The Secret Between Us

( 70 )

Overview


THE SECRET BETWEEN US explores the limits of responsibility—mother to daughter, daughter to father, husband to wife.
After Deborah Monroe picks up her sixteen-year-old daughter, Grace, from a party, they are driving home when their car hits a man in the dark. Although Grace was at the wheel, Deborah sends her home, insistent on facing the police alone. Her decision then turns into a deception which takes on a life of its own, threatening...
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Secret Between Us

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Overview


THE SECRET BETWEEN US explores the limits of responsibility—mother to daughter, daughter to father, husband to wife.
After Deborah Monroe picks up her sixteen-year-old daughter, Grace, from a party, they are driving home when their car hits a man in the dark. Although Grace was at the wheel, Deborah sends her home, insistent on facing the police alone. Her decision then turns into a deception which takes on a life of its own, threatening their family, as well as the special bond between mother and daughter.
Once again Delinsky has written a superbly crafted book, perfectly targeted to reading groups and fans of provocative fiction.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

When Dr. Deborah Monroe's teenage daughter Grace hits her high school history teacher while driving, Deborah allows the police to think she was at the wheel. Dealing with the aftermath of the accident is just one more unwelcome burden for Deborah, already stressed by work and family problems. Meanwhile, Grace is devastated by the pressure of the lie and the guilt she feels, particularly after her teacher dies. Orlagh Cassidy makes a serviceable if not particularly distinctive attempt to distinguish between character voices, but her overall performance is warm and compassionate. Together, the smoothly abridged text and the narration create an emotionally affecting and realistic portrait of a family in crisis. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 15, 2007). (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Small-town physician Deborah Monroe has a plethora of family problems on her plate. Her husband has left, her teenage daughter Grace is angry, her young son Dylan has eye problems, her mother passed away, and her father drinks and passes judgment. Things get decidedly worse one rainy night when a man runs in front of her car, and Deborah makes a decision that has serious and rippling effects on herself and her family. So begins best-selling author Delinsky's (Family Tree) latest page-turner, which deftly and realistically addresses family issues like parental expectations and disapproval, divorce and secrets, as well as small-town issues like preferential treatment and gossip. The concept of lying is also explored from multiple angles. In addition to being immensely readable, Delinsky's latest is thought-provoking; readers will inevitably pause to consider what they would do if they found themselves in Deborah's situation. Highly recommended for public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ10/1/07.]
—Samantha J. Gust

School Library Journal

Adult/High School -Secrets, responsibilities, truths, lies, and justice are some of the issues woven into this story, which begins with Deborah Monroe and her daughter, Grace, driving home in the rain. They are arguing and Grace is at the wheel when out of nowhere a man appears and she hits him. Deborah immediately decides to take responsibility for the accident and sends Grace running home. Being a doctor, she quickly checks for vitals and waits for the police and EMTs. When they arrive, Dr. Monroe answers all their questions and, although she never really lies, she does neglect to tell the sheriff that it was Grace who was driving. Her lies continue as she lets the entire close-knit community and her family believe that she was responsible for the accident. Grace suffers for her mothera€™s well-intended lie, and circumstances become more complicated when the victim is identified as her history teacher. As the investigation gets underway, it is discovered that Mr. McKennaa€™s life wasna€™t all it appeared to be. As the story continues, readers meet more people whose lives and secrets are exposed. This novel will have teens considering their own moral compass and asking just how honest, dishonest, and secretive anyone can be.-Joanne Ligamari, Rio Linda School District, Sacramento, CA

From the Publisher
People Magazine has called the work of bestselling author Barbara Delinsky “Engrossing reading!”

“Delinsky delves deeper into the human heart and spirit with each new novel.”
CincinnatiEnquirer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615564965
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/7/2009
  • Pages: 345

Meet the Author

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky is the author of more than seventeen bestselling novels with over twenty million copies in print. She has been published in twenty-five languages worldwide. Barbara lives with her family in New England.

Biography

Born Ruth Greenberg, and raised in suburban Boston, Barbara Delinsky worked as a sociology researcher in children's services and was a newspaper photographer and reporter before turning to fiction writing full-time. In point of fact, she never intended to pursue a literary career. But, in the early 1980s, a newspaper article profiling three women who successfully balanced home, family, and romance writing caught her attention. Intrigued, she spent months researching and writing her first novel. It sold -- and Delinsky was off and running.

Praised by critics and fans alike for her character driven studies of marriage, parenthood, and friendship, Delinsky is one of a small cadre of successful women writers (including Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown) who started out writing pseudonymous paperbacks for the category romance genre and muscled their way onto the bestseller lists with hardcover escapist fiction. Yet she is candid about the hard work involved and insists there's no tried-and-true formula that converts automatically to easy money. As if to prove her own point, Delinsky works from eight in the morning to about seven at night, writing in the office above the garage in her Newton, Massachusetts home; doing research; handling interviews; or -- her least favorite part of the job -- touring the country making author appearances.

