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El secreto de Helena

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Una casa mágica.
Un verano para recordar.
Amor y secretos bajo el sol chipriota.

Dicen que los que se alojan en Pandora se enamoran.

Hace veinticuatro años, durante unas vacaciones mágicas en Chipre, Helena se enamoró por primera vez. Ahora regresa a Pandora, una casa hermosa pero en muy mal estado que su padrino le ha dejado en herencia, para pasar el verano junto a su familia. No obstante, la idílica belleza de Pandora esconde muchos secretos, secretos que durante años Helena ha sido capaz de ocultar a su marido, William, y a su hijo Alex, que, con solo trece años, se debate entre proteger a su madre o averiguar la verdad sobre su verdadero padre.

El delicado equilibrio de la vida de la protagonista se rompe cuando coincide por casualidad con su antiguo amor y su pasado y su presente chocan por fin. Helena sabe que su vida y la de su familia no será la misma en el momento en que los secretos de Pandora salgan a la luz.

560 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 14, 2016

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About the author

Lucinda Riley

70 books8,848 followers
AKA: Lucinda Edmonds
Lucinda Riley was born in Northern Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold thirty million copies worldwide. She is a No.1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Lucinda’s The Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is inspired by the mythology of the famous star cluster, has become a global phenomenon. The series is a No.1 bestseller across the world with total sales of over fifteen million copies.

Lucinda and her family divided their time between the U.K. and a farmhouse in West Cork, Ireland, where she wrote her books.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 961 reviews
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,930 reviews2,017 followers
February 8, 2023
EXCERPT: July 2006 - Arrivals - Alex's Diary
10th July 2006
For some reason, whenever I'm on a plane I think about dying. To be fair, I think about dying wherever I am. Perhaps being dead is a bit like the weightlessness you feel here, now, in this metal tube. My little sister asked if she was dead the last time we flew because someone told her Grandpa was up on a cloud. She thought she was joining him when we passed one.
Why do adults tell kids such ridiculous stories? It only leads to trouble. For myself, I never believed any of them?
My own mother gave up trying to use them on me years ago.
She loves me, my mother, even if I've morphed into Mr Blob in the past few months. And she promises that one day, I will have to crouch down to see my face in the water-splashed mirrors such as this one. I come from a family of tall men apparently. Not that this comforts me. I've read about genes skipping generations and knowing my luck, I shall be the first fat dwarf in hundreds of years of Beaumont males.
Besides, she forgets she's ignoring the opposing DNA which helped create me . . .
It's a conversation I am determined to have during this holiday. I don't care how many times she tries to wimp out of it and conveniently changes the subject. A gooseberry bush for a father is no longer satisfactory.
I need to know.

ABOUT 'THE OLIVE TREE': Please be aware that in some parts of the world, this book is published under the title 'Helena's Secret'.

It is said that anyone who comes to stay at 'Pandora' for the first time will fall in love . . .

It has been twenty-four years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now crumbling house, 'Pandora', is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family.

Yet Helena knows that the idyllic beauty of Pandora masks a web of secrets she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of thirteen, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, he is desperate to learn the truth about his real father . . .

When Helena meets her childhood sweetheart by chance, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora's secrets have been revealed.

MY THOUGHTS: It is not just the house named Pandora that has secrets - so has Helena.

I always love Lucinda Riley's characters, and those in The Olive Tree are no exception. I really felt for Alex, who sees himself as the cuckoo in the nest of his mother's perfect family. Alex is an incredibly intelligent and obliging almost teenage boy. Despite feeling the odd one out, he loves his younger siblings Immie and Fred. He gives up his room at Pandora to sleep in a 'broom closet' so that visitors can have it.

I loved Helena's character despite her refusal to face up to reality and acknowledge her past. She adores her husband William, and he her, although he can never quite rid himself of the feeling that Helena is holding something back from him. As, indeed, she is.

As old and new friends cycle through Pandora over the summer, Alex falls in love for the first time, and Helena's past collides with her present with an unexpected revelation that generates an explosive fallout.

The story is told over two timelines, 2006 when Helena and her family are holidaying at Pandora, and 2016 when they all return to Pandora for the first time since 2006. There are also occasional flashbacks to Helena's past life.

I cannot help but become totally immersed in Lucinda Riley's stories. Her characters become friends, flawed but irresistible. This is a book that I will read/listen to again.

The narration of the audiobook is superbly performed by Lucinda Riley herself and her son, Harry Whittaker. There is also an interesting discussion between the two at the end of the audiobook where they discuss Lucinda's writing.


#TheOliveTree #WaitomoDistrictLibrary

I: @lucindarileybooks @panmacmillan

T: @lucindariley @panmacmillan

THE AUTHOR: Lucinda Riley is an Irish author of popular historical fiction and a former actress. She spent the first few years of her life in the village of Drumbeg near Belfast before moving to England. At age 14 she moved to London to a specialist drama and ballet school. She wrote her first book aged twenty four. Lucinda died in June 2021.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Waitomo District Library for the loan of the audiobook of The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,788 reviews160 followers
August 21, 2017
Lighthearted, mesmerizing, and genuinely heartfelt!

The Olive Tree is an engrossing tale that reminds us that life is often a messy journey complete with smiles, tears, happiness, and heartbreak.

It is set on the idyllic island of Cyprus and takes us into the lives of two main families who on the surface seem to have it all, great relationships, beautiful houses, and good kids, but over the course of one hot summer marriages will be tested, secrets will be revealed, love will be found, love will be lost, and lives will be changed forever.

