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Game of Secretsby Dawn Clifton Tripp
Synopses & Reviews
In 1957, Jane Weld was eleven years old when her father, Luce, disappeared. His skiff was found drifting near a marsh, empty except for his hunting coat and a box of shotgun shells. No one in their small New England town knew for sure what happened until, three years later, Luce’s skull rolled out of a gravel pit, a bullet hole in the temple. Rumors sprang up that he had been murdered by the jealous husband of his mistress, Ada Varick.
Now, half a century later, Jane is still searching for the truth of her father’s death, a mystery made more urgent by the unexpected romance that her willful daughter, Marne, has struck up with one of Ada’s sons. As the love affair intensifies, Jane and Ada meet for their weekly Friday game of Scrabble, a pastime that soon transforms into a cat-and-mouse game of words long left unspoken, and dark secrets best left untold.
"In 1950s New England, in the midst of a steamy affair with married Ada, Luce Weld is murdered. Tripp's third novel (after The Season of Open Water) explores, sometimes tediously, these events and their long-term consequences on Weld's daughter, Jane (12 when he was killed); her daughter, Marne; and Ada's sons, Ray and Huck. After moving home to escape an aimless California existence, Marne begins to date Ray and the relationship encourages her to think more deeply about her mother, who she sees as hopelessly rigid. Jane meets Ada for a weekly Scrabble match; they almost never discuss the affair or murder, instead they talk about their children and, unfortunately, the progress of the game, wherein each new tile signifies a shift in power and bogs down an otherwise affecting tale about the need to, and danger of, confronting the past. Tripp shifts between many points of view and darts from 2004 to key moments of the '50s and '60s, heading chapters with titles, names, and dates to keep the many players straight. The result is a familiar literary soap opera that offers some surprising delights. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Dawn Tripp graduated from Harvard and lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. She is the author of the novels Moon Tide and The Season of Open Water, which won the Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction.
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