Over the decades Delinsky has written dozens of novels that have landed on The New York Times bestseller list, including Twilight Whispers (1988), For My Daughters (1994), Three Wishes (1997), Flirting with Pete (2003), and Family Tree (2007). In 2001, she published her first nonfiction title, Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors. A cancer survivor herself, she has earmarked all the profits from the sale of this book to benefit breast cancer research.

Good To Know

When she isn't writing, one of Delinsky's favorite pastimes is kayaking.

She gets some of her best ideas in the shower. "It's a little harder to write ideas down there," she wrote to fans on her web site, "but I've been known to yell something out to my husband, who does it for me!"

The family cat, Chelsea, is named after her 1992 novel The Passions of Chelsea Kane.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Billie Douglass, Bonnie Drake; born Ruth Greenberg
    2. Hometown:
      Newton, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University, 1967; M.A. in Sociology, Boston College, 1969

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

They were arguing in the seconds before impact. Later, Deborah Monroe would agonize about that, wondering whether, had she been focused solely on the road, she might have seen something sooner and been able to prevent what occurred—because the argument had been nearly as distracting as the storm. She and her daughter never argued. They were similar in looks, temperament, and interests. Deborah rarely had to tweak Grace—her son, Dylan, yes, but not Grace. Grace usually understood what was expected and why.

This night, though, the girl fought back. “You’re getting hyper about nothing, Mom. Nothing happened.”

“You said Megan’s parents were going to be home,” Deborah reminded her.

“That’s what Megan told me.”

“I would have thought twice if I’d known there would be a crowd.”

“We were studying.”

“You, Megan, and Stephie,” Deborah said, and, yes, the textbooks were there, damp from Grace’s dash to the car in the rain, “plus Becca, and Michael, Ryan, Justin, and Kyle, none of whom were supposed to be there. Three girls study. Four girls and four boys make a party. Sweetie, it’s pouring rain, and even above the noise of that, I could hear shrieking laughter all the way from the car.”

Deborah didn’t know if Grace was looking guilty. Long brown curls hid broad–set eyes, a straight nose, and a full upper lip. She did hear the snap of her daughter’s gum; its spearmint shrouded the smell of wet books. But she quickly returned her own eyes to the road, or what she could see of it, despite the wipers working double time. Visibility on this stretch was poor even on the best of nights. There were no streetlights, and moonshine rarely penetrated the trees.

Tonight the road was a funnel. Rain rushed at them, swallowing the beam of the headlights and thrashing against the windshield—and yes, April meant rain, but this was absurd. Had it been as bad on the way out, Deborah would never have let Grace drive home. But Grace had asked, and Deborah’s husband—ex–husband—too often accused her of being overprotective.

They were going slowly enough; Deborah would repeat that many times in subsequent days, and forensics would bear it out. They were less than a minute from home and knew this part of the road well. But the darkness was dense, the rain an unreckoned force. Yes, Deborah knew that her daughter had to actually drive in order to learn how, but she feared this was too much, too soon.
Deborah hated rain. Grace didn’t seem fazed.

“We finished studying,” the girl argued around the gum in her mouth. Her hands were tight on the wheel, perfectly positioned, nothing wrong there. “It was hot inside, and the AC wasn’t on yet, so we opened the windows. We were taking a break. Like, is it a crime to laugh? I mean, it’s bad enough my mother had to come to get me—”

“Excuse me,” Deborah cut in, “but what was the alternative? You can’t drive by yourself on a learner’s permit. Ryan and Kyle may have their licenses, but, by law, they’re not allowed to take friends in the car without an adult, and besides, we live on the opposite end of town from the others—and what’s so bad about your mother picking you up at ten o’clock on a weeknight? Sweetie, you’re barely sixteen.”

Exactly,” Grace said with feeling. “I’m sixteen, Mom. I’ll have my real license in four months. So what’ll happen then? I'll be driving myself places all the time—because we don’t only live on the opposite end of town from everyone else, we live in the middle of nowhere, because Dad decided he had to buy a gazillion acres to build a McMansion in the forest, which he then decided he didn’t want, so he left it and us and moved to Vermont to live with his long–lost love from twenty–five years ago—”

“Grace–” Deborah couldn't go there just then. Grace might feel abandoned by her father, but the loss hit Deborah harder. Her marriage wasn’t supposed to end. That hadn’t been in the plan.

“Okay, forget Dad,” Grace went on, “but once I get my license, I’ll be driving places alone, and you won’t see who’s there or whether there’s a parent around, or whether we’re studying or having a party. You’re going to have to trust me.”

“I do trust you,” Deborah said, defensive herself now, but pleading. “It’s the others I don’t trust. Weren’t you the one who told me Kyle brought a six–pack to the pool party at Katherine’s house last weekend?”

“None of us had any. Katherine’s parents made him leave.”

“Katherine’s parents. Exactly.”

Deborah heard her growl. “Mom. We were studying.”

