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Past Secrets

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,562 ratings  ·  156 reviews
They all hide secrets that won't go away....

From the outside, the welcoming, garden-adorned houses of Summer Street are the picture of Irish charm. But on the inside, unexpected and heartbreaking secrets swirl. At house number thirty-two, hardworking, single-mother Faye Reid conceals the truth about her marriage from her fiery daughter, Amber. But Amber, a budding artist
Paperback, 496 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Gallery Books (first published 2006)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,562 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Aug 05, 2007 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 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.
Karen Jarvis
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice easy summer read.
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 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 rated it really liked it
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 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.
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
This was light reading, and it was interesting to learn each of the ladies' secrets, but nothing really earth shattering or original. On the plus side, I always like the mental images of the scenery of the places the characters live in. It wasn't rubbish, but not one of her better books in my opinion.
Mιss •kαthєяίиє•  Τhε Emεrαℓd Pяίиcεss®
Apr 12, 2010 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.
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.
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 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 rated it really liked it
A wonderful Maeve Binchy read-alike.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a book that had been sitting and collecting dust on my bookshelf for years on end, it was not too bad. It made for some nice light reading before bed as it had a really slow pace.

I quite liked the four perspectives that the story was told from, and liked and disliked each character for different reasons. I liked finding out about them, their backstories (given to us gradually) and seeing what life was like for them on (and off) Summer Street. I liked that it was set in Ireland, a place where
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good read. I started to read it because my niece told me it was like Mauve Binchy's Irish Stories. Well, it is very much like her stories. I will be looking for more of Cathy Kelly's books from now on especially since Mauve has passed on.

This story tells of the lives of the many people who live for many years on Summer Street near Dublin, Ireland. It seems that everyone has secrets to hide. Not only from each other in the neighborhood, but from the people who in the houses. Maggie
Caroline G'wattage
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
It took me a while to get through this book, because l have been sick with the flu, and the kids have been 🤕, so no time, to concentrate and read, which l have MISSED so much.

This book , was so delightful, and such an easy read but so entertaining.
Cathy Kelly is such a favourite !

The four main Characters Christie Faye Maggie and Amber are all there to fall in love with, the way they worked their problems and their life situations were so uplifting and very encouraging.
Although none of the secret
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable read, I felt like part of the story, an additional friend to the women from the story. They have their own problems and secrets which between them they confront and deal with, all while building friendships. It good read for the beach or when you want a feel good read.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Ireland and Irish writers. Cathy Kelly takes you into the heart of an Irish community and gradually introduces you to some of its inhabitants and their lives. I like the way she writes and that when I finish the book I'm almost in grief for losing all the friends I have come to know.
Cheryll Butters
If a road could look welcoming, then Summer Street had both arms out and the kettle boiling...
What a neat opening sentence! I enjoyed getting to know the residents of Summer Street and getting involved in their lives. A good read.
Andrew Canion
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was great fare for a holiday read. Simple, shallow, but intriguing enough to keep me turning the pages.
Jayne Griffiths
I have enjoyed this book but think the stories have taken too long to get to the final reveals. The characters started off interesting but then didn’t develop and grow as much as I’d have liked.
Cathy Kelly has written another oops read.
Helen Palmer
A satisfying read.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Was a little slow. I kind of love/hate the various lead characters style of book. I think I prefer one single person, but with multiple people if you don't like one, there's always another.
aaliyah Rafeeq
Really enjoyed this story!! But although it was funny and usual drama i did get bored about 2/3 into book but finished it it wasnt my favourite Cathy Kelly read sorry
Tonia Loizidou
Slow at the beginning but if you manage to keep reading it is empowering at the end.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would liken reading Cathy Kelly books to sitting down with a cuppa and a tim tam, always enjoyable, always relaxing. A guilty pleasure.
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is a good book, told very well by Cathy Kelly and her ability to describe life in Ireland!
Lucy Brown
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read, draws you right in
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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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