into realistic domestic fiction that provides the reader with thought provoking themes. Her characters are real and human and all lessons are learned after messy and horrifying mistakes. These stories are gritty. ...more
Best Kept Secret: A Novel, written by Amy Hatvany, is a hugely powerful novel that focuses on a mother's demise into alcoholism while being divorced from her husband and clinging to custody of her young son. Cadence Sutter is a journalist that is married to Martin and mother to her five-year-old son, Charlie. The couple end up getting divorced because Martin is constantly working an extremely excessive amount of hours with his job at Microsoft, and Cadence realizes that he is no longer around fo ...more
Great read,i really cried with Cadence,yes for a while she was lost but once she realizes she is about to lose Charlie she starts to redeem herself,gets help and tries to overcome her addiction.I was really angry at first when Cadence lost she should be given a second chance,she is broken but yet again she picks herself up,whatever little time she has got with Charlie she makes it up with it.

Martin was right when he took Charlie when Cadence became addicted,i also understood his filing the case
T. Greenwood
Jan 03, 2011 T. Greenwood rated it it was amazing
On the surface, Best Kept Secret might simply seem like another story of addiction. And, indeed, it is a raw examination of a woman in crisis, an honest and aching portrait of an addict who almost loses everything when her life spirals out of control. However, what makes this novel entirely original, is its fearless exploration of the place where addiction and motherhood intersect. What made me love Cadence was not her struggle with alcohol, but her fierce love for her child. This novel is a tes ...more
Jun 07, 2011 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
"Best Kept Secret might simply seem like another story of addiction. And, it is a raw examination of a woman in crisis, an honest and aching portrait of an addict who almost loses everything when her life spirals out of control. However, what makes this novel entirely original, is its fearless exploration of the place where addiction and motherhood intersect. What made me love Cadence was not her struggle with alcohol, but her fierce love for her child. This novel is a testament to the power of ...more
Jun 23, 2011 Leah rated it it was amazing
Best Kept Secret is a novel that has broken one of Chick Lit’s taboos. It’s what appealed to me in the first place, it’s why I brought the novel. Chick Lit novels cover a wide range of topics, but there are some topics that are rarely touched upon. Apart from Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes, I have not read a Chick Lit novel that features its main character being a drug addict/alcoholic. It’s always the father of the character, or the mother, or the brother. It’s as if we wouldn’t be able to co ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it
This is another book that I never would have voluntarily picked up without any outside forces. Yet again, I found myself being friends with a Goodreads author that I had never heard of, but felt compelled to read her novel. (the fact that she and I shared similar tastes in books encouraged this). When I requested it from the library it was on order, so being the first person to receive it was quite a novelty!!!
I'm not quite sure what genre I would classify this as, it had a strong "chic lit" fee
Kim D
Jan 28, 2012 Kim D rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
I was first "introduced" to Amy Hatvany via Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) networking. I have not met her in person, have not met her at any HR-related events, and most likely couldnt pick her out of a lineup. But hey, we have a profession in common! At least until her book writing becomes lucrative enough to walk away from the glamorous world of personnel.

Best Kept Secret chronicles mom Cadence's struggle with alcoholism, divorce, and losing custody of her son due to her drinkin
Caren ~ the misfit geek
Feb 25, 2013 Caren ~ the misfit geek rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens-fiction
This was just an exceptional book. Rarely do I meet a book that reaches inside me and touches my soul. The tough subject of addiction was handled with grace and compassion. In fact, it was so well done that I was convinced by the halfway mark that the author had made a similar journey. I found out that she did, in fact, struggle with this demon disease.

I connected with Cadence immediately. She could literally be any woman. I was in her head as she spiraled out of control and then struggled to c
Feb 18, 2013 Carole rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I loved it! It was a difficult read for me, emotionally. My brother died from alcoholism, at 38 years old. I feel tremendous empathy for the struggling addict. Amy Hatvany is one of my very favorite authors. She expresses the feelings of her characters so well, you feel very connected to them. I'm glad Cadence, the heart broken Mom & alcoholic was able to find hope as the story went on. I can't wait to read more books by this author. Outside The Lines was excellent as well.
Kaira Rouda
Jan 12, 2011 Kaira Rouda rated it it was amazing
Amy Hatvany's character Cadence could be you, your neighbor, your sister, your friend. She is all of us as loving, imperfect mothers. What is special about Best Kept Secret is the humanity Hatvany captures through her protagonist - the moments that ring so real, so true. " - I was always looking in the direction I thought I should have gone" is just one of the many lines I love in this novel.
Read this book. And share it with your friends.
Wendy T
Jun 15, 2013 Wendy T rated it it was amazing
This was such a good book about a mother who was an alcoholic and how she messed up her life and that of her family. A well written story.
Dec 09, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
From the first frank opening lines, I knew that Cadence's story would be heart-wrenching, gutsy, and totally honest.

