The Language of Secrets

Dianne Dixon, Author . Doubleday $24 (262p) ISBN 978-0-385-53063-7

A story of mystery, betrayal, and family tragedy, Dixon's debut novel, despite its creative story line, falls short in execution. After living in London for a decade, 33-year-old Justin Fisher returns to Southern California with his wife and young son to reconnect with the family he hasn't spoken to in years. The rub: he can't remember much of his childhood, or even why he's kept himself at such a distance. Soon after arriving, he learns his parents are dead, and upon visiting their graves, he discovers a tombstone with his name on it indicating he died at age four. As Justin searches his foggy memories for the truth about his past, the narrative skips back in time to fill in the holes with the tale of Justin's mother and how her relationship with three men in college dictates her future. Though there's a payoff in the surprise ending, the plot is painfully overeventful—Justin's mother's story often reads like outtakes from a soap opera—and Dixon's prose struggles to carry the narrative . (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/07/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Paperback - 262 pages - 978-0-7679-3223-3
Ebook - 172 pages - 978-0-385-53061-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-70437-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-70440-5
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