Best Kept Secret
Author: Amy Hatvany
Review Copy Provided By Author via Sisterhood of the Traveling Book (Goodreads)
Cadence didn’t sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea.Her drinking snuck up on her – as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that’s left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year old son, Charlie.
It wasn’t always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all—a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist. But with the demise of her marriage, her carefully constructed life begins to spiral out of control. Suddenly she is all alone trying to juggle the demands of work and motherhood.
Logically, Cadence knows that she is drinking too much, and every day begins with renewed promises to herself that she will stop. But within a few hours, driven by something she doesn’t understand, she is reaching for the bottle – even when it means not playing with her son because she is too tired, or dropping him off at preschool late, again. And even when one calamitous night it means leaving him alone to pick up more wine at the grocery store. It’s only when her ex-husband shows up at her door to take Charlie away that Cadence realizes her best kept secret has been discovered….
The opening line of the description says it all… Cadence didn’t sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea. I won’t profess to know a lot about alcoholism, in fact, what I do know wouldn’t fill a cup – but that one line made me wonder about the progression towards becoming that alcoholic. Many of us just think, ahhh, one drink, just one glass…but what about when one becomes two, two becomes three, three becomes the bottle. As a society, it seems like drinking is encouraged, everywhere you go, there are ads for beer, for wine, for hard liquor. I can’t even imagine what an alcoholic grows through when they are out in town and confronted with these images…and yet, it isn’t talked about. Alocholism seems to be one of those taboo topics – yes, it might be mentioned in fiction, but normally only in passing, or as a tool for the “evil” person to use…I can’t (off the top of my head) think of a fiction novel that addresses it head on like Best Kept Secret did.
There is no doubt that BKS is a roller-coaster ride of emotions – at times, I felt like I wanted to drink with Cadence or felt her struggle as her body craved the alcohol that she had become addicted to. I was also thankful of the fact that there wasn’t the expected happy ending (in fact, I was dreading that everything was going to be tied up in a pretty little bow – but having read other books by Amy – I know I should have had more faith in her). There isn’t much more I can say without going into spoiler territory – just read it…think about it…hopefully you won’t be disappointed. 4.5 stars.