An English romantic novel…


The Secret Keeper
Kate Morton

After reaching this ripe old age labelled as “Senior” and after being an avid and passionate reader for over 50 years, I have finally come to recognize the genre of books I do not like. At risk of making a sweeping over generalization, I find English based romantic novels are not my taste. They can be well written, unique and intricate in plot, polished and honed in literary style, but they simply to not appeal to me.

My challenge now is to determine why these kinds of novels are so unappealing. I fear it may be a kind of bias or maybe even a form of literary envy. I do not know. What I do know is this: I like books to entertain me without being so intricate that they are an every puzzling enigma. I want the characters to be few in number if they are playing a meaningful role in the plot. I want a plot with sophistication but not one which is a Rubiks cube for solving. I want a book that is a playful diversion, not a cumbersome chore.

Criteria not met
The Secret Keeper never meets the criteria in my books, or should I say in books which I enjoy. This is not to say this is a bad book. No, after plowing through the first 100 pages, I realized the book was beyond my level of endurance, not a pleasure but a chore. My determination to read it even as a responsibility and commitment to the Book Club to which I belong. I have failed in my duty as a book club member with this book.

Not a critical rejection
However, I will not reject the book as a potential good read for others. After all, it is a claimed “New York Times Bestseller.” More and more, I am troubled with ‘bestseller lists.’ My thinking may be that if it is on a bestseller list, it is a book that I will enjoy. False…and an unreasonable syllogism. A bestseller list claim does not guarantee actual merit in so being labelled.

The Secret Keeper was not my cup of tea !

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