The prose is expressive, sincere, and smooth. The characters are charming, multi-layered, and alluring. And the plot is a wonderful, contemporary mix of life, love, coming-of-age, humour, family dynamics, deception, and mystery that starts in the present, takes you back 10-years in the past, and finishes when the past and present collides.

There are only a few authors that no matter the theme or size of the book their stories are always filled with magical characters I can't get enough of and stories that are so atmospheric and vivid I'm entertained, enthralled and swept away and Lucinda Riley is one of them. She has the incredible ability to take her innate knowledge of all the psychological and emotional entanglements found in nuclear families and weave them into a story you can't put down. I absolutely loved this book and will now try my hardest to patiently await her next release.

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

All my reviews can be found on my blog at http://what's better than books.
Profile Image for Sara Bow.
195 reviews982 followers
May 20, 2018
War für mich bisher das schwächste Buch von Lucinda. Konnte mich leider nicht begeistern :-/
Profile Image for Maria Olga Lectoraapasionada.
307 reviews102 followers
February 25, 2021
Atrapante, tierna, emotiva y muy conmovedora fue esta lectura, lo que comienza con unas felices vacaciones de verano del 2006 acaban siendo unas vacaciones de duras verdades que estaban muy escondidas.

Relatado perfectamente como siempre lo hace Lucinda, no se olvida de ningún detalle y no deja ni un cabo suelto, por cierto las escenas de los peques son encantadoras y llenas de dulzura. Todos los personajes están ahí por algo, poco a poco toda se va hilando perfectamente y todos y cada uno de ellos son necesarios.

Mi personaje favorito de esta novela fue Alex, un jovencito de 13 años, muy maduro para su edad, además es un niño superdotado y muy muy sensible, es imposible no encariñarse con él.

Alex tiene por costumbre escribir un diario, ese diario está lleno de emociones, escribe lo que siente y lo que piensa sin miedo a que nadie le diga nada, relatado exquisitamente y muy inteligentemente, utiliza mucho el sarcasmo y la ironía, me hizo reír en muchas ocasiones por las comparaciones que hace y otras veces me dejo con el corazón en un puño.

Me enamore de Alex nada más comenzar este libro, Alex es especial, es de esas personas que ven las cosas donde otros no lo ven.

Esta historia está llena de historias, se hacen algún guiños a algún que otro libro, como por ejemplo: "Lejos del mundanal ruido" y "Peter Pan".

Coldplay aparece como banda sonora en un momento del libro.

Para mí Lucinda escribiendo roza la perfección, porque si bien un libro hay que saberle escribir bien, que ella lo hace divinamente, además tienes que saber llegar al lector y esta mujer lo consigue, llega al lector muy fuertemente, por lo menos conmigo lo consigue siempre.

Son de estas novelas que es imposible no sentir, no emocionarse y que me hizo meterme de lleno en sus vidas como un personaje más del libro.

Posdata: Pero nunca olvidéis que la historia que cuenta un libro no siempre es igual.

Extractos del libro:

La vida es un compromiso, la madurez nos enseña eso.

A la tristeza le gusta tener compañía.

La vida es como una sucesión de fichas de dominó cayendo una tras otra, todo está conectado.

La gente dice que puedes deshacerte del pasado, pero no es cierto, porque forma parte de quien eres y de en quién te convertirás.

No puedes forzar algo que no está.
Profile Image for Clara.
33 reviews37 followers
August 13, 2018
Bailing on page 462 of 575 in my edition.

I’m a big big big fan of Riley’s The Seven Sisters series, so I’m extremely disappointed that this is my first experience with one of her standalones. I've read mixed reviews and some note that this might be one of Riley's weakest, so I do very hope that's the case.

I really could’ve done without another book full of toxic masculinity and stereotypical characters. Apart from the fact that this story is predictable on every level and shouldn’t be almost 600 pages long, I just couldn’t take the characters anymore. I didn’t need a 40 something year-old man being absurdly obsessed with and jealous about the relationship his current wife had when she was 15 (!!!), making her feel obliged to justify herself to him in the process. Every man in this book feels authorized to comment on the actions of women as if these only concern them. I didn’t need the men in this book defining their wives’ worth first as wives, then as mothers, and last of all, as women. I also didn’t need female characters like Jules blaming themselves for not having been good enough wives after episodes of insanely immature and irresponsible behavior on behalf of their husbands. I didn’t need an insufferable 13 year-old narrator displaying misogynistic traits who felt compelled to imagine a future in which he fully controls his current love interest’s actions. God forbid she look at another man. A narrator who later, by the way, enters the very delicate territory of homophobia. I also didn’t need so many men apologizing to each other for having stepped on their territory, and by territory, I mean their wives.

For the record, this novel does not seem to intend to denounce these types of behaviors, which are not OK at all.

