Book Review: Secrets My Father Kept

By Rachel Givney
Paperback: 432 pages
Published: June 1st, 2021 by Penguin Random House Australia
Genre: Historial fiction
Mi Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐& 3/4 Stars

Set in Poland on the brink of the Second World War, 16-year-old Marie’s primary concern is the disappearance of her mother fifteen years prior.

Marie’s father Dominik a well-respected and innovative doctor at the local hospital is silent on the matter.

Dominik has devoted his entire life to caring for his daughter yet a dark fear haunts him. With the clock ticking down to a devasting world war, Dominik is committed to keeping Marie safe. This means he needs to find her a husband who is able to protect her when he no longer can.

Marie however, has already met the man she wants to marry a childhood friend Ben, who also happens to be Jewish.

It’s a turbulent time, but Marie is determined to find her mother and discover the truth her father is hiding.

I got this book as a blind date book in October 2021.

It was wrapped in brown paper with three words:

  • Poland
  • Disappearance
  • Sacrifice

Secrets my father kept is not a book that I would actively choose to pick or read. However, it’s important to read outside your comfort zone.

While this book was slow to get into, those three words describe the book perfectly.

The book has three points of view. Marie and Dominik in the first half, and then halfway through we get a past point of view of Marie’s mother.

There were many times when I wanted to give up on this book, as I felt like it dragged.

The last few chapters tied up the story nicely and make you realise the lengths a parent will go to ensure the safety of their child.

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