Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Secret Between Us

Most of us have done it--jumped in and created a free pass for one of our children. Please excuse Brian because...; please excuse Linda because.... What would the reaction be if our urge to protect spun out of control as it did for Deborah Monroe and her daughter Grace in Barbara Delinsky's The Secret Between Us?

From Publishers Weekly
Relationships are brought to the limit in Delinsky's splendid latest exploration of family dynamics. On a rainy night, Deborah Monroe and her teenage daughter, Grace, are driving home when their car hits a man. The victim, who turns out to be Grace's history teacher, is unconscious but alive. Although Grace was driving, Deborah sends her home and takes responsibility for the accident when the cops show up. Deborah is juggling a lot: as a family doctor, she is in private practice with her ├╝ber-demanding widower father, who is trying to hide a drinking problem; her son, Dylan, is vision impaired; her mother's death continues to affect the family; Deborah is still dealing with her ex-husband's new, separate life; and her unmarried sister, Jill, has just announced she's pregnant. Grace's guilt about not taking responsibility for the accident makes her withdraw from friends and family, and the accident victim turns out to have a more complex private life than anyone imagined. The author seamlessly resolves relationship issues without sentiment, throws in a promising romance for Deborah and offers a redemptive scene between Grace and her grandfather. Delinsky combines her understanding of human nature with absorbing, unpredictable storytelling—a winning combination.

After my disappointment with Family Tree, I was happy to find that this favorite author had once again grabbed my attention and pulled me immediately in to the time and place of Deborah and her family.

4/5 (General Fiction scale)
Doubleday (January 2008)
352 pages

1 comment:

Nan - said...

Have you seen The Deep End with Tilda Swinton (don't you love that name?!) ? It deals with this very thing. Chilling and good.