The fact that all the men and all the women abide by these dynamics throughout the whole novel makes the characters feel flat and therefore, extremely uninteresting. A good story about past love and secrets can work just as well without the need to incorporate such toxic masculine discourses. I just couldn’t finish getting through this one.
Profile Image for Justina Neliubšienė.
203 reviews30 followers
August 31, 2022
Ši knyga tikrai puikiai tinkama skaityti vasaros metu. Graži, jauki, lengva, gal kiek per daug mano akims ištemta ir vietomis banaloka. Labai myliu Liucindos Riley knygas, bet ši mano manymu viena iš silpnesnių jos knygų. 3,5 ⭐
Profile Image for Emma Crowley.
833 reviews120 followers
July 16, 2016
Lucinda Riley is my absolute favourite author alongside Lesley Pearse. I have loved everything she has written since her first book Hothouse Flower and each subsequent book has been brilliant and has showcased the incredible writing talents that Lucinda has. I've never reviewed a book by Lucinda before I don't know why but given the opportunity to do so I jumped at the chance with this new book The Olive Tree. Lucinda is in the middle of writing her Seven Sisters series so for a second book within a year to be published is a real treat for her legions of fans and keeps us going while we await publication of The Shadow Sister in November.

This is the first time that Lucinda has stepped away from books with a big sweeping historical background or one hundred year time span (I adore these kind of books even more so when they are written by Lucinda) and instead focuses on a family holiday over one ho , long summer in Cyprus staying in a house our main female protagonist Helena has inherited from her godfather Angus. Lucinda mentions in the acknowledgements that this was a book that she first started writing 10 years ago while on a family holiday and then she left it but last year discovered a draft in her desk and decided to rework it. This was a brave step for the author to do as she has become synonymous for her historical fiction and the current series she is working on. When I pick up a book by Lucinda Riley I normally know what to expect and get swept away in the world and the cast of characters she has created. I'll be honest I was apprehensive that I wouldn't enjoy this book as much simply because it didn't have the historical element and I wasn't sure how she would approach a more modern story. Admittedly it took me a while to settle into the story as I kept looking for the flashbacks to the past entwined with solving the mystery in the present but then I began to ease into the story and really this is just as good as anything Lucinda has written before.

The Olive Tree is quite hefty at nearly 600 pages but I did read it in two sittings so absorbed did I become in the story. For once I really did feel as if I was transported from windswept Ireland to the warm, humid, languid, restless days on the island of Cyprus in the house called Pandora clearly named after the Greek legend. As Helena and her family arrive for their extended summer holiday will Pandora's box open and spill forth secrets that Helena has kept to herself for so many years for fear of causing so much upset and upheaval or will the box remain closed? Well it wouldn't have been much of a story if the lies and secrets didn't come to the surface but it is the manner in which they do so that makes this book a deeply satisfying read. Tantalising hints are dropped throughout, nothing is ever rushed as Lucinda gives her readers an overall view of the holiday and background to the characters and thoughts and actions. There are numerous characters to introduce and initially I felt there were too many for the reader to focus on but really they soon all become important players with something to add no matter how major or minor.

The book opens in the present day as Alex returns to the Pandora after last visiting over ten years ago for what proved to be an eventful life changing summer. Alex is alone at the house but more people are due to arrive. The author sets up the story nicely describing the house itself and the surrounding countryside and gives us time to get to know Alex. You feel another momentous event is about to happen but you have no idea as to what it could be. As Alex spends the night alone he retreats to the broom cupboard sized room that he called his own during that fateful summer and here he discovers the diary he kept during that time. The diary may have languished on a shelf for ten years but once Alex starts reading it is like the years slipped away and he is back there present in that fateful summer when revelations changed everything he believed to be true.

Lucinda then takes us back to the summer of 2006 as Helena and her family arrive on the island. Helena had spent some time there with her godfather Angus but has not returned for many years. She begins to wonder despite inheriting the house is there a reason why now at this point in time everyone is gathering? Will things she has kept to herself come to light, things that will devastate those who hear what Helena has kept close to her chest for so many years? Helena was a likeable character and I thought she was a wonderful mother to Alex (who is on the cusp of becoming a teenager) as well as her two children by husband William – Immy (5) and Fred (3). She did everything for everybody else, no didn't ever enter into her vocabulary and she welcomed the many visitors to the house maybe not with open arms but with some acceptance. I wouldn't have wanted my husbands best friends family foisted on me when I am on my own personal family holiday. Sacha, Julie and their children Rupes and Viola weren't the nicest of people and I wondered were they token characters we were supposed to dislike from the outset but as I have mentioned every character needs to be kept an eye on. Even though outside appearances suggest Helena is happy with her life there was something eating away at her on the inside and the reappearance of old flame Alexis sets her mind racing even more. I have to say that Immy simply stole every scene she was in and even though she was five she had a wise yet very funny side to her that had me chuckling away to myself throughout the book. I couldn't wait to read what she would come out with next. As for Alex he seemed mysterious and I wondered what he could be hiding?

What really sets this book apart from anything else out there at the moment is Alex's diary. Entries are slotted throughout almost after each chapter and my god the writing was just amazing. I even got my phone out and took a picture of a few lines that really struck a chord with me. Even though Alex is only just entering the teenage stage of his life he has been assessed as gifted and it comes across in the writing. Everything he was witnessing, observing, feeling and partaking in was written down in such a sharp way. We really got inside Alex's head and understood his views on everything that was unfolding and it gave a really different slant to the entire story. One of the main questions Alex has amongst all the confusion flashing through his brain not to mention having to deal with the intolerable Rupes or the fact that his step sister Chloe is making an appearance is the fact that he has never known who is biological dad is. Alex feels he is inching ever closer to the truth and now is the time when Helena can't keep things secret any more. I thought this was going to be all run of the mill and turn into a bit of a cliché but Lucinda proved she is the master of suspense and twists and turns and not revealing things immediately as I thought I had it all sussed out early on. I was afraid the reveal would come to soon and where could the book possibly go then but no I couldn't have been more wrong and the truth left me open mouthed but then annoyed at the repercussions for others. I have to say Alex was my favourite character and usually it's more the female characters I identify more easily with so it's testament to the fantastic, skilful writing of the author that she made me feel every bit of Alex's pain and the unjustness of what he was discovering.