Her beginning confession of her greatest "sin," being drunk in front of her child, told me that we were about to commence a journey that could only get more painful, but would also yield the unique wisdom that comes from coping with something horrendous, and yet living to tell about it.

We can see that being an alcoholic is difficult and challenging enough, but being an alcoholic mo
Shay Caroline
Mar 24, 2013 Shay Caroline rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me after I had read Ann Leary's "The Good House" a little while back, and I am so glad that I got the chance to know about this novel and to read it. "Best Kept Secret" is the story of Cadence (what a cool name!), a woman whose marriage to workaholic Martin has ended in divorce, leaving her to raise her young son Charlie alone. Having given up her job at a major newspaper in order to stay home and freelance, Cadence worries whether she can generate enough income to s ...more
May 09, 2011 Wanda rated it it was amazing
I grabbed this book from a Simon & Schuster galley grab. And the one thing I can say is, this book hit me hard. Now I'm not an alcoholic or an addict of any kind. But I'm a single mom like Cadence ended up and I would simply go nuts if I lose my child for whatever reason. The author wrote Cadence's character so well that I felt so bad for her. It felt like I was going through the pain with her.

Being an alcoholic is a serious disease. It's hurts not only the person addicted to it but also o
Jan 08, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Have an ARC of this book - lucky me! This is a genuine, heartfelt novel about a mother struggling to do it all, but most of all struggling with her alcoholism. I’m actually surprised there haven’t been more books on this topic. It’s so pervasive yet it's so incredibly taboo, which is, I guess, why there haven’t been more books! The author nails the voice of Cadence and makes her a believable, highly likable, and sympathetic character, even when she’s doing something anyone would consider “bad.” ...more
Laura Smith
Jun 13, 2013 Laura Smith rated it really liked it
I'm a stressed out mum of 4 who to be fair gets to that wine o'clock hour and reaches for my glass as a way to destress at the end of the day. This book really challenged me to think about this more clearly.

The story of Cadence who being a single mum going through divorce finds her one glass a night slowly morphing into 2 bottles then beyond her control. Before she knows it she's been branded an alcoholic, she's in rehab and her ex-husband is battling for custody of their son.

I loved this book,
Jun 04, 2011 Pat rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Pat by: saw it featured on Goodreads
In the beginning of this novel we meet a happy,sucessful journalist, married and very excited about a baby on the way. In the journey that follows, we find a struggling divorcee, with a dwindling income, and a toddler whom she loves to the depths of her being. From one or two glasses of wine to "help her sleep" to more than a few to get through her day. The ultimate rock bottom is when she's realized she's out of wine and it's the middle of the night. The store is only 6 minutes away, Charlie is ...more
Liz Butler
Jun 08, 2011 Liz Butler rated it really liked it
As women, we strive to be "super" everything: mom, wife, homemaker, employee, friend, you name it! The amount of pressure we put ourselves under can be unbearable. And regardless of how overwhelmed we are, we often feel weak or inadequate and refuse to ask for help. This is what happened to Cadence.

This book deals with motherhood and alcoholism. When I first started reading it, my thoughts centered around "how could SHE let things get so bad?", but I quickly realized this could actually happen
Jun 18, 2011 Desiree rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This was a very good read despite my getting a bit tired of Cadence's emotions towards the end of the book. I put this feeling down to just how exhausting it was to be in her head. Hatvany describes all the emotions and tension so vividly that I guess I just wanted the torture to end 50 pages earlier than it did. This book addresses and grapples with a difficult topic and the consequences that stem from that. I love the way Hatvany uses Cadence as an illustration of the struggle mothers face and ...more
Jan 26, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sad & satisfying. Would make for good discussion in book clubs, especially amongst moms (the subject is motherhood & alcoholism). Manages to be serious but not mopey, and an enjoyable read.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 21, 2015 12:24PM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2015.19: Best Kept Secret 7 46 Jun 07, 2015 06:05AM  
Sisterhood of the...: Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany 81 33 Aug 23, 2013 06:20PM  
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  • The Kindest Thing
  • The Good Sister
  • Girls in Trouble
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • Chosen
  • Close Your Eyes
  • Here, Home, Hope
  • Web of Angels
  • Skipping a Beat
  • Hidden Wives
  • The Summer We Came to Life
  • The Surrogate
  • The Slow Moon
  • Prayers and Lies
  • Mothers and Other Liars
  • A Sister's Gift
  • Things We Didn't Say
Amy Hatvany was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car ...more
More about Amy Hatvany...

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“What other people think of you is none of your business," she says. "You can't change it, you can't control it. The only thing you can control is your reaction to it.” 22 likes
“Humiliation is about shame. Becoming humble is about being of use to others. It helps you get off the self-pity pot and stop wallowing around in your own crap.” 15 likes
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