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The Book of Secrets

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,667 ratings  ·  348 reviews
After more than twenty years of marriage, Chloe Sinclair comes home one night to find that her husband, Nate, is gone. All he has left behind is a cryptic note explaining that he's returned to their childhood town, a place Chloe never wants to see again.

While trying to reach Nate, Chloe stumbles upon a notebook tucked inside his antique copy of "The Lion, the Witch and the
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 2nd 2015 by Bantam (first published June 4th 2013)
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Leslie Rosenberg I finished it last night as well and I'm still frustrated. Why did we have to go through what felt like a 100 pages of her a get at Mate for leaving?…moreI finished it last night as well and I'm still frustrated. Why did we have to go through what felt like a 100 pages of her a get at Mate for leaving? Why didn't she just go there first if she knew that's where he went? The book would have ended a heck of a lot sooner and I probably would have wanted to keep reading. The only reason I did was so that I could find out what happened to Gabriel all those years ago. Augh!(less)

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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,667 ratings  ·  348 reviews

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Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
A lonely girl, a peculiar family, an enchanting house. A fairy tale that quickly turns to horror.

I was drawn to this novel because of the fascinating elements of imagination and the possibilities of escaping into the magical world, if only for a day. What I didn't expect to find were the effects of loneliness, the "inevitable fact of human existence," according to Thomas Wolfe.

Chloe and Nate are both lonely creatures. A book-addict couple, they start a rare bookstore, buying and selling treasu
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold is an interesting novel and tells the story of the Sinclair family. This is certainly a family that have been bound and pulled apart by the forces of imagination and religious belief. At the heart of this story lies a mystery. We read how family secrets can alter relationships and how people cope with these secrets once they have been discovered.

I really enjoy books set around family secrets and was drawn to this book as soon as I had read the first fe
Diane S ☔
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roadrallyteamb
A novel that is filled with references to favorite childhood books, is sure to be a heartfelt read. Three children, raised by a evangelical pastor father and a very ill mother, are sheltered from others not of their church. They make up delightful games about their beloved books, Narnia and later Robinson Crusoe as well as others. Another little girl, raised by a single mom who always need to work, falls upon this fanciful family and their books and games and never wants to leave.

This is a book
Cynthia ☮ ❤ ❀
“Sitting in our bookstore at night, I can hear the stories. Or not hear them so much as feel them: the neat, round softness of Austen with its improbable, inevitable love affairs; the sprawl of Dickens with its meandering threads tying into coincidental knots. All the books have colors and shapes not just from the stories written but from the stories of the authors who’ve done the writing; from Steinbeck’s realism to Murakami’s cubism, a regular art museum of voices.” Enter the world of Chloe Si ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well one word to describe this book would be addictive. I thought it started off slowly but then found myself totally engaged and had to keep reading straight to the end. I finished it in one day. It is a delightful book for people who love to read as Arnold makes constant references to old favourites like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Where the Wild Things Are, Romeo and Juliet and many others. This is a book about books, a romance, a mystery and a family saga all rolled in to one. A re ...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale.
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Bantam Books and Netgalley
Reading Elizabeth Joy Arnold's new novel, The Book of Secrets, remineded me a lot of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. This story has the same aura of mystery, the same twisted family dynamics, and the same ability to suck the reader into the story being told. At least it was that way for me. It was a solid story from start to finish that intrigued me the whole way through.

The story is told from the point of view of Choe Sinclar, who returns home one day to find that her husband, Nate,
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Wow. This book was just ... INTENSE! I don't know any other word that would adequately summarize this enormous roller-coaster of thought and emotion that I experienced while reading THE BOOK OF SECRETS by Elizabeth Joy Arnold. Although it felt long, it was ridiculously addictive, especially for a person like myself who absolutely adores any type of literary reference in my books.

