Big Little Secrets
May 26, 2022

Book Review

Big Little Secrets

reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo



We meet Nelli Horvath, a Hungarian immigrant and the wife of Clint Horvath, as she is leaving to attend her high school reunion in Hungary. On the outside, Clint and Nelli have a fabulous life, with significant bank accounts, a fabulous house, and a gorgeous little boy named Ryan.

Nelli does not talk about growing up in Hungary or any of her friends that she spent her teenage years with. Nelli is hiding a secret but what could be so bad that she can’t share it with Clint.? When their son disappears during a trip to Disneyland, and is returned hours later talking about an old woman who took him on rides, and gave him food, Nelli knows she must return to Hungary and confront the one woman who has the power to ruin Nelli’s life. 

When Clint is packing to leave for his business trip, Nelli suddenly tells him she is going to Hungary to attend her class reunion that day.After three days go by with no response from Nelli, He leaves his business trip in New York to fly to Hungary, taking his brother Barn with him. He soon realizes that there is already an investigation as Nelli has been missing for days. When Clint meets up with an old classmate, Daniel, the secrets Nelli has been keeping unravel. All of her classmates seem to hide something. 

Big Little Secrets is definitely a page turner. Though there were so many characters, I found it difficult to connect to them. I loved how the author highlighted the culture of Hungary and the effects of the Soviet Union, even discussing the building structures from before and after, but felt a little put off by the ending. I feel it is a little implausible, without giving spoilers. The story is told in a dual point of view, with Clint and Nelli using their voices to tell the story, allowing us to see deeper into the story. A.B. Whelan’s writing style really makes you feel ‌you are moving along with the characters. Clint’s determination to detect bullshit and find his wife is refreshing, though Barn felt like an extraneous character. This is a unique story, exploring what happens when you put your friends in the position of keeping a secret for two decades and how that one secret can affect so many lives. A must read for those who love to learn about other cultures. 

Big Little Secrets is available at:


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