I was worried The Olive Tree was simply going to be the usual story of what happens when a family goes on holiday similar to that of books I had read last year by Fanny Blake and Catherine Alliott. They were only OK reads but Lucinda Riley wrote a book with such depth and substance tackling so many issues and dealing with them in a sensitive yet enthralling way so much so that towards the end I couldn't turn the pages quick enough in order to discover the final outcome. This story goes beyond a family holiday merely it is the trigger which brings characters and situations together and presents them with no other option but to confront what they have been internally battling and somehow deal with the repercussions. Past and present do collide but at some stage this needed to happen as keeping things locked away inside will just cause more hurt and pain for all involved.

This book proved to be a real treasure and I took so much from it and I am glad that I did as I would have been bitterly disappointed if this didn't live up to the remarkable back catalogue of books that I have always loved and which made Lucinda a favourite author of mine. Lucinda had already proven she can do historical fiction to an excellent standard but now she has shown more contemporary novels are quite clearly her forte too. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The Olive Tree to buy and read this summer. Roll on November for the next installment in the Seven Sisters as I just can't get enough of the writing from Lucinda.
Profile Image for Nona.
352 reviews32 followers
September 5, 2018
I don't understand how this book has this rating on Goodreads. I mean... it's a soap opera. One more generation and we would have talked "The Young and the Restless". I'm not one to leave books aside once I've started them - call it Aries persistency - but this was one of the few books that made me cringe every step of the way. My definition for this genre is "frustrated housewife who never gets any".

I don't even know where to start. Was there anything I liked? I'm really struggling to find something. I could have said the setting, but no, because Pandora and its location are barely described, so I didn't even get to be immersed into the atmosphere. And too bad, because I love a good location book, but this one was far from making me want to buy the first ticket to Cyprus.

Moving on to the plot, it's a very simple one. No one knows who their real father is, apparently, and it takes a summer vacation by the sea to make them discover their genealogy. Sprinkle a little drama - because apparently people are not allowed to keep secrets - plus a little pointless jealousy, like in all "good" soap operas, and you have a garbage book that's best fitted for middle-aged divorcees who will never find love again and drown their sorrow in red wine.

The characters are so stereotypical that I just wanted to burn them with the fire of a thousand suns. Of course Helena is beautiful and amazing in each and every way, but of course, she gets condemned by everyone for keeping a secret that bears no relevance to her family. Of course, her son is an asshole who sounds 13 even in his 2os. Of course, the same mistakes are repeated over and over again, because no one learns from their mistakes. And in all that, the most interesting characters are left aside to make room for the boring ones.

And above all, this book is purely misogynistic. Why did the author feel the need to give her male characters permission to treat their women like that? All the male characters are judgemental creeps, including Alex. It feels like the women don't have the right to have a life outside of their family. "Oh, you had sex with another man before you were my wife/my mother? You depraved whore!"

I'm not even going to go into the writing style... actually, I will. Endless dialog. Pointless dialog. Chats that have nothing to do with the story progression and don't help build up the characters. There's absolutely no narrative depth, it's like the writer didn't want to show her skills. If she has them. This feels like a book written by a 15-year old.

Ok, now I'm done. Initially, I wanted to give this book 2 stars, but nope. Not even that. It's bad. Not even Nicholas Sparks bad. Not even Sandra Brown bad. Just bad.
Profile Image for Lidia.
315 reviews94 followers
Shelved as 'no-eres-tu-soy-yo'
February 17, 2020
Lo empecé a leer para el club de lectura de La sociedad literaria pero, leídas 100 páginas no he podido con él. Sentía que la escritora quería llevarme por donde ella quería, no sus protagonistas. Y puede que haya ciertos clichés que simplemente ya no pueda dejar pasar.
Una pena, porque quería que me gustara...
Profile Image for Anca Adriana Rucareanu.
286 reviews43 followers
September 6, 2018
Secretul Helenei este cartea care te atrage ca un magnet. Coperta este absolut fermecătoare și vinovată! Am iertat-o pentru căderea mea în păcat pentru că am găsit în spatele ei o poveste care m-a fermecat. Nu este o carte extrem de complicată, ba chiar ușor previzibilă până la un punct, dar, fiind un roman de atmosferă, reușește să te atragă în mirajul poveștii, în mijlocul plantațiilor viticole din însoritul Cipru. ehe, de ar fi fost numai lapte și miere prin carte, aproape aș fi putut să o compar cu o vacanță, una din aia care intră pe furiș la suflet și îți aduce în albumul de neuitat numai amintiri bune de păstrat.

Profile Image for Cititor Necunoscut.
454 reviews81 followers
January 6, 2019
Titlul m-a dus cu gandul la ceva mult mai misterios si asta a fost motivul pentru care i-am dat patru stelute. Este o carte draguta, cu o intriga alambicata, cu multe personaje, dar cu un final prea explicit.
Profile Image for Nana .
1,201 reviews36 followers
September 28, 2020
Es lo primero que leo de la autora y me ha gustado mucho, sin duda quiero leer mas de ella, sobre todo la serie de "las siete hermanas" que ya leí su sinopsis y me intereso mucho.