But, let me back up a bit and start with the plot, which I do think will be enough to get you, as an interested reader
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chloe and Nate have been through a lot over the years but have managed to stay together in spite of everything they’ve experienced. Their marriage is shaky however, continuing only because of their long friendship more than any remaining passion. When Chloe wakes up one morning to find that her husband has inexplicably and very suddenly gone back to the same hometown they fled so many years ago, she does not begin to worry until a call to her sister-in-law reveals that not everything is as she w ...more
Ruthanne Davis
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Secrets, secrets, secrets. And don't we just love to untangle them and get to the truth. Secrets are the driving force of this book and Ms. Arnold holds our imaginations hostage as each one is revealed. It's a sometimes magical story about childhood and loss. Much tragedy and one of the most bitter-sweet endings ever. I certainly never thought it would bring tears to my eyes, but it did.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Chloe and Nate are childhood sweethearts who have loved and lost a great deal in their lives. We learn early on that their toddler son disappeared and Nate wasn't around for most of the boy's short life.
Nate is suddenly called home and Chloe is left wondering why he rushed off, without a goodbye, especially when she learns his father has been released from prison.
Using a secret code from their childhood, Chloe decodes journals that Nate has written through the years, secrets and feelings he neve
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
I thought I would enjoy this book much more than I did. It's well written and pays strong tribute to the power of books. The lonely heroine who is transformed by the Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle In Time, etc. could have been myself, and, I suspect, many other readers (I remember vividly thinking that if I just tried hard enough I could somehow end up in Narnia). All well and good, but the tone of Book of Secrets is so grim, and the hero/heroine both so damaged, that I couldn't see a future fo ...more
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2013
Elisabeth Arnold's book Book of Secrets is a depressing, emotional, appalling, awe-inspiring and very interesting book.

I have always known that religion can be dangerous for a weak minded people, and this book proves it once again.

But the story is interesting and well written. As the story is about people who love books and about books then it’s double interesting book to read for a book lovers: did you read the same books as a kid, as a teenager, what did you think of them?

And the criminal side
Colleen Scidmore
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-to-sell-5
First off all the references to classic books both children and adult, because of Chloe's love for them had me wanting to go the library and pick up a few books. I'm not a huge classic book fan but the way Chloe talked about these books just reached out and grabbed my literary soul! And it's not that I have never read any classics, I think I felt forced at times and that overshadowed any enjoyment I might have gotten. But I think I'm ready for another go.
Now back to the review of the book I did
Christine D.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Chloe has been unhappily married to Nate for some time. At this stage of their life, they are facing a marital problem encountered by many - distance. Though she is surrounded by her passion, in an antiquated bookstore owned by the two, Chloe feels empty. After a tragedy struck years ago, nothing has been the same for the Sinclair couple. The two have known each other since childhood - or so Chloe thinks. This changes when Nate takes a sudden absence, leaving a trail of literary clues that revea ...more
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
As I mentioned in my updates, this book gave me a strong nostalgia for The Thirteenth Tale , which was a good thing. It wasn't derivative, it just had that same aura of loving literature while weaving a mystery.

I think Chloe is a very well-drawn and sympathetic character, despite her flaws. I understood her on a deep and personal level; having discovered and disappeared into books as escapism myself as a child, I think the author described Chloe's discovery of books perfectly.

I fell in love wi
Lisa B.
My Thoughts

When Chloe first meets the Sinclair children, she is just a young girl and the Sinclair family’s life seems idyllic. The Grace, Cecilia, Nate Sinclair are beautiful, their mother home schools them and they play strange games on their secluded property. The only oddity is Mr. Sinclair. Chloe cannot be around when he is home and he has some strange, mystical hold over the whole family. We learn bits and pieces of their growing up years as an adult Chloe, who has married Nate, tries to f
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how to put into words how amazing this book was. It's one of the most "real" books I've read in a long time. There was conflict and problems and things didn't get wrapped up in a neat little bow because the characters were real! The flashbacks to the main characters childhoods were beautifully written and showing how the past brought everyone to there present was just amazing. This was a book that I couldn't put down and loved every minute of. It was tragic but also beautiful. It sh ...more
Lisa Wolf
Childhood secrets, the ugliness behind a serene family facade, imagination unleashed by the beauty of good books — all are key elements of the exquisite new novel The Book of Secrets written by Elizabeth Joy Arnold.

