Family Secrets

Family Secrets

by Nancy Thayer

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A long ago love story threatens to change the lives of three generations of women in New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer’s stunning novel—now available for the first time as an eBook!
Though Diane Randall’s jewelry business is a great success, her marriage is not, and she finds herself growing lonely as her


A long ago love story threatens to change the lives of three generations of women in New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer’s stunning novel—now available for the first time as an eBook!
Though Diane Randall’s jewelry business is a great success, her marriage is not, and she finds herself growing lonely as her children near adulthood. Meanwhile, her eighteen-year-old daughter Julia is falling dangerously in love, and Diane’s mother, Jean, is relishing her newfound freedom as a single woman in Europe. Distracted by their individual concerns, the three women are ill-prepared for the crisis that suddenly appears on Diane’s doorstep in the form of a handsome FBI agent asking about an explosive secret that’s layed buried for decades.
At the start of World War II, Jean was a young woman in love who made a fateful mistake, one that may now tear apart her family. Diane finds herself drawn into an illicit affair that threatens to erupt into scandal, while Julia’s own dramatic antics endanger her life. Meanwhile, Jean is desperate to keep hidden painful memories she’s guarded for so long. These three extraordinary women find that only by facing down secrets and lies can they face the future.
Includes a captivating preview of Nancy Thayer’s upcoming novel Nantucket Sisters!
Praise for the novels of Nancy Thayer
“The queen of beach books.”—The Star-Ledger
“Thayer has a deep and masterly understanding of love and friendship, of where the two complement and where they collide.”—Elin Hilderbrand
“Thayer’s gift for reaching the emotional core of her characters [is] captivating.”Houston Chronicle
“One of my favorite writers.”—Susan Wiggs
“Thayer portrays beautifully the small moments, inside stories and shared histories that build families.”The Miami Herald
“Thayer’s sense of place is powerful, and her words are hung together the way my grandmother used to tat lace.”—Dorothea Benton Frank

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With quiet intensity, Thayer ( Everlasting ) tells an engrossing story of three generations of proud and rebellious women. As a girl, Jean Marshall had seemed the epitome of virtue and obedience, qualities demanded by her naval-officer father and status-conscious mother. While a student at Radcliffe in 1939, however, Jean starts to write for a pacifist literary review and begins an erotic relationship that leads to some heady cloak-and-dagger machinations whose astonishing reverberations will be felt 50 years later. Eventually, she marries someone suitable and becomes a full-time mother, drawing disdain from her talented daughter, Diane, who vows her life will never be as dull as Jean's. Diane builds a custom jewelry business, winning world renown, but she incurs the hostility of her own daughter, Julia, who has felt abandoned during crucial times. Julia has her own way of striking back and precipitates a crisis. The story, ever fluid, gracefully incorporates details of 1930s Washington society and insights into the process of jewelry design. Although the characters never become quite lifelike and their dialogue is just a little too glib, a series of well-integrated surprises sustains reader interest. 50,000 first printing; major ad/promo; Literary Guild selection. (June)
Library Journal
Diane, a successful jewelry designer, is flanked on both sides by a mother and daughter whose choices in life she finds hard to understand. Her recently widowed mother, Jean, wanders through Europe alone. Diane's teenage daughter, Julia, is failing in school and would rather become a chef than a college student. What the three women unknowingly share is the experience of early love as a form of madness. It is Jean's long unresolved, daringly rebellious story of early love that contributes to the ``family secrets'' of the title. When the FBI undertakes an investigation into Jean's involvement with an antiwar movement during the 1940s, Diane is caught up in the search for truth about her mother's past. Similar in theme to Thayer's Three Women at Water's Edge ( LJ 9/15/81), this novel adds a dash of political suspense to the more predictable themes of love, marriage, and intergeneration conflict. Literary Guild selection.-- Keddy Ann Outlaw, Harris Cty. P.L., Houston
Kerri Kilbane
From the author of the popular "Everlasting" (1991) comes a picture-perfect, elegantly told story of the lives, loves, and secrets of three women--grandmother, mother, and daughter. Their individual tales are intriguing; at the center there is Diane, driven, successful, and suffering the disillusionment of mid-life crisis. The FBI contacts her in an attempt to locate her recently widowed mother, who they believe possesses top-secret information. At the same time, Julia, her unhappily college-bound daughter who's desperately in love with the boy next door and more desperately in need of breaking away from her mother's expectations, runs off to be married. Meanwhile, Diane's mother, Jean, captures the foregone dream of her youth: traveling through Europe with no itinerary, enjoying only quiet, anonymous days of her very own. Gradually, gently, the lives of these women unfold before us and Jean's mysterious secret is revealed. Each woman must look closely at her own life, at that part of her that is her mother--specifically, its undeniable existence and the urge to rebel against it in the brazenly defiant need to be an individual--and at that part of her that is unique. Thayer's heroines are almost too perfect to love, but the relationships between the women are provocative and realistically complex. A Literary Guild selection, this should be a definite crowd pleaser.

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Random House Publishing Group
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Random House
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2 MB

Meet the Author

Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of Island Girls, Summer Breeze, Heat Wave, Beachcombers, Summer House, Moon Shell Beach, and The Hot Flash Club. She lives in Nantucket.

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