by Amy Hatvany
Washington Square Press – June 2011
352 pages; $15.00

I felt no real desire for my death. No part of me said, now suicide, there’s a good idea. I longed only for an absence of anguish, an end to self-loathing. Death seemed the only viable method of reaching this goal. At that point it seemed reasonable. I only wanted the pain to end.” -Cadence Sutter

When we first meet Cadence Sutter she is a single, fiercely independent, 20 something woman trying to make a name for herself as a freelance writer. While working a story Cadence meets her future husband Martin. Things progress and ultimately they marry and have a child named Charlie.

In an effort to better provide for his family Martin takes a new job with Microsoft.While Martin is working longer and longer hours, Cadence finds herself having to give up work to focus on raising Charlie. With the stress of Martin’s absence and Cadence’s growing unhappiness with her situation, Cadence begins to drink more and more heavily. After a series of poor parenting and alarming incidents, Martin leaves Cadence and begins the messy process of taking custody of their only child.

I see myself at the base of a deep, dark hole, shovel in hand, face blackened, exhausted. I’m prodding the soil, digging here and there, the ground literally falling out from under me, right along with my footing. But it’s me, I’m the one digging. I stop my jabbing movements and see myself lifting the shovel out of the dirt. I hold on to it still, unsure how to let go, where to put it, no clue as to what else I might use as a tool to find my way out of this deep well I’ve put myself in.” -Cadence Sutter

After a particularly bad episode, Cadence is forced to confront her problem with alcohol. Reluctantly she begins the process of recovery with the hopes of gaining custody of her son.

Hatvany gives the reader an incredibly intimate and heartfelt view of what a life of addiction is like. Especially with the social stigmas placed on women addicts. Drawing from her own personal struggles with addiction, Hatvany creates a story that is filled with emotion and ultimately hope and promise.

A thought-provoking, and at times, moving read, Best Kept Secret resonates with the reader long after the final page.

For more information on Best Kept Secret, please visit the publisher’s website by clicking HERE.

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One Response to BEST KEPT SECRET – Amy Hatvany

  1. There really is a strong social stigma about female addicts, more so than male addicts. Strangely, though, in my experience, women tend to recover much better than men; their recovery is more long-term, with fewer if any relapses. It’s weird.

    This sounds like a good read. I’ll have to add it to my Goodreads list — no pun intended. 😀

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