Title: Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: The Dial Press
Copyright: March 23, 2004
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
Genres: Contemporary Literature, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Price: $9.81 [Amazon Paperback], $7.00 [Amazon Hardcopy], $7.99 [Kindle], $19.55 [Audible], $10.49 [Barnes & Noble Paperback], $7.99 [Nook], $9.99 [Barnes & Noble Audiobook], $7.99 [Google Play], $7.99 [iBooks], $23.95 [iBooks Audiobook]
With the same wicked humor, buoyant charm, and optimism that have made her Shopaholic novels beloved international bestsellers, Sophie Kinsella delivers a hilarious new novel and an unforgettable new character. Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:
Secrets from her mother:
I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Sammy the goldfish in my parents’ kitchen is not the same goldfish that Mum gave me to look after when she and Dad were in Egypt.
Secrets from her boyfriend:
I weigh one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. Not one eighteen, like Connor thinks.
I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.
From her colleagues:
When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day.) It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.
Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
My G-string is hurting me.
I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.
Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.
But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO. Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse—Until they do.
As a member of a book club at my workplace, I recently read Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. First I’d like to say that romantic comedies are usually the last thing to ever grab my interest, in films and literature. However, I was pleasantly surprised with Can You Keep a Secret?
Emma Corrigan is a young woman living in the UK who has something of a decent life. She is working at Panther Cola in the marketing department, dating the handsome Connor, has two good friends she hangs out with, and dreams of grandeur. On her way back from a business trip in Glasgow, Emma’s life changes abruptly. Still reeling from her failure and apparent humiliation at the business meeting, the airline attendant has pity on her and bumps her up to business class. When the airplane hits some turbulence, Emma suddenly begins to panic and thinks she is going to die. While this happens, she blurts out all of her deepest, darkest secrets to the passenger sitting near her, an American. As the airplane lands and she parts ways with the stranger, she feels relief that she never has to see him again…or so she thought.
The next day she goes into work to a workplace where no one really pays her any mind. Her co-workers are catty and completely unsupportive, tending to treat her more as a secretary than an actual junior marketing associate. The office is in a frenzy as the company owner, Jack Harper is visiting from America and everyone is eager to impress him. Things only get worse for Emma when she first sees him and realizes that he is the stranger that she encountered on the plane…the stranger who knows all of her deepest, darkest secrets.
Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? is a story that really threw me for a loop! It had me laughing and when I wasn’t laughing, I was crying so hard (because I couldn’t stop laughing). Emma is by no means my idea of a perfect protagonist and there were times when I found her vapid and shallow but by the end of the story I was on her side. Jack Harper was actually a very endearing and funny character who somewhat reminded me a little of Mr. Darcy. He was the wealthy self-made man who had the appearance of being aloof and standoffish but he eventually warmed to Emma. Of all the characters, I think Jemima was my absolute favorite. Not only was she psychotic but her antics had me barking with laughter. Whether it was walking around in her fancy stilettos or parroting her stories about her “mummy”, she certainly was a perfect foil to Emma and she kept things interesting.
To simply say that Can You Keep a Secret? had a stirring, highly-charged plot is to put it mildly. I felt that Ms. Kinsella did a splendid job of writing the story and depicting the nutty cast of characters. The flow of the story started out as slow but it quickly picked up after the event of the plane incident and from then on it was a fun ride. I couldn’t put the book down, which is rare for me when it comes to romantic comedies. The dialogue and characterization was the best part of it all. I would even venture to say that those two aspects made this story what it was. From the dull-witted Connor to the foxy Jack to the kindhearted Emma to the infuriating Kerry to the insane Jemima, the characters had such depth and were validly interesting. The twists were fantastic and they kept me hooked. The overall tone and atmosphere of the story was comedic and lighthearted. It was a nice departure from the usual deep and heavy literature I tend to favor.