‘Coz I don’t want to keep this a secret

27 May

“Can You Keep a Secret” is yet another quirky, funny, romantic novel by Sophie Kinsella, the writer of the famous “Shopaholic” trilogy. Having had such huge successes before, the expectations from the book, were very high to say the least. Kinsella has previously given us the light, bright and ‘laugh-out-loud’, funny Shopaholic books. With Kinsella’s “shopaholic,” Becky Bloomwood became known as the quintessential Chick lit character much like Bridget Jones and the nanny of Nanny Diaries. These books set a really high bar. They were really funny as compared to this new one which is just ‘fun’. However, one has to consider that, had the writer not been Kinsella, we wouldn’t have judged “Can You Keep a Secret” in the same way. There are times when ‘just fun’ is just fine.

Emma Corrigan is a 20-something girl with a fear of flying. Emma’s life is certainly not perfect. She has secrets. Secrets, she keeps from her boyfriend, her family, her coworkers, and even from her best friend. Secrets that she keeps to herself, until, on one unusually turbulent disastrous plane trip, having had one too many drinks, she spills every single secret, to the handsome stranger sitting next to her, in a sort of final catharsis, before the plane crashes. But then the plane doesn’t crash. It lands safely and Emma goes home only to return to work on Monday morning to discover that the stranger on the plane wasn’t really a stranger at all. He was the American CEO, of the company she works for, and is visiting her office for the week. He knows every one of her darkest, deepest and most humiliating secrets and he wants to see her in his office! Thus begins a series of chaotic, emotionally exhausting and funny episodes that thrust Emma, with her workaholic best friend, Lissy, and their awful flat mate Jemima, into a world of fairy tales, secrets and deceit.

Once the big boss moves in into town Emma’s world turns upside down. Her “perfect” relationship with her “Ken like” boyfriend ends. People in her office are suspicious. Her family members, whom she has been avoiding, turn up at her company’s family day. This is followed by a complex, uproarious chain of events, until everything is finally resolved in the end.

Sophie Kinsella is really good at writing fluff and making it fun to read. I really enjoyed Can You Keep a Secret? I found the story fairly believable and extremely hilarious, although I did struggle with, how quickly Kinsella resolved a messy situation in a few chapters that would have taken a lot more clean-up in real life. The book features some interesting characters like- Jamima, an heiress type, who only lives to marry a rich man. I found the little tidbits about her very interesting.

Overall it befits the tag of a romantic comedy which it will be turned into in 2011. In keeping with the formula of a romantic comedy, ‘Can You Keep a Secret’ has its highs and lows, but ends on a happy note, for both, the heroine and for the reader. It’s a light-hearted romantic comedy with feminist leanings and lessons to be learnt. The most important one being, that while some secrets are best kept to ourselves, others are better brought out in the open. Friendships and relationships thrive on truth and being honest with ourselves. Keeping this in mind I would recommend ‘Can You Keep a Secret’ to fans of the Shopaholic series.

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