Bueno ahora si con mi opinión y quiero decir que me ha parecido una historia sencilla pero bien real y bonita, la autora no recurre demasiado al drama desagradable o sin sentido y eso que se encuentra en ese género, pero la forma en que esta narrado, ambientado y junto con esos personajes tan maravillosos se ha convertido en una lectura que disfrute de principio a fin.

La novela comienza con Alex hijo mayor de Helena quien después de diez años regresa a Pandora para organizar una reunión en la que mas delante de unirá su familia, mientras espera a que lleguen los demás encuentra su diario aquel que escribió cuando el y su familia pasaron ese verano en la casa de Pandora, y así empieza a recordar y a contarnos su capítulos en primera persona cosa que fue increíble porque Alex fue el personaje que mas ame, ese niño de 13 años con un coeficiente intelectual superior a su edad, que como ya empieza a madurar desea conocer quien es su padre, es obvio por el titulo de lo que mas trata la historia, ese secreto que Helena se guarda para si misma, sin contárselo a nadie, quien es el padre de Alex y porque oculta tanto la verdad. También esta narrado desde el Pov de ella pero en tercera persona e incluso algunos pocos capítulos de William su marido.

Hay muchos personajes secundarios, que en algún momento también forman parte muy importante con su propia pequeña sub trama que le da un muy buen ritmo a la historia sin que en ningún momento se me hiciera aburrida a pesar de que es un libro de mas de 500 paginas, cuando por fin se descubre el secreto puedo decir que ni idea de así fuera puesto que la autora no da ninguna pista, fue muy impactante.

En conclusión un gran descubrimiento con el libro, la autora y con una historia familiar de secretos, drama, pero sobre todo con ese amor familiar que es el lazo mas fuerte que existe y con un final que aunque fue muy bello me supo a poco ya que disfrute tanto de este libro que quería saber mas de estos personajes, sobre todo de Alex de adulto.
Profile Image for Anja Karenjina.
282 reviews159 followers
June 29, 2020
,,Napredujemo punom parom ka budućnosti, a onda se voz povremeno zaustavlja na lepim stanicama. Pa nam je dozvoljeno da siđemo i naručimo šolju čaja. U tvom slučaju, kriglu piva. I onda sedimo i pijemo ga neko vreme, gledamo divan predeo i osećamo se spokojno i zadovoljno. Mislim da su to trenuci koje većnina ljudskih bića može da opiše kao 'sreću'. A onda, naravno, moramo da se vratimo u voz i nastavimo putovanje. Ali nikada ne zaboravimo one trenutke čiste sreće. I oni će nam dati snage da se izborimo s budućnosšću: vera da će se ponoviti. I hoće, naravno.''
Profile Image for Serena Miles.
1,140 reviews40 followers
February 17, 2020
segundo libro que he leído de esta autora y segundo libro que he disfrutado mucho.
El secreto de Helena ha sido una lectura llena de incognitas, con una trama que transcurre en Chipre. Todos los personajes están bien escritos, y me han encantado las subtramas, pero al acabar la lectura me he quedado con la sensación de que la autora podría haber explotado mucho mas la trama y ponernos a todos mas en tensión.
225 reviews36 followers
August 17, 2022
Simpaticno, toplo, zanimljivo, uz likove o kojima bi voljela citati i dalje, ovaj me roman bas zabavio. I odlicno mi je sto se Riley nije drzala samo ljubavne price vec i obiteljske, one malo ozbiljnije.
Profile Image for Jennifer SK.
618 reviews17 followers
October 3, 2022
*Pandora’s Secret*

It all started in Cyprus for Helena, as a teenager she fell in love for the first time and Helena used to have holidays there then it all stopped until her Godfather passes and leaves her his house affectionately named “Pandora” in his will. It has been 24 years since she was last there
and lot has happened within that timeframe.

Presently she is happily married to William and he has always felt that she has kept a part of her life from him which he finds frustrating yet endearing at the same time. Little does he know Helena has secrets closely linked to Cyprus.

Her son from a previous relationship Alex has never known the identity of his father and neither does her husband. Between them they also have a son and a daughter, Helena goes ahead to Cyprus with Alex and little by little secrets are starting to unfold.

Alex is a boy of rare high intelligence at 13 he is clever and perceptive beyond his years, this becomes more apparent later on in the book. Things change when William’s friend Sacha and his family are due to be staying with them as Helena with the help of a certain someone get the dilapidated house into a liveable condition.

Is ‘Pandora’ just a place of tranquility and beauty or will it reveal the uncomfortable secrets that Helena is desperate to keep, secrets that could change their lives and there is an Olive Tree that holds a secret of its own.

