Karen Swan is a best-selling author, known for her romances which are often set in exotic locations. The Secret Path is no exception.
While the novel opens in London, the main part of the story takes place in Costa Rica, a land of beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, and dense jungle. It’s also in the grip of political upheaval with a corrupt political system. And it’s a land where the indigenous people are struggling with the changes happening to their country.
The lead character is Tara Tremain who comes from a very wealthy family. When she was twenty, she thought her life was on track. She was following her career dream of being a doctor and engaged to a man she adored. But abruptly her fiancé betrayed her and caused a rift with her family.
The story then jumps forward a decade. Tara is a doctor at a well-regarded hospital in London, living with a man she loves but it’s apparent that she’s never got over the betrayal by her ex-fiancé. With her close friends and partner, they head off to Costa Rica for a holiday. While there Tara leaves the safety of the beach and her friends to head into the jungle to help an extremely sick child.
The beauty and terror of the jungle are very well described. One minute it’s a calm beautiful place to stroll through, and then suddenly it’s dangerous with treacherous conditions. There are fast-flowing rivers and wild animals, and it’s easy to lose your way.
I enjoyed this novel, I found I wanted to know what happened to Tara. Would she escape from the jungle and manage to get medical treatment for the sick child? Would she forgive her ex-fiance, and if so, how would this affect her new relationship?
The descriptions of Costa Rica and particularly the jungle are vivid. At a time when we can’t travel overseas, it was enjoyable to read about the jungle and be able to imagine just what it’s like to get lost in such a dense area in the middle of the wet season. As a Queenslander, I identified with the humidity that was so well described.
Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book club and PanMacmillan for the opportunity to read this novel.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Secret Path by Karen Swan. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I was brought up on the classics in the UK but now I’m a Pozzie (British by Birth, Australian by choice) I’m enjoying discovering Australian works, we have some terrific storytellers. I’ve been a member of a local book club for a decade or so and that has also widened my choice of reading. I agree wholeheartedly with Stephen King: “Books are a uniquely portable magic”