The Language of Secrets
By Dianne Dixon
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385530637, 272pp.)
Publication Date: March 23, 2010
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From a fresh and exciting new voice in women's fiction, The Language of Secrets unflinchingly examines the lifelong repercussions of a father's betrayal.
Justin Fisher has a successful career as the manager of a luxury hotel, a lovely wife, and a charming young son. While all signs point to a bright future, Justin can no longer ignore the hole in his life left by his estranged family. When he finally gathers the courage to reconnect with his troubled past, Justin is devastated to learn that his parents have passed away. And a visit to the cemetery brings the greatest shock of all—next to the graves of his father and mother sits a smaller tombstone for a three-year-old boy: a boy named Thomas Justin Fisher.
What follows is an extraordinary journey as Justin struggles with issues of his own identity and pieces together the complex and heartbreaking truth about his family. With great skill and care, Dianne Dixon explores the toll that misunderstandings, blame, and resentment can take on a family. But it is the intimate details of family life—a mother's lullaby for her son, a father's tragic error in judgment—that make this novel so exceptional and an absolute must for reading groups everywhere.
The Language of Secrets is the story of an unspeakable loss born of human frailty and an ultimate redemption born of human courage.
DIANNE DIXON is a screenwriter living in California who has twice been nominated for an Emmy, has won a Humanitas Prize for work done in television, and has been Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges.
- The Language of Secrets opens with this quote from Thomas Moore: “The beast residing at the center of the labyrinth is also an angel.” How does this quote set the stage for what transpires in the novel? Why do you think the author chose it for the opening page?
Praise for THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS
“Dianne Dixon's debut novel, The Language of Secrets, is destined to become this year's The Memory Keeper's Daughter and a perennial book club favorite. Part mystery, part psychological thriller, Dixon's novel is an absorbing, provocative and, ultimately, satisfying read from the first page.”—Marcia Meier, HuffingtonPost.com
"A lovely, compelling debut novel. Aptly titled, The Language of Secrets explores the ramifications of loss, the aftermath of tragedy, and the sometimes terrible cost a child can pay for a parent's guilt."
“The Language of Secrets is a psychological mystery with emotional underpinnings that will have you puzzled and intrigued right up to the moment Dixon’s sleight of hand is revealed.”