Wednesday, 16 June 2010

'Past Secrets'

I have just finished reading 'Past Secrets' by Cathy Kelly; another very readable book. Here we have various people living in Summer Street. The three main characters are: Fayy, Maggie and Christine Devlin. Faye has a teenage daughter, Amber; she hides a secret from Amber, in regard to her birth, but regrets this when Amber goes off and does a similar impetus thing - leaving home and abandoning her studies to go off with a man in a band that she thought she was in love with. Some important messages here, about how patterns in life can be repeated, and how difficult it can be to overcome all of that - e.g. the physically abused becoming abusers themselves in later life. Then, we have Maggie who finds her husband in bed with another woman and she decides that she has to leave him. She goes back home to Summer Street to look after her sick mother where she also falls in love with another man. Interestingly, Maggie is also a librarian, and is someone that was bullied at school and was called a 'swot'. Whilst Christine is wise and forward-looking and has foresight into other people's problems and can help them to solve them. However, a man (an artist) comes back into her life, but now she is married and settled so that complicates things for her. All ends quite happily though; Christine's marriage remains strong and Amber realises that her boyfriend is no good, and comes back home and embraces her mother. And Maggie decides to move in with her boyfriend Ivan. An enjoyable read, which also made some good points. Maggie, for example, is sceptical about the supposed charmed and exotic life of academics and politicians. She says:
"Nobody in academia ever had any money and the only glamour resided in the feverish dreams of brilliant students who longed to star on University Challenge." (p. 421)

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