The Language of Secrets: Book summary and reviews of The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon

The Language of Secrets

by Dianne Dixon

The Language of Secrets
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2010
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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." - Sue Grafton

"Though there's a payoff in the surprise ending, the plot is painfully overeventful." - Publishers Weekly

"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." - Kristin Hannah

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Reader Reviews

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Linda K. (Belvidere, IL)

Captivating!
Sir Walter Scott probably said it best, “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!”. No one wants to hurt the ones they love, but sometimes in our effort to protect those loved ones it seems necessary to engage in little white lies, or lies of omission, so as not to hurt their feelings or upset them. Justin Fisher learns just how damaging these “protective measures” can be when he returns to his childhood home after a few decades, to find that his parents are dead and buried and apparently, so is he! The gravestone beside those of his parents says Justin Fisher, beloved son, died at the age of three. What was to be a brief visit after a very long absence, turns into the realization that everything known and everything believed that formed the foundation of his life, has crumbled around him. Can Justin rebuild? Will his loved ones and those he never knew support him while he rebuilds his world?

Dianne Dixon writes a most intriguing story that will surely keep you flipping pages perhaps late into the night, while asking yourself if you’re really certain you and the people around you are really who you believe.

Joanne G. (Kennesaw, GA)

A Very Good Read
I think The Language of Secrets rates five stars because it was a very good read which was hard to put down. The author skillfully weaves an intricate plot with alternating chapters told by well-defined characters over a period of time. The intriguing results of decisions made by these all too human people accompanied by unexpected twists of fate provide much for book group discussion.

Gail I.

The Language of Secrets
I found this book to be a real page turner that kept me interested to the end. The author, a screenwriter, knows how to write a story which keeps the reader wanting for more information to solve the puzzle.

The style is easy to read and chapters are named for the character, place, and date of the event. It flashes back and forth between the present and past events which helps the reader t understand some of what has happened, although it has a surprise twist at the end.

It's relatively light reading and would be a good book to take on a trip. I can see a movie version in the future. It did remind me of Jodi Picoult's novels.

Sandie F. (Eaton, OH)

The Language of Secrets
One of those books that has you from page one. Lots of twist and turns that keeps you wanting to read more. Loved the ending, not at all what I expected. Really enjoyed this book and hope to see more by this author.

Mary Ellen B. (Hebron, CT)

Language of Secrets--A Terrific Read
This is a novel that builds gradually as the layers peel away. On the surface, it starts when a man tries to connect with his parents who he has not seen since he left home. This journey results in a shocking series of revelations. The mysteries move the story along as the pieces fall into place.

Poignant and beautifully paced.

Jane A. (Lakeport, Ca)

A reader's delight........
The very first chapter prepares the reader for a whale of a story, and Dianne Dixon fulfills that promise to the fullest. Her story has many facets, each of which is explored thoroughly; there are no loose ends, but many unexpected turns. At no point did the story lose momentum;' I couldn't put it down until I had read the final page!

...11 more reader reviews

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More Information

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.

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