I savoured this book as I wanted it to last, I added the audiobook and was touched as Lucinda Riley narrated it with her son Harry Whittaker. It made it a bit more emotional for me as a fan of her work and she passed last year. There is also a short interview between them at the end.
Profile Image for Sol.
901 reviews210 followers
April 6, 2022
Me encanto!!! Un libro divino!!
Es es tercer libro que leo de la autora y sin lugar a dudas mi favorito.
Una historia con un protagonista indiscutible y adorable, acompañado de personajes tan adorables como el protagonista y otros no tanto pero que complementan una historia super entretenida, ágil, tierna, de esas que se leen rapidísimo y con un enganche absoluto, sumado a que todo ocurre en Chipre a orillas del Mediterráneo, entre olivos y viñedos, no queda otra mas que querer descubrir cual es el secreto que tiene Helena.
Un libros de esos que te dejan con una buena sensación en el cuerpo y una sonrisa en la cara, super recomendable para leer entre lecturas densas y descansar pasando un muy buen momento.
Profile Image for Aleksandra.
189 reviews31 followers
December 11, 2019
Jedan malo drugačiji Lusindin roman, moderna je to porodična priča iako ipak krije tajne iz prošlosti koje se moraju otkriti. Inteligentno duhovit i emotivan roman, ali bez patetike. Zbog svoje mediteranske atmosfere odličan je za čitanje na ljetovanju ali nemojte da vas to zavara. Nikako nije riječ o plitkom štivu za plažu. Preporuka čak za i za one koji nisu ljubitelji ove autorice.
Profile Image for Moni.
158 reviews50 followers
June 18, 2019
Una novela bien escrita, donde vamos descubriendo poco a poco los secretos de Helena respecto de su pasado. A ratos me ha parecido que alargaba la historia demasiado, pero es entretenida y se lee sola. Así que ha cumplido su función.
Profile Image for Natalia.
115 reviews47 followers
March 6, 2023
Aún recuerdo el día, igual que todos, que entré a mis redes sociales, para encontrarme con la noticia del fallecimiento de Lucinda Riley el 2021. No la conocí en persona, pero sentí pena y hasta un poco de temor, de qué pasaría con su obra, más que recién estaba comenzando a juntar la saga de “Las siete hermanas”. Por lo que este es el primer libro que leo desde aquella noticia.

Dicen que los que se alojan en Pandora se enamoran.
Pandora, Grecia, las costas de Chipre, donde conoceremos la historia de Helena, la bella Helena, que después de veinticuatro años, vuelve al lugar donde pasó un mágico verano, esta vez con su marido e hijos. Pero no es solo la odisea de Helena, sino también la de su hijo Alex, quien, a sus trece años, vive la compleja etapa de la adolescencia y al igual que el famoso mito de la caja, aquel lugar esconde más de algún secreto que lucha por salir…

Simplemente lo amé. Se ha convertido en uno de mis favoritos de la autora. Con cada página que pasaba, llegaba hasta a sentir el sonido de las olas del mar, queriendo estar ahí, en Chipre y recorrer Grecia.
La mayor distinción que le doy a este libro es sin duda, su propia trama. Usualmente, las novelas de Lucinda Riley se dividen en dos arcos argumentales, la trama pasada y la del presente, donde muchas veces terminamos por encantarnos más por un lado que por el otro, o donde uno tiene más peso que el otro. Me gustó mucho descubrir que aquí no pasa lo mismo. Es cierto que la novela comienza con un vistazo del futuro, pero diría, a mi punto de vista, que esto se utiliza más como un flashforward y la verdad es que funciona muy bien para adentrarnos en la trama y saber qué ocurrirá. Al mismo tiempo, otro dato que me parece curioso es que la sinopsis nos da a entender que esta es una novela romántica y lo es en parte, pero también me pareció una novela de suspenso, con la sensación de que la tranquilidad era pasajera y que, en el momento menos pensado, todo haría ebullición. Obviamente, no les diré si pasa o no.
En cuanto a la construcción de la historia y personajes, definitivamente la recomiendo, porque en parte recuerda a una obra teatral, cuyos personajes a simple vista, se ve que tienen una función concreta que interpretar, pero el talento de Lucinda hace que nos sorprendamos para bien con varios de ellos, al salirse del molde. En especial, destaco a Chloe y Jules, por la evolución que tienen.

Y en cuanto a uno de los puntos menos fuertes, fue el personaje de Helena. Es cierto que ya no vivimos en una época donde los personajes protagónicos tienen que ser siempre moralmente correctos y ninguno lo es, a excepción de los más pequeños. Pero no es que particularmente el personaje de Helena sea malo, sino que me pareció excesivamente perfecto o “demasiado buena” para algunas cosas, como el querer ser siempre intachable y tener todo bajo control, tapando las cosas. Su tendencia a ser una mujer reservada y cerrada me llegó a agotar a veces. Es cierto que sus motivos están más que justificados según como se miren, por lo mismo, no la considero un personaje del todo detestable (ya que en muchas partes su cariño y afecto son sinceros), sino una mujer que, al igual que su contraparte mitológica, su belleza y encanto es más una maldición que bendición.
Pero si hubo alguien a quién pensé que iba a detestar y terminé queriendo, fue al pequeño Alex. Me pareció un chico muy dulce bajo esa capa de arrogancia que tienen todos los adolescentes a esa edad, ya que, como todos los niños, quiere que su familia esté bien y poder conectar con ellos de verdad, debido a que su coeficiente intelectual es superior al promedio y eso también lo hace ser un niño diferente. Las anotaciones de su diario fueron muy divertidas y en parte, me recordaron a las que yo hice en mi propio diario a esa edad.

