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Natchez Burning
Rich in Southern atmosphere and electrifying plot turns.
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Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Created: 09/23/15

Replies: 23

Posted Sep. 23, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

There are many secrets described in this book. Dr. Tom Cage has held one from his past for decades, and it's one of the most damaging in the novel. How does Penn deal with it in the present? Do you think secrecy is worth the price?


Posted Sep. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Secrecy can destroy a person's inner peace and has the power to shatter lives. Yet, even as I type that I know that sometimes people keep secrets not because they think they haven't done wrong but because they realize that they HAVE - and they hope to get their lives back on track and protect their family.


Posted Sep. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

I guess that depends on the secret. I think most of us have things we know or things we did that we would rather the whole world did not know. Many would probably change nothing if revealed except perhaps others perception of us. There are secrets in every family and most exist to protect either the person who knows it or those they care about. This is not a bad thing for the most part but down the road it may cause a problem and the choice to keep the secret may be taken away. Some interesting secrets showed up in my family tree regarding one of my ancestors that one of the genealogy enthusiasts in the family found but since it happened 150 years ago it is merely interesting though it would probably have been rather heart wrenching to those actually involved.


Posted Sep. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Secrecy usually ends with bad results. People can't keep their secrets, and the truth is often more painful when it is delivered late.


Posted Sep. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 183

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

There are those secrets that protect us as long as they can stay buried.


Posted Sep. 29, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 99

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

A difficult question. One that depends, as others have said, upon the situation (situational ethics????). One must weigh the consequences of the secret being revealed; who will be hurt, who will be protected, how long must the secret be kept?????? i'm sorry. I can't give a definitive answer to this question, but appreciate the thoughts it has sparked.


Posted Sep. 30, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 33

RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Although not all truths need to be shared with everyone concealing an important act, trait, etc. tends to change a person's character and adversely impact future actions / relationships. The bigger the secret and the longer its keep private the more obsessed people become to protect the knowledge from being known at all costs. Regards of the issue / concern the sooner someone shares the news with someone else the easier is for the person to move forward with their life, make amends, and have healthy relationships.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 89

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

It depends upon the nature and scope of the secret. Having recently learned that certain individuals told their children that the date they claimed as their anniversary was wrong to keep their children from learning that their parents were pregnant when they got married is not a horrible secret. Taking part in a horrific crime should lay heavy on the conscience of a "normal" person but wouldn't have much effect on a sociopath.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

This is an ambiguous question. The circumstances of the secret and what the holder(s) of the secret feels is necessary to keep it as such would make a difference whether the secret is revealed. Also the price would make a great difference. It's all just relative in the end.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BamaCarol

Join Date: 04/16/12

Posts: 37

RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

No. Secrecy usually is found out in the end and tends to destroy those who hold it and those it effects.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carol

Join Date: 10/01/15

Posts: 4

RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

I think like most of the comments here sometimes we think secrets are necessary to protect others. Usually, secrets do not stay secret forever. With that said, I do not feel this book was about keeping secrets but instead was a huge cover up.


Posted Oct. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

No, you have to live with this secret and suffer with it, taking away from other happiness in your life. In this book, I believe the doctor has suffered the most.


Posted Oct. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolf

Join Date: 07/10/14

Posts: 23

RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Keeping a secret that can protect someone's life is definitely worth it. Keeping a secret that you hold as potential blackmail is definitely not worth it. So the circumstances can differ greatly. Not sure the general term "secrecy" is definitive enough.


Posted Oct. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Never. Secrets damage. Nothing good comes of secrets. Caution to those seeking to unearth secrets, harmful. Based in my own experiences, secrets revealed when one has passed is haunting. You have no way of validating with the person involved. Tears you apart if allowed.


Posted Oct. 05, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
angelaj

Join Date: 06/13/12

Posts: 5

RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

No, keeping secrets for any reason is such a strain on your psyche. Even if it's to protect a loved one; the secret will eventually get out, and then everyone has to deal with the fall out.


