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Description - Secrecy by Belva Plain

First came the sin. Then the lies. He was handsome, charming, irresistable, and an eighteen-year-old lady-killer, her uncle Cliff's stepson, Ted. But in one terrible night he would shatter the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Dawes and nearly destroy her family. Years afterward, Charlotte would remember that night with fear and loathing, with pain that could be banished only by her work as a gifted architect, building a new world for others as she conceals her own. For Charlotte's family, prime employers in New England mill town, what happened to Charlotte was the beginning of the end. Her father is left shattered by his daughter's pain. Her troubled mother is unable to cope. And her distinguished family has fallen from grace, plunged into debt. The only rock that sustains them in their darkest hours is a woman whose own guilty secret has given her the power to ruin--or resurrect--the family to whom she owes her life. Belva Plain's searing novel cuts to the heart of a family ravaged by secrecy. But it is ultimately a story of redemption, the kind that grows when one person dares to tell the truth.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340693155
ISBN-10: 0340693150
Format: Paperback
(179mm x 111mm x 28mm)
Pages: 376
Imprint: Hodder Paperback
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 4-Dec-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Secrecy by Belva Plain

US Kirkus Review » Plain returns, this time with the story of a young rape victim struggling to overcome obstacles to intimacy and true love. There's also a clammy subplot having to do with a missing person and the infiltration by the mob of an industrial site belonging to an old New England family. Charlotte Dawes is raped at 14 by her cousin-by-marriage, the randy Ted, son of her uncle Cliffs new wife, Claudia, whose first husband was shot in - where else? - Chicago. When Charlotte becomes pregnant, then, her father and her romantic adventuress mother are wild with rage. Both are beside their daughter's bedside as she recovers from an operation for a ruptured tubal pregnancy. In the meantime, Ted continues to assault women and is finally arrested and indicted for rape and kidnapping. Home on bail, he escapes in the night. (Reports from abroad of Ted-sightings occur now and then.) Skip to Manhattan eight years later, where adult Charlotte works for an architectural firm. She loves her work but despairs of forming a firm relationship with a man, sex-shy as she is. She designs for her own pleasure a "public square" fit for the Dawes's now shuttered mill. Unfortunately, her family has inadvertently leased the mill to a polluting waste-disposal firm, to the anger of the town and the despair of the Daweses. Then Charlotte meets the dashing Roger Heywood, whose family deals in commercial real estate. Roger is not only able to come up with the ready cash to finance Charlotte's project, but (of course) coaxes her out of her trauma-related fear of sex. Finally, Claudia, trading on her late husband's mob connections, talks a boss out of retaining the mill. Looks like smooth sailing for the lovers, but disaster threatens again in the form of a flood and a potential terrible discovery. Plain Plain (Promises, 1986, etc.), but nonetheless name-anointed for success. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Belva Plain

Belva Plain's first novel, EVERGREEN, was published in 1978 and became an international bestseller. She has since entranced a worldwide audience with fourteen more bestsellers. She lives in northern New Jersey.

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