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The Secret of Clouds

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,960 ratings  ·  442 reviews
Named One of the Best 2019 Winter Books by PopSugar and Chosen as One of 9 Books to Read (or Gift!) This February by Instyle!

From the #1 international bestselling author of The Lost Wife and The Velvet Hours comes an emotionally charged story about a mothers love, a teachers promise, and a child’s heart....

Katya, a rising ballerina, and Sasha, a graduate student, are
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,960 ratings  ·  442 reviews

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Miranda Reads

Deep down, I believed a story could change us, and that if we read it deeply enough, a good book could transform our souls.
Maggie, a passionate and zealous English language arts teacher, has been given the assignment of her life - to home-tutor a sick child (Yuri).

Yuri, child of Ukrainian immigrants Sasha and Katya, has spent most of his life trapped indoors due to a heart condition.
You only get to be a kid once in your life and I'm not getting that chance.
He has to take special precauti
Angela M
I was hoping to enjoy this more, given so many high ratings on Goodreads, but while there were some things I liked about it, it fell short of being a story that will be memorable for me. Maggie Topper is a teacher charged with tutoring an eleven year old boy, Yuri, who has a heart condition that keeps him from attending school. They develop a relationship that affects both of them in a positive way. My emotions were certainly touched at times, but other times, it felt melodramatic. I loved some ...more
Larry H
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It takes a talented storyteller to get you completely hooked on a story even if you can pretty much predict everything that is going to happen. It takes even more talent to make you get all choked up even when you know what is coming.

In her new novel, The Secret of Clouds , Alyson Richman proves she has exceptional talent, because even though the plot moved as I expected it would, I was hooked on this book from the very start, and I found myself sobbing late last night as it ended.

Maggie Topp
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

I was interested in this novel because my daughter has taught 8th grade for 15 years and having raised four daughters I have always been grateful for all of the great teachers that my girls had throughout the years. That said I found that this book was a mediocre read for me.

There are two storylines here. The book is written from the point of view of Maggie, the main character in the book. Maggie is a new teacher recently having changed careers having found her work in a PR f
Holly  B
An emotional story that flowed beautifully.

The author's storytelling made this an emotional journey for me. A teacher, Maggie Topper goes the extra mile to connect with a home-bound student, Yuri. I was able to relate to Maggie and the teaching environment.

Two stories are told.

The backstory of Sasha and Katya and how/why the fled Ukraine.

An unexpected tragedy.

A ballet career in Kiev.

Parents undying love for their son, Yuri.

A dedicated teacher who re-evaluates her life and what she values the

3.5 Stars

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

I love the cover of this novel. The description had me intrigued and I was excited to start reading.

The book opens in 1999. Twenty-six-year-old, Maggie Topper has just moved into a small but lovely cottage with her boyfriend, Bill. Maggie is looking forward to starting her second year teaching sixth grade English Language Arts at Franklin Intermediate School.

Maggie formerly worked as a personal assistant at a promin
Diane S ☔
It I just so hard to write a review about a book that proved to be a good read, a three stars read. Readers always want to read books that have ratings above the simple good. There is, however,a reading place, time for these books, books that are perfectly fine, a story that reads quickly but is written in my opinion, simply. Quick, easy to read stories, are often enjoyable in times of stress, or during busy times of year, like now.

What I enjoyed: the story flowed very well.
A teacher who
A stunning story that enveloped me completely and pulled at my heartstrings!

Every once in a while when you finish a book you know it’s going to stick with you for a long time, this was one of those books. There was just something about this story that touched me deeply, and I really can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it was the fact that this is a beautiful love story and tribute to teachers everywhere, my mother was a teacher, my daughter is in school now to be a teacher, they hold a special p
Passionate, compelling and evocative!

THE SECRET OF CLOUDS by ALYSON RICHMAN is an emotionally charged, tender, moving, beautiful and insightful contemporary novel that I absolutely loved and thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. The story was so beautifully told and totally touched my heart.

ALYSON RICHMAN delivers quite the awe-inspiring, emotional, touching, entertaining, well-written and unforgettable read here that will definitely stay with me for a very long time. I was totally invested
Katie B
I had a feeling about 20 pages in this would be an emotional read, and sure enough I was right. Whether you are a parent or not, I think it would be hard not to develop an attachment to a sick child. Yuri for sure is what drove the story.

