Game of Secrets (Hardcover)

By Dawn Tripp

Random House, 9781400061884, 272pp.

Publication Date: July 5, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/5/2012)

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In 1957, Jane Weld was eleven years old when her father, Luce, disappeared. His skiff was found drifting near a marsh, empty except for his hunting coat and a box of shotgun shells. No one in their small New England town knew for sure what happened until, three years later, Luce’s skull rolled out of a gravel pit, a bullet hole in the temple. Rumors sprang up that he had been murdered by the jealous husband of his mistress, Ada Varick.

Now, half a century later, Jane is still searching for the truth of her father’s death, a mystery made more urgent by the unexpected romance that her willful daughter, Marne, has struck up with one of Ada’s sons. As the love affair intensifies, Jane and Ada meet for their weekly Friday game of Scrabble, a pastime that soon transforms into a cat-and-mouse game of words long left unspoken, and dark secrets best left untold.

About the Author

Dawn Tripp graduated from Harvard and lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. She is the author of the novels "Moon Tide "and" The Season of Open Water, "which won the Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction.

Praise For Game of Secrets

“A page-turning thriller--a game of Scrabble helps two families spell out the history of a small-town murder.”
--Better Homes and Gardens
“Elizabeth Strout fans will find a lot to admire about Dawn Tripp's new novel….[A] flair for drop-dead Yankee storytelling….as a grown daughter searches for clues to her long-lost father's ultimate fate in the arrangement of tiny wooden letters.”
--Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“A combination of thriller, mystery, and literary fiction; the secrets of a murder are revealed through an intense Scrabble game....[An] intelligent beach-read.”
--The Boston Phoenix
“A gracefully told character study of three intelligent, forbidding women and the men who love them, wrapped up in a taut, suspenseful mystery.”

“A mesmerizing novel about infatuation, enduring secrets, and our relentless quest to make amends. Dawn Tripp’s seductive and exalting prose builds a story so luminous that its scenes and images and daring ending will linger with you like half-remembered dreams.”—Jim Lynch, author of Border Songs
“In gorgeous, poetic language, Dawn Tripp narrates the lives of two families linked by scandal and tragedy and the ties that bind and divide them. This is a striking novel of beauty and grace. I adored every page.”—Mameve Medwed, author of How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life
Game of Secrets is the perfect balance of well-crafted literature and gripping drama. I ached to know the outcome but couldn't bear to see my time in Dawn Tripp’s literary dream come to an end.”—Carol Cassella, author of Healer
“Tripp’s best novel to date, at once a beautiful, old-fashioned love story and a heart-stopping literary thriller . . . Earthy, funny, moving, and constantly surprising, Game of Secrets is a masterwork.”—Howard Frank Mosher, author of Walking to Gatlinburg
“A brilliant metaphor is at play in the center of Game of Secrets, Dawn Tripp’s extraordinary new novel. In the ongoing play of a board game, Tripp illuminates deep truths about the way we try to piece the world together into meaning, working with what we are given, struggling with family and fate and desire. This is a truly important work by one of our finest writers.”—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

“A hypnotic literary mystery . . . Startlingly original, Dawn Tripp’s haunting novel explores the secrets we keep even from ourselves.”—Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You

“Exquisitely written, Game of Secrets is an intriguing drama about two families, the decades-old secret between them, and the revelations that emerge from a seemingly innocent game. This is an absorbing, poignant, and powerful read.”—Jessica Treadway, author of Please Come Back to Me
“Fair warning: Don’t start Game of Secrets unless you’re prepared to finish it in one sitting, because once these characters get into your head they don’t let go.”—Kim Wright, author of Love in Mid Air
“Lush, perfectly calibrated language that opens doors on every page through which the enchanted reader falls.”—Jenny White, author of The Winter Thief
“A wonderfully evocative, gorgeously written novel about small-town secrets . . . Gritty and realistic, the novel taunts us with clue after clue until the characters’ darkest secrets are revealed.”—Michael White, author of Soul Catcher