Me alegra tanto de volver a leer Lucinda Riley y ahora que no está, es cuando más hay que disfrutar de su obra para recordarla. Definitivamente, cinco estrellas.
Profile Image for Patrizia.
802 reviews14 followers
June 20, 2016
Mmmhhh für mich der schwächste Roman von Riley
Als erstes muss ich sagen, dass ich ein riesen Riley Fan bin und bis jetzt jedes Buch gelesen, nein sogar verschlungen habe. Leider war es bei diesem Buch nicht so. An was es lag !??
Diese Story ist extrem kinderlastig, die Tagebucheinträge von Alex sind zwar süss und eine nette Idee aber ich vermisste die Geschichte in der Geschichte. Es ging mir zu viel um Pommes, Mami hier und Mami da ...Die bekannte Riley-Tragik fehlte irgendwie. Die Geschichte itself konnte mich nicht richtig faszinieren aber ich bin überzeugt, dass das nächste Buch wieder sehr gut wird ... es kann ja nicht jedes Buch ein Knaller sein, daher trotzdem 3 Sterne.
Profile Image for Laura.
334 reviews67 followers
February 28, 2017
Ein eher untypisches Buch für mich, aber erstens hat mich das Cover total angesprochen und ich wollte endlich mal ein Buch von Lucinda Riley lesen. Die Geschichte wird aus verschiedenen Perspektiven erzählt, man liest viel aus der Sicht des Sohnes, der zwar manchmal recht altklug erscheint, aber eben doch viele kindliche Züge hat. Anfangs hatte ich Schwierigkeiten die vielen Personen auseinander zu halten, das wurde im Laufe der Story ein wenig besser. Das Geheimnis, das im Buchtitel versprochen wird, wird tatsächlich aufgelöst, wobei ich anfangs auf einer total falschen Spur war. Das Buch ist insgesamt recht gut, ich würde es aber eher als leichte Strand- und Sommerlektüre empfehlen.
Profile Image for Fina Andres garcia.
1,018 reviews29 followers
April 25, 2019
Una maravilla de historia.
Tengo que decir que Lucinda Riley sigue sorprendiéndome, a pesar de estar escrita hace diez años según comenta ella, es una historia que te atrapa enseguida, tenemos unos personajes muy reales y humanos, con sus defectos, con sus problemas y muchos secretos. Secretos que en mayor o menor medida afectan a todos. Me ha gustado mucho la forma en que está contada, transcurre en Pandora, una casa antigua situada en un pueblo de Chipre, entre viñedos y olivos y ha sido muy fácil imaginarlo todo, era como estar viéndolos entrando y saliendo, en la piscina, en la playa, etc..
Al principio tenemos a Álex que en 2016 llega a Pandora y al encontrar su viejo diario comienza a recordar lo que ocurrió 10 años atrás, en aquel verano y esta contado en primera persona, son unos meses de descubrimientos, situaciones dolorosas, un primer amor, recuerdos del pasado e incluso aventuras. Me ha encantado su visión de las cosas, es un niño superdotado, pero a pesar de ello, no deja de ser un niño y tener 13 años, maduro para algunas cosas, pero para otras se ve su inocencia, su sarcasmo y tiene sentido del humor.
Luego los capítulos están contados en tercera persona y de forma alternativa con el diario de Alex, se van sucediendo así hasta el final, cuando regresa a la actualidad de nuevo y a través de sus memorias nos cuenta lo ocurrido en estos últimos 10 años a todos los familiares y amigos incluido él.
Creo que está muy bien documentada y ambientada, los lugares de ensueño, las costumbres, las leyendas y la mitología.
Helena es un personaje entrañable, sufre mucho, arrastra muchos remordimientos y para mí es una víctima de todo, desde niña. Al igual que ella, está bien que Alex pase por lo mismo, que entienda que en ocasiones decir la verdad no es nada fácil y sus consecuencias. Los personajes secundarios todos entrañable Williams, se nota su gran amor por Helena y sus hijos, tiene temperamento y se enfada, pero es comprensivo y justo, también me han sorprendido Alexis y Jules, demuestran su gran corazón y ayudan en todo lo que pueden, aunque ella en alguna ocasión me sacaba de mis casillas.
No se si será una nueva saga familiar, pero me encantaría, aunque todo queda muy bien cerrado y todo solucionado, quedo con ganas de saber de muchos de los personajes como Chloe o Michelle.
He visto algunas cosas predecibles y otras me han sorprendido, pero en general, creo que es una historia imperdible, que te remueve, te hace pensar y soñar. Ha sido de lo mejor que he leído en lo que llevamos de año. Lo recomiendo mucho.
Profile Image for Emerson.
Author 1 book13 followers
March 31, 2021
3.5 stars out of 5

A hubby bought book, but unfortunately, not up to his usual standards.
To be fair, Lucinda Riley has been popping up on my radar for some time now, so when The Olive Tree was gifted to me at Christmas I was super excited to jump straight in.
First, the good.
Alex is a 13yr old boy with a highly functioning brain that is far too advanced for his years, but he still has the same emotional outlook on life that you would expect from a teenage boy.
And I absolutely loved him.
Lucinda Riley has created such a relatable, likable, loveable, and sometimes downright funny character in Alex that I could have read the entire book from his viewpoint – even though it was written in diary form – and happily given the book five stars.
But she didn’t.
The main character, Helena, fell flat as a cheesecake dropped from a penthouse balcony for me, as did pretty much all of the other characters, with the slight exception of Sadie. But that’s OK, because I get it. I get that Helena is supposed to be this perfectly heavenly creature on the outside, whilst enduring the guilt trip from hell on the inside. I get her motivations and her truckload of anxiety, and I certainly get her desperate need to protect all those that she loves. But her self-loathing was just too much to take, and if she gracefully glided from one more room being perfectly perfect and stunningly beautiful, I may very well have thrown up.
All I wanted was for Helena to totally lose her shit – just one time – go bat-shit crazy on the whole lot em – throw a few ‘F’ bombs in there and get off her face on all the Champagne lying around, because any sane person in her situation would. But she didn’t. She just floated from the kitchen to the terrace to the pool to the garden in angelic perfection, smiling at everyone, sucking up their misplaced anger like a sponge, and believing everything was her fault.
And it pissed me off!
Alex, on the other hand, actually was perfect. I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed his ‘voice’, even towards the end of the book when he was no longer a teen, but an early-twenty-something. If not for Alex this would have been a very drab read indeed. But because of Alex, I know that Ms Riley is a great writer, and because of Alex I will pursue Ms. Riley’s other books and give them a fair chance.
Perhaps The Olive Tree should be re-titled Because of Alex?
Just a thought.
Profile Image for Mareli Thalwitzer.
485 reviews28 followers
October 25, 2017
3.5 Stars. One reader described this book as fluff, but decent fluff. LOL!! That is exactly what The Olive Tree was.

