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The Secrets We Share

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  722 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Emma Hannigan, much loved author of The Summer Guest, will delight fans of Patricia Scanlan and Cathy Kelly with her big-hearted novels of Ireland.


'A writer who understands exactly how women think' Cathy Kelly


Clara Conway is a woman with secrets.


But consequently Clara's family is in the process of falling apart. Her son Max emigrated to the US with his young family years
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 13th 2015 by Headline Review (first published April 9th 2015)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  722 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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Dale Harcombe
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars
If you like books about secrets and families then you should love this one. I was into this right from the prologue which starts with Clara writing a letter. Now an old woman, the Austrian born Clara living in Ireland, has decided it is time for the truth of her story to be told. But she is unsure how to proceed. Max is Clara’s son but she hasn’t seen him for twenty years. Meanwhile, in America Nathalie, only child of Max and Amber is preparing for her prom. But then and eve
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Margaret Madden
Clara has not seen or heard from her son, Max, for almost twenty years. She has no idea where he is and feels the time has come to try and find him.. After some sleuthing, she discovers that he is living in LA, has a wife and a seventeen year old daughter. Clara writes to Nathalie in the hope that her granddaughter would like to connect.

Eva is still bitter about her brothers disappearance and has her own painful memories to deal with. Still single, she finds her habit of picking up strange men i
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Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on Between My Lines

Green Giants is my feature where I share some of my favourite books by Irish Authors.   I’m passionate about Irish Authors, they supply us with a great and exciting mix of books, hopefully you will find something new to try.  Today it’s Emma Hannigan who is my latest Green Giant.  I've heard lots of positive praise for this author in the past and now I know why.

green giants

A book full of clandestine family secrets is a book that is always going to cal
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Trish at Between My Lines
A book full of clandestine family secrets is a book that is always going to call out to me. So the secrets hooked me in but then the writing and the characters kept me enthralled from beginning to end.

First Line of The Secrets We Share by Emma Hanningan:

“Clara paused, laying down her pen on the soft cream paper for a moment, unsure of how to go on.”
My thoughts on The Secrets We Share by Emma Hanningan

I absolutely loved The Secrets We Share. It made me care about every single character and evoked
...more
Anne
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Secrets We Share is the story of a family, and is led by Clara Conway. Clara is eighty, she's been a successful business woman, a devoted wife and a loving mother. Her family have had their problems over the years, and Clara decides that it's time to finally lay things to rest.

Clara's son Max left home over twenty years ago and has never returned. His sister Ava is a troubled, unhappy woman who exudes style and glamour on the outside, but inside she is battling with many demons. Ava was hurt
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Karen Whittard
This book was easy to read. Full of mystery and wonderfully uplifting. Telling the tale of the bond between women, friendship, hope, joy, and love. It was fast paced and endearing. It tells the story of a young woman called Nathalie Conway who wake up in a hospital not knowing how she got there, but being told that her best friend has been killed in a car crash and that Nathalie barely escaped with her life. A moving chapter where Nathalie in shock doesn't believe anyone until she sees for herse ...more
MS Meagher
Two stars because I'm feeling generous. The plot was okay, apart from some huge holes and a dodgy time-frame. The dialogue was incredibly annoying. Irish people calling Ireland "the Emerald Isle". 17 year olds talking like 40 year olds, and 50 year olds speaking in the same manner. Books in which all characters speak with the same voice are incredibly jarring. I was asked to read this book by a friend who thought it was dreadful. She was right. It's not my usual type of reading material, but tha ...more
Anne Mackle
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Clara's husband passes away she decides to hire a private investigator to find her son who left home twenty years ago after a family argument. She finds out that he is now living in America and has a seventeen year old daughter. From her home in Ireland Clara writes to her granddaughter Nathalie introducing herself and inviting her to visit.
Tragic circumstances find Nathalie's mother reading the letter first and arranging for her daughter to go and stay with her newly found grandmother or O
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Tracey
A fabulous book that had me in tears continuously.
Emma Crowley
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Inspired by her own grandmother's story Emma Hannigan is back with her tenth novel The Secrets We Share and what a story she has given us. I have followed Emma's work right from the beginning when she published Designer Genes and unquestionably this is her best novel yet. Her heart and soul was poured into every word of this story and it just radiates from the pages. With each book Emma's writing has matured and the incredible, heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting story showcases what a true t ...more
Sandra Preston
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous, loved it. Thank you
Ann
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really disappointed by this book. It should have been a very powerful story but was let down for me by a very dodgy time frame. Clara is 80 years old and has decided to find her estranged son who left Ireland 20 years previously, however, as Clara got married in December 1954 and soon after she became pregnant with Ava, this means that Ava is about 60 years old and going into bars picking men up! I don't even like to go there! How old is Max? How come he was studying to be a doctor only 20 ...more
Jane
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Good read very quick to get into the story.
Novelle Novels
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Emma hannigans books and this one does not disappoint. She is an amazing author who makes you so into the book on its first page it’s difficult to put down. This family is full of secrets that have ripped it to shreds but the main leading lady Carla feels its time to pull it back together. Circumstances bring her into her granddaughters life and together they get to grips with the past and teach you that secrets should be bought into the open and wounds need to be healed even if it’s pain ...more
Abhi*
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nathalie is surprised when she is asked to spend her vacation with her grandmother and aunt- the two people who so far stayed non-existent in her life. Her visit to Ireland and the secrets that unfold, rebuild the relationships between her dad Max and his family.

