Cover image for The Safe-Keeper's secret
The Safe-Keeper's secret
Shinn, Sharon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, [2004]

Physical Description:
222 pages ; 22 cm
Fiona is Safe-Keeper in the small village of Tambleham, where neighbors and strangers alike come one by one, in secret, to tell her things they dare not share with anyone else.
Reading Level:
860 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.3 8.0 78961.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.2 13 Quiz: 36439 Guided reading level: X.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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"In a time of prosperity and risk on the open frontier, a daring cattleman takes his chances on expanding westward--and on a genteel lady from another world."
Swept up in adventure . . .
With nothing left for him in Texas after his fiancee breaks his heart, Jeb Tuhill heads to Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains to work the huge ranching operation of wealthy English squire Moreton Frewen. In an attempt to lure investors to the beautiful, and oftentimes dangerous, American West, Frewen and Jeb travel to England. The British gentry don't impress Jeb much, but one spirited lady lassoes his attention with her intellect and charm.
Bound together by passion . . .
Tallie Somerset is a bestselling novelist who is forced into a divorce by the improprieties of her husband, a British lord. Fleeing the scandal, she takes a trip to New York with a friend who later convinces her to travel to Wyoming. Captivated by the big sky of the plains--and the handsome cowboy who calls it home--Tallie might be persuaded to leave England, and its bad memories, behind. But Jeb thinks she is still married, and she is afraid to tell him about the shame of her divorce. Tallie models the hero of her latest novel on Jeb . . . but can she make him her hero for a lifetime?

Author Notes

Sharon Shinn was born in 1957. She is a novelist who writes combining fantasy, science fiction and romance. She attended and graduated from Northwestern University. She has published more than a dozen novels for adult and young adult readers. She works as a journalist in St. Louis Missouri. She is a frequent attender of science-fiction/ fantasy conventions such as ArmadilloCon26 and Capricorn 29 in 2009. Sharon Shinn donated her archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University. Sharon Shinn won the William Crawford Award for Achievement in Fantasy and was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A journalist who lives in St. Louis, Shinn is also the author of Archangel, Jovah's Angel, The Alleluia Files, Wrapt in Crystal, and The Shape-Changer's Wife.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. When she grows up, Fiona plans to be her village's Safe-Keeper, just like her mother, Damiana, who listens to, but cannot repeat, her neighbors' most troubling stories. Fiona's own family has plenty of secrets: Fiona doesn't know her father's identity, and on the night of her birth, the king's messenger left a mysterious baby with Damiana, asking her to keep and protect the child. The boy, Reed, and Fiona grow up in a bucolic setting as best friends, surrounded by a loving, extended family of magical adults. When Damiana falls ill, Reed and Fiona leave their childhood behind as they care for their mother and make startling discoveries about their respective parents. Shinn, whose fantasy titles for adults have earned her a wide teen following, heavily foreshadows a romance between Reed and Fiona, an element that may disturb some readers, particularly those in blended families. The romance is only hinted at, however, and teens will connect with Shinn's vividly drawn fantasy world as well as her provocative questions about truth, justice, and individual destiny. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-This historical tale is set in what is clearly England in a time that feels like the Norman era. Damiana is a Safe-Keeper, whose job is to listen to the secrets people confide in her and then to keep them to herself. She lives with her daughter, Fiona, and Reed, whom readers are told was a foundling. Others in the village also have special gifts including being a Dream-Maker and a Truth-Teller. The story portrays rural village life with a strong, loving extended family. However, everything changes for the young people when, at 15, they are sent to spend the summer with Damiana's sister. Reed lives with a merchant who gives him some experiences in his trading business while Fiona studies with a herbalist to learn the art of healing. On their return home, they find that their mother is dying. Before she dies, Damiana shares a secret with Fiona that she pledges to keep secret until the time she knows it is right to tell. Fiona takes on the role of Safe-Keeper but finds that this is not her true calling. Shinn writes well and has created a variety of interesting characters. The unraveling of a family secret at the end comes as a complete surprise, but rather than adding to the story, it feels a little like a cheat. Still, this does not detract significantly from the story.-Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.