Maggie, a young teacher, has agreed to help tutor Yuri, a boy who is not able to attend school due to his heart condition. His parents, Sasha and Katya, left Ukraine to live in America after the Chernobyl disaster. While Maggie is busy teaching Yuri reading and
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
I can rely on Alyson Richman for an emotionally resonant historical novel, and The Secret of Clouds delivered. At its heart it is two things: a tribute to teachers and love for child.

Told in two storylines, past and present, the first takes place in Kiev in the 1980s around the time of the disaster at Chernobyl. Katya is a promising ballerina, and Sasha is a graduate student. The two are in love when tragedy strikes. They later have a child, Yuri, born with a health condition due to the after ef
Guest review for Harlequin Junkie.
Awesome story! Highly recommend!!
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The Secret of Clouds is a tenderly written heart-warming and heart-breaking story that explores the bond between a teacher and her student. Who soon find they can learn something from each other.

Alyson Richman captures a mother’s love, fear and sorrow, a teacher’s caring ways to make a difference with her students and an ill child’s courage to connect to the outside world. Through each character, we learn something about resilience, perseverance, acceptance, love and connections in many ways, so
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Maggie Topper has moved from New York City to eastern Long Island where she will be teaching English at a middle school. This is a major career change and her first time working at a school. Her move to rural life was also motivated by her desire to live with her long-time boyfriend.

One of her early assignments is to tutor a child who is too ill to attend classes. Yuri Krasny has a congenital heart condition which keeps him home and isolated. He would love to play baseball and engage with other
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Tearfully beautiful and filled with a certain sort of magic that only an inspiring story can deliver, Alyson Richman’s The Secret of Clouds is a book I encourage everyone to open their heaart to. I’m still a bit choked up over this story in a wonderful way. It spoke to the child in me who still remembers that one teacher that really changed my life, and it spoke to the adult in me who knows how special the imaginations of youth are. And it also is just an incredible story about the love of a fam ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a sweet and enjoyable read!

This book was powerful for me because I used to be a teacher and it brought back so many memories and made my heart happy :).

There are two parallel storylines that are brought to light in The Secret of Clouds. Maggie is a teacher and connects with one student in particular Yuri who has a heart condition that is mostly taught at home. As the story progress, Maggie and Yuri form a powerful bond as they both are inspired and learn from one another. The sec
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ew
The Secret of Clouds has two parallel story lines. Maggie is a young teacher, trying to find her way personally and professionally. She makes a connection with a young student, Yuri, who has a serious heart condition and must be taught at home most the time. The other story line involves Yuri’s parents, and their move to the US from the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. The Secret of Clouds could have been much better, but it suffered from simplistic writing, a very predictable plot and unsubtle ...more
This book...oh my, after finishing it, I had to sit with tears running down my face as I let all the poignant, heartbreaking yet wonderfully inspiring emotions from The Secret of Clouds course through me. I cannot imagine reading this book without being affected in some way by the incredible characters, heartening plot, or Alyson Richman's breathtaking, lyrical writing. This is my first time reading a book by Richman, but it definitely won't be my last.

As many of you know, I've been an English L
♥ Sandi ❣
3.75 stars Thanks to Edelweiss and Berkley for a chance to read and review this ARC. Publishes February 19, 2019.

If there were a place that everyone could find each other after they passed, Yuri a small Ukraine boy, dreamed it would be a family cloud.

A heartfelt novel with a great story line and wonderful characters celebrating teachers, of all ages. Music played a major role in this novel, letting you believe that even it was a cherished character. There is so much creativity in this book, bo
Pam Jenoff
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book tells of Yuri, the young son of Ukranian immigrants who is isolated from other children because of a rare heart condition. When Maggie agrees to come teach Yuri at home, she develops a special bond with the boy and finds herself transformed. A magical story of unlikely friendships and the ways in which teacher-student bonds can change our lives.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When tragedy strikes the City of Kiev in Ukraine, Katya and Sasha are blissfully unaware of what is happening to their world. All they know is that the days are unusually warm and the water is like a bath and they delight in it. Years later when their son, Yuri, is born in America, they learn that unseen forces from that long ago time has caused their baby to be born with a heart condition. He needs to be protected from germs so is unable to attend school. A young, dedicated teacher Maggie is as ...more
Lisa Wolf
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
The Secret of Clouds is about a young teacher, Maggie, whose enthusiasm for her middle school students and her passion for introducing them to the joys of reading and writing seems limitless. Maggie is asked to take on an additional role, tutoring a 12-year-old boy named Yuri who is unable to come to school because of a health condition. Hesitantly, Maggie agrees, but soon is completely charmed by this lonely boy and becomes determined to help him regain an interest in the world around him.

Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maggie is a young, enthusiastic English language arts teacher who enjoys challenging her sixth grade students to find beauty and meaning in the written word. She has decorated her classroom to reflect the theme of “The Mind is a Powerful Tool”. When her school’s principal asks her to tutor a student at his home, Maggie is a bit apprehensive. Yuri is a child who loves to learn and would like to be at school, but because of his health problems, he must stay at home. As the school year progresses, ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
This morning I did not take a shower. You readers know the feeling. You are immersed in a world, and even though you are due somewhere at 9AM, you find yourself transported into another world sobbing, just needed to feel through the experience and ride it to its natural conclusion. Shower be damned... I did pause to watch with my husband the early morning talk show clips of Donald Trump Jr embarrassing himself on the View. And to hear more about the Supreme Court's decision to fine Donal Trump 2 ...more
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alyson Richman has done it again. She has written another heart wrenching and touching novel in The Secret of Clouds. The story made me smile, cry and ponder. It was hard to put down.

The story alternated between the story of Katya, a young ballerina and Sasha, a young, Jewish graduate student studying cellular biology who lived in Kiev and fell helplessly in love with each other and with Maggie Topper, a sixth grade, teacher teaching at Franklin Intermediate school in Long Island, New York. Katy
Basic B's Guide
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful tribute to teachers everywhere, Richmond showcases the endless devotion and true heart of a teacher. Maggie is not far into her career as a teacher but it’s definitely her calling. One day she is called upon by the principal to tutor a special young boy, by the name of Yuri. Yuri was born with Epstein’s anomaly (a heart defect) and is kept at home to minimize his exposure to germs. Yuri’s parents, Sasha and Katya, immigrated from the Ukraine after the Chernobyl disaster and blame the ...more
Susan Peterson
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sigh....that feeling you get when you finish a book that you don’t really want to end, a story that feels like a window to your soul. The Secret of Clouds is a love letter to teachers and to the students whose lives they touch. Alyson Richman has once again transported me with her lyrical writing...and her words are transformative as well. This is a story of a young teacher and her student, a very sick boy with hopes and dreams like all other 12 year olds; I enjoyed the banter between Maggie and ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, giveaways
Not great.
Predictable. Repetitive. Stale.
This is the story of a teacher who tutors a student too ill to come to school. Of course, he’s the most special student of all, abc she devotes herself to him, learning valuable lessons of her own.
The author does handle Yuri, the sick boy, & his mother with better skill than the main character. There is more depth & texture to them, more immediate access to their emotions. It’s a shame the whole thing wasn’t written through that lens instead - it would ha
Amy Bruno
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A teacher's love for her student is masterfully told in this sweet and emotional read, The Secret of Clouds.

The book is set mainly in 1999 as the Y2K madness was happening, but for a short while the story goes back to the mid-80s in Kiev as Richman tells the story of Yuri's parents and how they came to move to the US after the disaster at Chernobyl.

In the present storyline, we follow Maggie, who has left her corporate job to follow her dream of becoming a teacher. She is now teaching sixth grade
Linda Zagon
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “The Secrets of Clouds” by Alyson Richman , Berkley, February, 2019

WOW!! I loved everything about Alyson Richman’s novel “The Secret of Clouds”, and I feel that she has absolutely outdone herself. Alyson Richman is an amazing storyteller, and I appreciate the way that she vividly describes her colorful cast of characters, and her landscape. Noted is the unique and fantastic way that the author appeals to our senses through Music, Art, Literature, Song and Dance.

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Alyson Richman is the author of six historical novels including "The Mask Carver's Son," "The Rhythm of Memory (formerly published as Swedish Tango)," The Last Van Gogh," and three international bestsellers: "The Lost Wife.," "The Garden of Letters" and "The Velvet Hours." Her books have been translated into 20 languages. She loves to travel, cook, ride her yellow bicycle, and do ballet. She curre ...more

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