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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,130 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
First came the sin.  Then the lies.

He was handsome, charming, irresistable, and an eighteen-year-old lady-killer, her uncle Cliff's stepson, Ted.  But in one terrible night he would shatter the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Dawes and nearly destroy her family.  Years afterward, Charlotte would remember that night with fear and loathing, with pain that could be banish
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 6th 1998 by Dell (first published January 1st 1997)
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Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
When Charlotte Dawes is raped by her cousin-by-marriage, Ted at 14, her parents are furious. Charlotte becomes pregnant, and as she recovers from a ruptured tubal pregnancy both parents are at her bedside. Meanwhile, Ted continues assaulting women until he is caught and indicted. He then escapes from prison into the night. Eight years later, Charlotte is working in Manhattan and despairs of forming a relationship with a man, until she meets Roger Heywood who coaxes her out of her traumatic fear ...more
Bill and Cliff Dawes were brothers who had just closed their family's textile plant.
Bill met his wife Elena on a trip to Europe when he was 22. Elena was 20 and an orphan who had been left plenty of money. Their housekeeper was Emmabrown and had been with the boys from the time they were babies. Bill and Elena had a 14 yr. old daughter, Charlotte. It seemed to her that the fought all the time.
Cliff was 38 and marrying Claudia who had an 18 yr old son, Ted. Claudia had hoped that Cliff could be
Aug 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this author's books. She deals with subjects that are a bit taboo but with sensitivity.

Back Cover Blurb:
He was handsome, charming, irresistible, and an eighteen year old lady-killer, her uncle Cliff's stepson Ted. But in one terrible afternoon he would shatter the life of fourteen year old Charlotte Dawes and nearly destroy her family. Years afterward, Charlotte would remember that day with fear and loathing, with pain that could be banished only by her work as a gifted architect,
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to other Belva Plain books I read, this one was a little lackluster for me. The story of a decaying small New England town mill town that harbors secrets is a common story plot and the first part of the book followed it adequately. Part two that takes place about 10 years later is pretty disconnected, but in the end fell into place.

The Dawes family has held their past secrets inside until finally Maria tells her daughter Charlotte she does not need to fear the return of someone who hur
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this and think it is different to her other stories, still worth reading.
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
A brilliant, accomplished family that had been New England town's chief benefactors, was ripped apart by a brutal crime that nearly destroyed them with shame. Charlotte Dawes was only fourteen when it happened. The terrifying ordeal would rob her of her childhood innocence and haunt her for the rest of her life. She was a gifted architect trying to build a new world for others as she conceals her own. The Dawes family, once factory owners and prime employers in the New England mill town, are now ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
Good, quick read. My heart ached for Charlotte and the burden she carried so long in her heart after her rape. I wish her parents had come together better and insisted she get couseling so that she was able to grow up and fall in love as she should have. I am so glad that she finally met a man who was patient and kind to her. I was shocked to discover Charlotte's father's secret and the burden he carried - I feel he should have gone to the police immediately though to tell what happened to Ted, ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This one had lots of different story lines, all centered around a fourteen year old girl who was raped by her step-cousin, and how that affected many people in years to come. It does have a surprise ending, so hang in there if you choose to read it (and don't turn to the back to see what happens!). The back cover says it all: "The only rock that sustains this family in their darkest hours is a woman whose own guilty secret has given her the power to ruin or resurrect the family to whom she owes ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novel, fiction
It's been several years since I last read a book by Belva Plain. I remember enjoying her books from years ago, however, Secrecy was disappointing. Part One was nothing if not predictable. The title is accurate. Every character lives with a secret. Unfortuantly, the characters are lack luster with a story line beyond belief. The secrets each character hides would have made for better life circumstances for all involved had the secrets been shared. Ah, but then there would have been no plot, and n ...more
Bev Walkling
A young girl is raped by her new step-cousin and the damage to her and all the members of her family has lingering effects that completely alter all of their lives as well as touching on the lives of others in their community. The book had some twists and turns that I didn't expect and showed just how important it is for survivors of sexual assault to be able to give voice to their story in order to recover.
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very dramatic book, I loved it! Enjoyed the characters and storyline. This is not a fluffy chick book; it is an intense romance/real life type of book. I finished it very quickly and was surprised by the ending.

When I first started reading this book, I know have read it before; but I must not have finished it because I didn't recognize the ending. Glad I finished it this time.
Carol Aselton Benoit
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I have read of Belva Plain's and it is another "can't put it down." Her books move fast, definitely are for women, but always have a twist around the corner that you never suspect. Can't wait to start another.
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my grandma introduced me to this author and i am glad she did. i am starting my third book by her and they are not the same which is nice, her story lines are well thought and well written. i have not been displeased.
Jul 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
A young girl is raped by her new step-brother and it affects her for the next decade in her relationship with men. Against the backdrop of a failed mill, her father's family business, and her mother's departure to live in Italy.
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Belva Plain has a strange way of writing in this book. I didn't really like the way she words things a lot of the time. I did care about the characters though, so that's why I continued to read it until I finished. I don't think that I will read another one of her books.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A novel based on a crisis that must be hidden away for years - and the toll it takes on young Charlotte and her extended family, and the redemption found when the truth is revealed. Attention-holding because of the subtle suspense threaded throughout.
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
I found this book while I was cleaning out my bedroom- I think a friend from high school lent or gave it to me and it never found its way back. I just remember that this book was very dramatic. Way too melodramatic for my tastes.
Jeanne Jenkins
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
This was a book of strugles for a lot of people because of the secrets that they held. As each secret was released, things changed for them. It is hard to read, but keep at it and I believe that you will enjoy it.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Slow, plodding...
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
First Belva Plain book I've read ... it wasn't horrible, but it certainly wasn't great. I will try another book by her, just to see if she can do better.
Becky Ford
Another solid novel by Belva Plain. While the twist wasn't altogether shocking, I still didn't see it coming. I really enjoyed this book.
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Always enjoy her books - was not prepared for the mystery - made it a more interesting read.
Mar 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
Nothing special. My first book read by this author and probably last. Boring, predictable plot.
Sandra Rupert
Amazing story. Am looking for more similar to this one.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked it. There was mystery to it but also a family dealing with a lot of heartache. It had a good ending.
Aug 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, romance
My aunt gave me this book ot read and as I got into it I realized that I had seen the movie:o) much better than the movie and I really ejnjoyed how she worked the plot into a happy ending.
Nancy Abram
I like all of Belva Plain's books but this was one of my favorite. She seems to always dwell of common problems that families have in a very interesting way.
Jul 18, 2013 added it
This is what you read when you run out of books on vacation and have to choose from the hotel's slim pickings at the book exchange.
Jane De vries
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is also a who done it. Read the whole thing to find out why.
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
This book was recommended to me by my Mother-in-Law. She just zoomed through it. I'm starting it today (7/6/12).

Ok, I finish the book last night and I really enjoyed it. Thanks Mom.
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Goodreads Librari...: Secrecy, Belva Plain - New Edition 2 13 Feb 02, 2014 04:44PM  
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Belva Plain was a best-selling American author of mainstream women's fiction. Her first novel, Evergreen (1978) topped the New York Times bestseller list for 41 weeks and was made into a TV miniseries. At her death, there were over 30 million copies of her twenty-plus novels in print in 22 languages.

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