The Tell

Hester Kaplan, Author
Hester Kaplan. Harper Perennial, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-218402-3
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-218403-0
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Mira and Owen’s marriage begins to stutter as they struggle with money problems when Wilton Deere, a washed-up television star, moves in next door and begins to charm the couple with stories of his estranged daughter and his dramatic past. Mira could sell inherited valuables, but is reluctant to do so, and as Wilton gradually befriends the couple, his relations with Mira take a darker turn: he introduces her to the world of gambling and she becomes addicted. Though Owen vows to leave her if she doesn’t stop, she ignores his threats. He takes his revenge by poisoning Wilton’s attempts to restore his relationship with his daughter, Anya, and pressuring Wilton to kill himself. When Wilton subsequently disappears, Owen, Mira, and Anya must confront their difficult truths and learn to trust each other again. Kaplan (Kinship Theory) suffuses her latest with a sense of its own importance; everything takes on an extremely dramatic tone, even if the events themselves are minor, which makes it difficult to take big problems seriously. Additionally, the characters are not particularly sympathetic and some of their decisions make little sense. Readers may be drawn in by the exploration of addiction and loneliness, but will be disappointed. Agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. (Jan.)
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