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Every Secret Thing: A novel of friendship, betrayal and second chances, for fans of Joanna Trollope and Hilary Boyd
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Every Secret Thing: A novel of friendship, betrayal and second chances, for fans of Joanna Trollope and Hilary Boyd

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Can you ever bury the past?

She'd recognised in him something of herself: that sense of not belonging, of secrets fiercely kept . . .

Five friends, newly graduated, travel together to the Lake District. Young and ambitious, they little imagine the events that will overtake them that fateful summer, tearing their fragile group apart.

Twenty years later, they return to the sam
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 29th 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre
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3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars!

Intense, sobering, and perceptive!

This is a character-driven novel that reminds us that life is precious and short and that everyone and everything that enters it shapes, defines, and influences us.

The writing is intelligent and descriptive. The characters are complex, secretive, and selfish. And the plot, although a little slow at times, is narrated from multiple perspectives and written in a past/present style that does a remarkable job of revealing all the personalities, motivations
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
All of my reviews can be found on

From reading the blurb then judging by the cover art, I assumed that this would be a fairly light read, more women’s fiction than something with more depth. To my pleasant surprise it actually had a literary feel, it was pretty profound and intelligent.

It’s told in two main timelines, first the summer of 1995 when five friends head to their mentors house in the Lake District and then it switches to 2015. There are several perspectives here as
Karen Mace
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: paperbacks
I found this to be an engaging read as we follow the stories of a group of friends who are brought back together after 20 years apart and to see how their lives were affected by a short holiday they all took together back when they were at Cambridge.

Whilst at Cambridge they all became friends while they were in the choir together, and their mentor, Fay, invited them to stay in her cottage in the Lake District in 1995 as almost a team bonding experience. Quite a few things happened during that st
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
From the cover and the book blurb, I expected this book to be one of the light reads but it wasn't. It was a quite a tedious read and I didn't enjoy most of it.
The author Rachel Crowther, may have developed her characters after a lot of thought. But they don't come across as such in her words. They seemed selfish and I couldn't connect with any of them. Friendship is written with a warm hand and lots of emotions and I didn't get that from this book.
I couldn't enjoy the style of writing which c
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**RATING 4.5**

First of all, I am so excited to be kicking off the blog tour for this compelling and unique tale about friendship and how the effects of our decisions can ripple through our lives for years to come.

Five completely different people from completely different backgrounds forge a strong friendship in Cambridge through the power of music and spend three years in their intellectual and spiritual world, closer than ever. But when they take a summer trip with their mentor Fay, it changes
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Slowly going nowhere this novel of old friends meanders between 1995 and 2015 with some side forays into different years. It focuses on 5 college friends who sing together and two separate trips to the lakes to stay at the same house and well that sit. Nothing happens, even the tense idea of a will reading being delayed dose nothing to change the emotions. I struggled with the constantly changing view point as none of the characters seemed to be any different from the rest. Without the chapter h ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Every Secret Thing is the tale of five disparate characters - Marmion, Cressida, Stephen, Bill and Judith - who are all brought together in 1992 when they begin studying at St. Annes, Cambridge. Flung together by their choral studies they are further gelled by a shadowy mentor figure of Fay. Fay clearly has some connection to St. Annes but nobody seems to know quite what that is and she is significantly older than the quintet but a circle of friendship is fast formed.

This friendship culminates
Nicola Smith
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rachel Crowther is being likened to Joanna Trollope and I think I can see why. Her work is what I would call literary fiction. It's intelligent and thoughtful. However, where I have never managed to finish a Trollope, I did really enjoy this Crowther!

I did struggle a little with it at first, in part because of the writing style and in part because I had a hangover from my previous book and I went into this one quite literally straight after. But once I had got used to the style and the character
Joy Corkery
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
REview originally posted here:

Every Secret Thing tells the story of 5 choral scholars and their strong friendship over 3 years of studying at Cambridge. Just before graduation, they travel to the Lake District for a weekend, where everything changes forever. Twenty years later, the friends are brought together again, summoned by a mysterious bequest. What follows is an unravelling of the past and emotions they thought were buried forever.

This book is full
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Four long ago friends are summoned to a house they spent their post graduation celebrations in 20 years ago.

Neither Judith, Stephen, Cressida or Bill have seen each other since their graduation and passing of their dear friend Marmion who spent so much time with them in their choir group.

Old feelings of romance and friendship quickly emerge, but why have they been called back to this house?

I must admit this book didn't quite do it for me. Crowther tends to digress a lot in her story telling m
Grace J Reviewerlady
This novel was an absolute pleasure to read. It took me twice the time any other with this page count would as it is absolutely jam-packed with detail.

The story follows six separate people with Cambridge University in common - singing in particular. We get to know them, collectively and individually, 'then' and 'now' with a twenty year gap in between. None of the basic story is familiar to me, but I was enthralled with the lives of these very clever and ambitious students. So different - and yet
Sally Coles
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Five young people from different backgrounds are all drawn together at Cambridge University by their love of music, they are all choristers and are led by their mentor Faye. Just before they graduate Faye takes them to a cottage in the Lake District and here a sequence of events take place that will change their lives.

Twenty years later and the same five people are summoned back to the Lake District and we see what has happened to them in the meantime and how the events shaped their lives.......
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
FULL DISCLOSURE: this is my Mum's book, so I'm not a totally unbiased reader by any means. (But if it helps, this is my favourite thing she's written so far!)

Even so, I really loved this. This is a story about people who have been living under the weight of an impossible shared guilt getting a chance to try again later in life. I've always had a weakness for regeneration stories and this one is beautifully executed. All the characters are so humanely drawn - all deeply flawed in their own ways,
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Goodreads for sending me this book. A great summer read. The front cover drew me in and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is a story of friendship, people meeting at University, from all walks of life, and how relationships develop, primarily through their love of music. We really do get to know several individuals very, very well and how they interact with each other. As the story moves on, we are then fast forwarded 20years and we find out how and where the individuals a ...more
Julia Povall
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
One the whole I was disappointed in this book.

Though the descriptions of the scenes were good and atmospheric, the characters were predictable and lacked motivation or substance. The plot itself was slow with no real depth or point with too many flashbacks to infil the story which made the narrative disjointed.
Helen Manoli
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read the characters are well developed and real to life.
Flasback about each character from past to present helps to establish them in todays contents.
Reviews past regrets and guilt that stays with us.
Definetly recommend this book.
A sequal to the book would be greatly appreaciated.
Karen wadey
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I was a bit disappointed in this book. Five friends who are bought together 20 years after their first holiday by a mystery benefactor. We follow all their lives accross the 20 years. They are all a bit self-centred, selfish and arrogant. I found it a bit boring to be honest.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Think my hopes were somehow too high for this book based on the blurb? Still a pretty good read, but not as captivating as I had hoped it would be and therefore took me quite a while to finish.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Trudy Wilson
rated it it was ok
Jul 29, 2018
Keith Randle
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Nov 08, 2018
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Aug 24, 2017
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Ellie (crackthespine)
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Apr 17, 2017
Lucy Jakes
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Nov 12, 2018
Dorothy Savage
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Oct 21, 2018
Lorna Roche
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Mar 19, 2018
Lori J
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May 06, 2017
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Jun 27, 2017
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Aug 09, 2017
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Rachel Crowther qualified as a doctor and worked in the NHS for twenty years before succumbing to a lifelong yearning to write fiction, previously indulged during successive bouts of maternity leave. She has an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Oxford Brookes, and a string of prizes for her short fiction.

Her first novel, THE PARTRIDGE AND THE PELICAN, was published in 2011 and was a Ta