Characters Keeping Secrets: A Reading List

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

This round of the Riot Recommendation is sponsored by The Expats by Chris Pavone.

expats chris pavoneCan we ever escape our secrets?

In the cobblestoned streets of Luxembourg, Kate Moore’s days are filled with playdates and coffee mornings, her weekends spent in Paris and skiing in the Alps. But Kate is also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret-one that’s become so unbearable that it begins to unravel her newly established expat life. She suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be; her husband is acting suspiciously; and as she travels around Europe, she finds herself looking over her shoulder, increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her. As Kate begins to dig, to uncover the secrets of the people around her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her marriage, and her life. 





Orwell said, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” Deception is difficult, and self-deception even more so. Perhaps the greatest secret we tell ourselves is that we can keep our secrets secret. And perhaps one of the greatest pleasures in reading is watching characters with secrets work to protect them, and to protect themselves from the fallout when the secrets are almost inevitably revealed.

We asked you to tell us your favorite books about people keeping secrets, and you guys came up with quiet a list!

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey

Possession by A. S. Byatt

All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Photograph by Penelope Lively

The Likeness by Tana French

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Bad Chemistry by Gary Krist

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino


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