Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Black Swan | 2003 | 368 pages
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Emma Corrigan, 25, dreams of being promoted to the position of Marketing Executive at Panther Corporation. She has been working for the company for 11 months as a marketing assistant and she wants something more. After working at jobs that did not bring many prospects and getting more into debt, Emma now hopes that she can prove herself worthy of a promotion.
When she finally gets a chance to represent the Panther company in Glasgow, Scotland, she is determined to get it right. Unfortunately, the situation went awry and she returns to England, devastated and unable to show her parents that she can achieve as much as her cousin Kerry, whom her parents absolutely adore.
Not only is Emma a nervous flyer, but the plane that she is travelling in to get back home hits a turbulence, causing Emma to spill every little secret to the American passenger seated next to her. For an hour, she just talks and talks about herself, her problems, her boyfriend Connor, how she is not happy with her parents paying more attention to cousin Kerry, about her inconsiderate colleagues, etc. All the while she was talking, the American guy just listens and responds when he can.
Emma of course feels utterly embarrassed when she realises what she has done but she cannot turn back time. All she hopes is that she does not see the guy again. But lo and behold, he turns up at her office and is being introduced as the co-founder of her company, truly a big shot guy! How her luck has turned out! She prays fervently that he does not remember her but unfortunately (and fortunately!), he does.
Can You Keep a Secret? started out on an interesting note, with a list of Emma’s random secrets that you would want to read about. I liked the conversational tone that the book has, as with all of Kinsella’s other books, that makes it such an entertaining and cheerful read.
I have read a number of Kinsella’s books and I can see the pattern in them. Overly confident and a bit silly British girl meets rich, handsome American guy who sweeps her off her feet. Do correct me if I’m wrong! I haven’t read Remember Me? and I’ve Got Your Number yet though. Perhaps the characters in those books are different.
Kinsella tries to make Emma somewhat a bit more sensible from the female characters that she used to write about namely Becky from the Shopaholic books. I can see that Emma is not that silly but the reader can still sense the highly optimistic and sort of unrealistic trait in her. Emma imagines the best things that can happen but it only turns out to be the complete and horrific opposite scenario.
As for the characters, wow, Emma’s housemate Jemima was certainly irritating and darn nosy. I was really hoping that Emma and her friend, Lissy, would just bring her to her senses or kick her out of the apartment. Despite that, I think Jemima is one of the more outstanding and memorable characters in the story.