Chloe’s life changed forever on her eighth birthday when she met the mysterious, wonderful Sinclair children. Scrubbed and wholesome in a hopelessly old-fashioned way, living in a secluded country home in California redwood territory, home-schooled by a kind and creative mother, sibli
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I was intrigued by this novel because it's been billed as this fabulous book about books. It is that, but in a very tangential way: three siblings are connected to a lonely little girl in their love for books. But their friendship is forbidden by the siblings overbearing, fanatical pastor father.

Ms. Arnold uses book and poetry titles for the sections of this book, but rarely actually connects the titles to the content--when she does, it is only in the most superficial way. No need to worry if yo
Allison Hiltz
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013
From The Book Wheel:

I think I’ve finally figured out the key to requesting great NetGalley books because, once again, I’m blown away by an amazing book from there. The Book of Secrets has all of the elements of a good story and it did not disappoint. This may be because the book brought me back to my childhood at my Gramma’s house. A good portion of the book takes place in a white house with a sprawling lawn that ends with a creek and some woods. My Gramma had this exact same setup (albeit small
Lisa Mcafee
Jul 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was at once, the most compelling, beautiful and unexpected story that I have read for a very long time. When I began reading this book, the first thing that caught my eye was the author’s ability to paint with words. Her descriptions are not only vibrant and colourful, but she uses descriptions that I have never heard elsewhere. A favourite example of this is when she is describing a Victorian Mansion: “It was an aged beauty queen, now with no hair, bunions, and missing teeth,” I wanted to ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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I seem to be on a completely unintentional kick of reading novels with the word "book" in the title. My "currently reading" list includes Charlie Lovett's The Bookman's Tale and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. There is something about the word "book" that is just so comforting...curling up and going into another world for a little while. The closing of so many bookstores lately is really alarming to me. I've gone kicking a
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*

Elizabeth Joy Arnold is also the author of Pieces of My Sister's Life, Promise the Moon, and When We Were Friends. She was raised in New York, and lives with her husband and daughter in Hopewell, New Jersey where she is at work on her next novel.

I love mystery puzzles in my books and it does not happen often that I get to the end of a book more or less to find out I was wro
Emma Kerry
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was completely addictive from start to finish. The characters were beautifully drawn; the strands of the story all perfectly woven together. I usually pride myself on being able to figure out plot twists long before they happen, but the ending completely caught me off guard.

The story is told from Chloe’s point of view, leaving us to piece things together as she moves from present day to a chronological account of her life since meeting the tragically troubled Sinclair family. We follo
I thought I would like this more than I did. I normally like stories that switch between the past and the present, with the past explaining reasons for things happening in the present, but this one didn’t quite cut it for me, and I don’t quite know why. I did enjoy it, but not as much as I thought.

I’m not sure whether the pace was too slow, or whether I wasn’t engaged enough with the characters (I was halfway through when I realised I couldn’t recall the main character’s name) or whether I shoul
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as an Early Reviewer via This book has everything I love most, a book about books and secrets linked to the past. Really I was just completely "noodley" reading this book. With refrences to The Narnia Chronicles, Crime and Punishment and A Wrinkle in Time just to name a few, it is truly a book lover's delight. The story begins with Chloe and Nate, married over 20 years and their flailing bookstore. Nate disappears one day and from there, secrets of the past ...more
Any book with reading as a main pastime will get my attention. When Chloe first encounters the Sinclairs they are seen as the ideal family from the outside, it takes 25 years but we eventually discover the secrets that hide behind perfection. I loved the literary references and how important books can be to help children cope or perhaps have altered views of reality. I thought the book could have used a bit more editing as it dragged toward the late middle. I did keep guessing what the reveal wa ...more
Olivia O'Rourke
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
All children have this romantic ideas of love, I was always so confused when people said loving someone is hard work. I guess I always thought of love as unconditional. However this book made me wake up a realize what love is, and it isn't perfect, or in anyway easy. I guess I needed that though, ignorance is bliss until it blindsides you. But I'm not sure that I didn't want to blindsided though...
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Fiction Fanatics: June 2014 - The Book of Secrets 21 43 Jul 05, 2014 04:33AM  

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