Long ago I’d spent almost an entire year reading just the English Classics, from the Brontë sisters to Jane Austen, from Alexander Dumas to William Shakespeare, from W.Somerset Maugham to O.Henry, J.D Salinger, George Elliot etc(one year, 365 days, has to be a long list!) I was craving for a change from it and I happened to come across Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella. After a year of spending time in the countryside of England, in the stately manors where the only entertainment for the young was dancing at the balls, playing on the pianoforte et all, I was in for a refreshing change. I love the classics mind you, but then a genuinely funny, light read novel was the need of the hour and this book fit the bill.
The story starts off with Emma Corrigan (the heroine), on a plane ride back home from a disastrous meeting, blurting out her most embarrassing secrets to the stranger sitting next to her. This due to a turbulence in the plane causing great panic which leads her to think there’s going to be a crash and she’s going to die. Safe landing, a very much alive Emma Corrigan and a very amused stranger (who wouldn’t be when you tell them all about your…).
But to her surprise she finds that the very stranger is the CEO of the company she works in as a Junior Marketing Assistant! The fun begins when she also finds out that he remembers every single secret of hers! What follows is their many funny/awkward encounters, Emma Corrigan’s place in her family, her snob of a cousin Kerry, her office crisis (boss who won’t give a raise, colleague who treats her like another paperweight on her table etc), and her ‘perfect’ boyfriend Connor.
This story might be just another addition to the style of chick-lit fiction but I found it quite entertaining, probably since this was the first of Sophie Kinsella’s that I read. Yes it has a dash of the fairy-tale element to it but hey who says fairytales are only for kids?! The part where we read her deepest secrets is the best because it suddenly dawns on us that even though they’re plain silly we too have a number of such secrets which we would NEVER share with another soul although they are very very petty and insignificant. Oh and not to forget, the happy ending! I enjoyed it much more than the rest of Kinsella’s books, for after reading the entire Shopoholic series and the rest of her books I found a repetitive pattern in them and the same formula was being used which got a bit tiring to read.
This book is a light, funny, quirky and enjoyable read that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. For all those who think age does not necessarily shatter the illusions(illusions with a probability of turning into reality maybe!) that you endeared as a child, and it doesn’t stop you from enjoying a pleasant read, Can You Keep a Secret will prove to be just that.
It’s been more than two years since I first read this book, but even now when I feel like reading without troubling my grey cells I almost always pick this book again.