Goodreads Summary: Venice, 1585.
When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura’s father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice’s fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura’s prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister’s death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.
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My Views: Well, well, guess where I landed this time? Venice, in the place of gondolas and that too in the year 1585. I took some time to settle in that era. And though I kept reading, it was only the latter half of the book that captured me so intensely. So if you feel like abandoning the book after the first few pages, don’t. It’s all worth it towards the end.
This is the story of Venice, the city of secrets, where no one is to be trusted and danger lies everywhere. It is full of twists and turns that will leave you gasping. It is the story of Laura and her stint with life back home. Home is where her father is, a selfish man who only thinks in terms of money. How does Laura cope with it all? What secrets are revealed? How did her sister Beatrice die? There are so many answers to be found and they are worth finding out.
Read this book for a tryst with Venice and a tread through the city of secrets.
Other covers for Cross my Heart. Which one do you like? I liked the one above.
Goodreads Summary: When 17-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty percent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when Rosie tells her mother’s best friend, “Aunt Sarah,” that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie wasn’t her real mother after all. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly baby who was destined to die.
Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, joining her ex-boyfriend on his gap year travels, to find her birth mother in California. But all does not go as planned. As Rosie discovers yet more of her family’s deeply buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonizing decision of her own, one which will be the most heart breaking and far-reaching of all.
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published February 2nd 2012)
My Views: This book awe’d me from start to finish.
I started reading this thinking I will read a few pages till bedtime but my plan didn’t work. I read this book in a 5 hour marathon reading session finally sleeping at 4 in the morning. And no, reading the rest of the book in the morning was NOT an option.
Shut yourself in a secret place where no one can find you before you start reading. Distractions play havoc with reading.
Be FOREWARNED, do not eat much before reading this book. This is a roller coaster ride with lots of twists and turns and you don’t want to heave, right?
The book gripped me right from the start and played hide and seek with my imagination. It surpassed my thinking and every time I felt like I have figured this book out, it would take another completely unprecedented turn. Phew! Was I tired!
The concept is novel and engaging. You feel for the characters.
The book is so well-written, one thing leading to the other, entwined so nicely that I almost gasped at times.
The Not so Good
The length could have been shortened a bit. There were some unbelievable and filmy things that I just couldn’t believe. And I wish the book title was shorter. I love one word titles, two word ones are good but three is long, no? OK, maybe I am just finding a reason to disagree about.
In all, a great book that hooks you into the plot. In some way, it reminded me of Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard, perhaps it was the travelling bit.
It is books like this which make me give up on writing. If someone can think like this, I better resort to reading. I can’t think like THIS!!
Buy it here- The Book Depository
Amazon (Click the links to buy)
Review copy received from NetGalley in exchange of my honest review.