Until this moment, Paul has always referred to this as the corporate fuckwit day and said he’d rather have his balls torn off than bring any member of his family to it. (92)
This was by far the best chick lit book I’ve read yet. I can be a bit harsh on this genre with ratings, but this was just such a fantastic, funny, entertaining book successfully exploring more book themes than I expected (self confidence, self-discovery, friend / family / romantic relationships). Emma is your average bottom-rung corporate employee with all your average secrets (she’s not really a size four, she hates her friend’s crochet, she loves a good pre-date sweet sherry). In a moment of utter panic on a turbulent flight home, she spews every secret she’s ever had at her seatmate…who turns up the next day at work as her recluse multi-millionaire CEO, Jack.
The characters in this book were fantastic. Even the minor secondary characters like Emma’s boss and coworkers had distinct personalities and behaviors. Emma was the perfect MC, ordinary and relatable, and her vivacious internal monologue complimented Jack’s quiet and self-contained personality. Even Connor (Emma’s boyfriend at the start of the book) in all his blandness was perfectly and consistently bland.
Kinsella packed a roller coaster of emotion into this book. I spent the majority of the book literally laughing out loud (when Jack first arrives in her department had me nearly in tears), but there were also mortifying scenes as well as dramatic, emotional moments (when Emma and her parents get coffee in that little Italian shop). Even within a single conversation (e.g. with Jack after the dance show), Kinsella created waves of anger, laughter, and sadness. You were never faced with just one emotion in any one scene.
I loved this book. The perfect dialogue and delivery, the character-adding Britishisms, the portrayal of corporate life (pg 92’s “behave normally”: take off shoes, check emails, read horoscope, read boyfriend’s horoscope, put on hand cream, eat some smarties, drink some water, then consider real work). It was all just so realistic and identifiable. An easy 5 stars for Can You Keep a Secret?.