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Sunday, August 12, 2012

SECRETS, LIES, & THE ABSENCE OF BOUNDARIES -- A REVIEW

In 1951, Samuel Baldwin, an important government employee, was found dead in the family's rental property in Wichita Hills, by his twelve-year-old daughter Lucy.

For many years afterwards, Lucy and her mother lived in Santa Fe, where they had escaped after the scandal. Secrets about that event would cloud their lives from then on.

Until one day when Lucy, by then a well-known children's book author, left New York with her two children to move into that home, where their lives would never be the same again. For into the insular world of the neighborhood, where boundaries were unheard of and where everyone wanted to know everything about the others, the secrets in Lucy's life would separate her from them and turn her into someone about whom they whispered. And, invariably, Lucy's twelve-year-old daughter Maggie would wonder about that part of their lives her mother would not talk about.

Like who was the father of the two children, Maggie and Felix? Why did her mother tell so many lies? What really happened to Lucy's father? And why was her mother not like the others? The differences would pull Maggie away from her mother and hurtle her into the path of unseen danger from an unexpected source.

Most of the story is set during 1973, with the dark cloud of Watergate hovering over the nation, creating mistrust and doubt everywhere. And yet the 1970s also reflected times of change and freedom, with women's issues at the forefront and the War in Vietnam ending.

The behavior of the characters in You Are the Love of My Life: A Novel reminded me of people in my own suburban neighborhood back then. When they might walk into your home as if the doors were ever open to them; when people wanted to know your innermost thoughts; and when, if you didn't want to share, you were labeled "different" and "uncool." This book was a painful reminder of what can go awry when secrets and lies are part of who you are and when protective boundaries do not exist. Five stars!

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like my kind of book, I am sure I can relate to the time period.

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  2. Yes, I found the time period very familiar....Thanks for stopping by, Nise.

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  3. This really does sound excellent. It's on my list. Thanks, Laurel. I'm behind in my reading, but I hope to get to some reviews this winter.

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  4. I really loved it, Joylene...it was such a flashback to that time for me. I hope you do get a chance to read it, and thanks for stopping by.

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