Keeping Secrets is the absorbing story of two very different sisters: of their complex relationships with each other, with the men they love, and with their children.
Hilda is clever, purposeful, self contained, a woman whose ordered life is focused on her teaching career, who lives alone and who, until she meets Stephen, a married man, has successfully kept emotion at a distance. In contrast, her younger sister Alice is someone whose feelings have always threatened to overwhelm her. She has always felt in Hilda’s shadow, and her uncertainty and insecurity have receded only with the love of her husband, Tony, and the birth of her children. When she discovers that Hilda has decided to have Stephen’s child she feels her territory is being invaded, and all her anxieties resurface.
But as the birth of her baby draws near, Hilda’s own problems emerge. She comes to realise that there are limits to her self-sufficiency, and that her relationship with Stephen is not as perfect as she had though. Meanwhile, Stephen’s wife Miriam, physically and emotionally isolated at their house in Norfolk, has kept her own secrets, and made her own discoveries. As the hot summer wears on, the lives of all three women come to a turning point, with a climax which none of them has envisaged.
From the author of Spring Will Be Ours, this poignant novel explores the dilemma of the single woman who longs to have a child, and finds no easy solutions.