Posted Oct. 05, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

It depends on the secret and the price. Some of the secrets - especially Tom Cage's - did not seem worth the price. If he had just been open with Penn, the novel would probably have been 100 pages shorter! Same goes for Henry. If he had shared what he knew with someone reliable, some of the crimes could have been solved much sooner and tragedies could have been averted. Again, would have taken off another 100 pages.
If a secret will do irreparable harm to someone, and keeping the secret won't, then it is probably worth any price.


Posted Oct. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Who pays the price for keeping a secret? Perhaps Ben Franklin had it right when he said, "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead." Once a secret gets out, consequences, good or bad, can be felt by everyone involved.


Posted Oct. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
donnac's Gravatar
donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Of course not. Secrets nearly always have a way of popping to the surface, often at the time they can do the most damage to both secret keeper and innocent bystander. Of course we all know this yet secrets abide in every family, whether they become secrets because everybody would rather forget they exist and simply stop mentioning them or they simply lose their timeliness or they are kept intentionally buried.

An example: There was a family scandal several decades ago that the family simply stopped talking about because it was all settled to everyone's satisfaction. Yet, recently when it came up in casual conversation it shocked the current generation to learn of it. As if they thought their parents/aunts/uncles were never kids who made stupid mistakes. It was innocuous in that in the 21st Century out-of-wedlock babies are no longer scandalous, but it did come as a surprise. Luckily, also, those directly affected by it, knew the truth so the recent revelation came with no shame. However, had they not known about it the *secret* could have done serious harm.


Posted Oct. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 69

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

No, definitely not. Keeping a secret is kind of like lying, and neither one seem to work out well in the end.
Chances are, if you're keeping a secret, it's something you're ashamed of, so that can't be good, right?!


Posted Oct. 09, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 77

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

I agree with juliep. Openness and honesty are a lot easier to live . Secrecy just keeps building more lies.


Posted Oct. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 135

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Secrecy is never worth the price. The truth always comes out in the end and the angst one has in keeping the secret can typically destroy a relationship.


Posted Oct. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nanl

Join Date: 09/28/15

Posts: 23

RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

I agree with the posts that say secrets tend to come out and probably always make things worse for someone than if they had been revealed earlier. Secrets cost the secret keeper by weighing on conscience and disrupting in some way his or her relationship with others.


Posted Oct. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 71

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RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

It depends on the scope of the secret. It also depends on the number of people it involves/affects. If the secret is dark, it eats at the person like a cancer - as it does to characters in this book (literally and figuratively).


Posted Oct. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kenanr

Join Date: 02/20/14

Posts: 13

RE: Do you think secrecy is worth the price?

Yes. What?? No really, the price of the secret is based solely upon what the individual can endure. In fact, I believe that the price paid by the bearer has very little to do with the cost of keeping the secret, and it is the price of the truth that determines its worth. Is it more valuable to keep a person alive, sustain a relationship, keep a loved one happy? Will the truth hurt an innocent? If the answer to any of these is yes, then it is the truth that is costly, not the secret itself. A cost/benefit analysis has been made by the bearer of the secret and only he is privy to how much pain he can and will tolerate to keep others in the dark. The problem, of course, arises when more than one person knows the truth, as Ben Franklin said “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead”. So as soon as the secret isn’t “owned” by the one person willing to sacrifice sleep, well-being, morality or a myriad of other things - then it doesn’t matter what he gave up or the price he paid, it was not his own to begin with, and the bargain he has made with himself is moot, for the chickens have come home to roost.

Clearly Tom Cage felt the cost of the truth was too high a price for his family to bear, and as we don’t yet know the full extent of his secret we cannot know if he made the right choice. A lot of very bad people with no qualms about murder seem to know him better than his son. I am confident that I would mortgage just about everything, including my soul, if it meant I could keep my children safe from that kind of danger.


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