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The Secret Box is a thoroughly well-written book which documents life’s experiences, trials and tribulations in respect of a young, beautiful, classy and talented Brazilian lady who is unique in the sense that she does not fit into analysis, averages, statistics, mores, customs or norms.The leading figure, Maria, learned from the university of life’s experiences and learned how to be her own woman, to be independent of any man and at all costs to become a survivor.To achieve this she learned from her experiences in life and that virtues such as patience, optimism, resilience, courage, fortitude, self-respect and being true to oneself will always overcome life’s trials and tribulations, will allow a person to move on in life and to become open minded and free of negativity and bitterness.Maria discovered that values are priceless and non-negotiable and that any adversity can be overcome with the right attitude and with steely resolve. She learns not to chase perfection as humanity itself is not perfect, nor can it ever be, and that perfection is an illusion. Once she accepts this she has found a major key to happiness and contentment in life, whether with or without a man or being in a relationship.The book itself and much of what it relates will be familiar to many young women, regardless of nationality, creed or colour, but the important matter is how Maria handles and deals with the various adversities in such a decisive and determined way and how she moves on with life, learning to overcome phobias and traumas of a most challenging nature.The book is an entertaining and fascinating read and the reader can compare and contrast their own life experiences with those of the Maria and ask themselves the very question posed at the end of this book in Padlock 13 – WHO ARE YOU?James O’Connor

Judge James O’Connor

The Secret Box: Finding the Key

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