A Secret Sorrow Review
Karen Van Der Zee’s “A Secret Sorrow” is a novel that definitely knows how to play with words. Its writing is dramatic and intensely emotional, moving quickly from soft words to shouts of anger. This might be an intense and gripping moment for some, but I was put off by its generic, soap style plot. Faye does not want to tell Kai that she cannot have children, but after refusing to marry, Kai is persistent to get at the truth. The style and content of the novel’s writing definitely caught my attention. It has a great use of loud tones and catchy lines. Some will enjoy Kai telling Faye that she is “’Not a damaged piece of merchandise, you hear? You’re a living, breathing human being, a warm-blooded female, and I love you’.”(135) It’s when I'm sucked in that this novel falls apart. The plot is overly simplistic. The characters are bland and lifeless. Faye lacks female leadership, confidence, and anything else of interest, which leads to groans whenever she talks of how she “can’t live all [her] life with [Kais] regret and disappointment’” “‘every time [they’re] with somebody else’s children She’ll feel She’s failed [Kai]!” It was a good ride, but in the end, I feel unsatisfied. A Secret Sorrow will please those who don’t mind the intense soap style drama, but if a person doesn’t like romance, this won’t change her mind.
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