"A story filled with learning from mistakes, misconception and re-building on the lost relationship"

"A perfect 2nd chance to reshape the life"
Louise Burke
This is not my usual style of book but I read it as the monthly book choice in my reading group. I was pleasantly surprised.
It’s an easy read, with an appealing main character (Clara) but there are some really big stretches of the imagination involved and it’s all tied up just a bit too neatly at the end. Nevertheless it’s an enjoyable book.
Lynda Meyers
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time Iv read a Emma Hannigan book and it wont be the last.I really enjoyed it.the complex relationships and secrets everyone had and loved the way everything worked out right in the end and realistically so.Im now going to read the summer guest.
Adeline Kam
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story of family love and redemption. Forgiveness after being apart for 20 years. This book is easy to read and soothing to the soul.

Thanks Emma for writing this book and may your soul rest in peace. It is so sad to know the world has lost a good author like you.
Pam
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW!! What a powerful novel, a fascinating read of a story that ran across the generations and enduring love brought bang up to date.

There were some surprises but read the book and be startled!

Aoife Mcgoldrick
Great read, a tear jerker but a great story and wonderful characters
Michelle
3.5 ⭐️
Mary O'Brien
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very moving read

Wonderful insight to what was a very strong woman. A real fairytale. I cried and laughed while reading thus book
Rachel Muumbo
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such an interesting story, I couldn't put the book down.
Mary
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely amazing story wonderful characters i was totally lost in it. The authors death is a sad loss
Lesley Halliday
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book had a lovely storyline with some history included would recommend
Kerrie Paterson
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story of this book but felt it was let down by unrealistic dialogue, repetitive and sometimes contradictory facts and a dodgy timeline. Overall a heartwarming story though.
Lucy McLaurin
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book.

A heartwarming family story. It had lots of love, angst, tears and hope written into every page.

Susan Hutchinson
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really sad that this story has finished. Found it emotional, happy and sad all at the same time. Congrats to the author I loved it!
Kerrie McDonald
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story of this book but felt it was let down by unrealistic dialogue, repetitive and sometimes contradictory facts and a dodgy timeline. Overall a heartwarming story though.
Lynda Watts
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book.
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Emma Hannigan was an Irish author and blogger, best known for writing about her experience of suffering from cancer.

With a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, Hannigan's mother and maternal aunt tested positive for the responsible gene, BRCA1. She also received a 'positive' result in August 2005, which carries an 85% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer. In 2
...more

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