I have a couple of friends who absolutely love Lucinda Riley. I have never tried any of her books and at our last Book Club, they convinced me to take one. I picked this one. Finished it in 3 days (yes I do work and have a life, it just reads sooooo easy)

Nothing memorable here, it was just another fluffy story. But the characters were well developed, especially Alex and I do love Lucinda Riley's writing style. She's got a beautiful play with words. Roughly everything can be summed up on page 570 (Yes! You can use this one as a doorstop as well!):

"My ten years' worth of diary is merely a snapshot of small lives lived in a vast universe. But they are our lives, and our problems are big to us. And if they weren't then I doubt humanity would still be around, because, as my mother so wisely said to me - we have been granted the innate gift of hope."
Profile Image for Iustina Dinulescu.
183 reviews51 followers
July 26, 2018
„Așadar, ce-am învățat în această vacanță?
Că există diverse feluri de iubire și că o întâlnești în toate formele și chipurile.
O poți câștiga, dar nu plăti.
O poți dărui, dar niciodată cumpăra.
Iar, odată ce-ți pătrunde în suflet, acolo rămâne.”

Secretele nu au făcut bine nimănui, niciodată. Cei care le păstrează sunt măcinați de ele, iar cei care până la urmă le află sunt de cele mai multe ori șocați. Totul se schimbă atunci când se secretele nu mai sunt…secrete. Trecutul, cu greșelile lui cu tot, e o umbră care ne însoțește pretutindeni. Un alt eu, din alte timpuri, de care nu ne-am lepădat niciodată. Ce am făcut în trecut ne definește și ne influențează atât prezentul, cât și viitorul. Aproape niciodată nu găsim momentul potrivit pentru a dezvălui un secret care știi sigur că ar schimba totul. Pentru că nu există momentul potrivit. Adevărul este dureros de cele mai multe ori, însă e singura cale de urmat. Până la urmă toate drumurile duc acolo, direct sau indirect, mai devreme sau mai târziu.
Una peste alta a fost o poveste drăguță, dar în cazul meu a fost ultima încercare cu autoarea. Probabil că dacă nu m-ar fi atras atât de mult coperta cărții nu i-aș mai fi acordat nici măcar această a doua șansă. Nu e convingătoare. Poveștile ei au potențial, însă le lipsește ceva-ul acela care face diferența între o operă mediocră și una foarte bună.

Recenzia completa: http://momenteinviata.ro/secretul-hel...
Profile Image for Monica Hills.
821 reviews21 followers
April 17, 2018
An excellent contemporary fiction novel set in Cyprus. The setting was amazing and I felt like I could feel the heat and see the amazing views. What was interesting was the book was told from two different view points. One was from Helena, the ex ballet dancer who has brought her family to her childhood vacation home in Cyprus that she has just inherited from her god father. The other point of view is her son Alex who desperately wants to know who is biological dad is even though he has a step father and two step siblings. To complicate matters their family friends are coming to stay with them and Alex can't stand their son who is only 4 months older than him. An excellent, heart touching novel.
Profile Image for Moony (Captain Mischief) MeowPoff.
1,441 reviews124 followers
February 7, 2018
1/5 stars

I don't know how to review this, some places it catches me and some places it just felt like...a long text of blah. I did not feel as much as i did in those other Lucinda Riley books i have read and i got the vibe that i had read this before somewhere. Somethings in the books was alike a book I've read before, and it annoyed me to the bone. It took time to finish this and well, i'm glad i finished it but i hopes it was more to the story than...well, what it showed me. Sadly it was not much happening and i do like a real kind of book, but it was boring - when the story raised itself it came down too quickly and it didn't work to save itself for me.
Profile Image for Linda K. Melzer.
129 reviews14 followers
July 18, 2016
A beautiful, brilliant novel.

A very satisfying read. Beautifully written with wonderful fully fleshed out characters. There are several storylines: love, sadness, deceit, suspense. All characters were woven into very satisfying conclusions. No loose ends, although I would have loved for the story to have gone on and on. I highly recommend this novel!
Profile Image for Helena Wildsmith.
303 reviews6 followers
January 20, 2018
This was a proper family saga and I really enjoyed it, even though the plot took a few tangents that are arguably pointless. The story kept me guessing and there were times, especially at the end, when I struggled to put it down. A few of the characters seemed a bit too good to be true but overall I enjoyed it and will look for more books by this author.
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