Deborah was about to list the things that could happen when teenagers were studying—things she had seen both growing up, when her father was the only family doctor in town, and now, being in practice with him and treating dozens of local teenagers—when a flash of movement entered her line of sight on the right. In quick succession came the jolt of a weighty thud against the front of the car, the slam of brakes, the squeal of tires. Her seat belt tightened, holding her while the car skidded on the flooded pavement, fishtailed, and spun, all in the space of seconds. When it came to a stop, they were facing backward.

For a minute, Deborah didn’t hear the rain over the thunder of her heart. Then, above it, came Grace’s frightened cry. “What was that?

“Are you okay?”

What was that?” the girl repeated, her voice shaking this time.

Deborah was starting to shake, too, but her daughter was upright, belted in, clearly okay. Scrabbling to release her seat belt, Deborah hiked up the hood of her slicker and ran out to search for whatever it was they had hit. The headlights reflected off the wet road, but beyond that paltry light, it was totally dark.

Ducking back into the car, she fumbled through the glove box for a flashlight. Outside again, she searched the roadside, but saw nothing that remotely resembled a downed animal.

Grace materialized at her elbow. "Was it a deer?" she asked, sounding terrified.

Deborah's heart continued to pound. “I don’t know. Sweetie, get back in the car. You don’t have a jacket.” It was a warm enough spring night; she just didn’t want Grace seeing what they had hit.

“It had to be a deer,” Grace cried, “not even hurt, just ran off into the woods—what else could it be?”

Deborah didn’t think a deer wore a running suit with a stripe up the side, which was what she swore she had seen in the split second prior to impact. A running suit meant something human.

She walked along the edge of the road, searching the low shrubs with her light. “Hey,” she called out to whoever was there, “are you hurt? Hello? Let me know where you are!”

Grace hovered at her shoulder. “Like, it came from nowhere, Mom—no person would be out here in the rain, so maybe it was a fox or a raccoon—or a deer, it had to be a deer.”

“Get back in the car, Grace,” Deborah repeated. The words were barely out when she heard something, and it wasn't the idling car. Nor was it the whine of wind in the trees or the rain splattering everything in sight.

The sound came again, definitely a moan. She followed it to a point at the side of the road and searched again, but it was another minute before she found its source. The running shoe was barely visible in the wet undergrowth some four feet from the pavement, and the black pants rising from it, half hidden under a low branch of a hemlock, had a blue stripe. A second leg was bent in an odd angle—broken, she guessed—and the rest of him was crumpled against the base of a tree.

Supine, he ran no risk of suffocation in the forest undergrowth, but his eyes were closed. Short dark hair was plastered to his forehead. Scrambling through a clump of wet ferns, Deborah directed her flashlight to his head, but didn’t see any blood other than that from a mean scrape on his jaw.

Omigod!” Grace wailed.

Deborah felt for a pulse at his neck. It was only when she found it that her own began beating again. “Can you hear me?” she asked, leaning close. “Open your eyes for me.” He didn't respond.

Omigod!” Grace cried hysterically. “Do you know who that is, it’s my history teacher!”

Trying to think quickly, Deborah pulled her daughter back onto the road and toward the car. She could feel the girl trembling. As calmly as she could, Deborah said, “I want you to run home, honey. It isn’t more than half a mile, and you’re already soaked. Dylan’s alone. He’ll be scared.” She imagined a small face at the pantry window, eyes large, frightened, and magnified behind thick Harry Potter glasses.

“What'll you do?” Grace asked in a high, wavery voice.

“Call the police, then sit with Mr. McKenna until an ambulance comes.”

“I didn’t see him, I swear, I didn’t see him,” wailed Grace. “Can’t you do something for him, Mom?”

“Not much.” Deborah turned off the engine, turned on the hazards. “I don't see any profuse bleeding, and I don’t dare move him.”

“Will he die?”

Deborah grabbed her phone. “We weren’t going fast. We couldn’t have hit him that hard.”

“But he got way over there.”

“He must have rolled.”

“He isn’t moving.”

“He may have a concussion or be in shock.” There were plenty of worse possibilities, most of which, unfortunately, she knew.

“Shouldn’t I stay here with you?”

“There's nothing you can do here. Go, sweetie.” She cupped her daughter’s cheek, frantic to spare her this, at least. “I’ll be home soon.”

Grace’s hair was drenched, separating into long, wet coils. Rain dripped from a gentle chin. Eyes wide, she spoke in a frightened rush. “Did you see him, Mom? Like, why would anybody be walking on the road in the rain? I mean, it’s dark, how could I possibly see him, and why didn’t he see us? There are no other lights here.”

Deborah punched in 9–1–1 with one hand and took Grace’s arm with the other. “Go, Grace. I need you home with Dylan. Now.” The dispatcher picked up after a single ring. Deborah knew the voice. Carla McKay was a patient of hers. She worked as the civilian dispatcher several nights a week.

“Leyland Police. This call is being recorded.”

“Carla, it’s Dr. Monroe,” she said and shooed Grace off with a hand. “There’s been an accident. I’m on the rim road, maybe a half mile east of my house. My car hit a man. We need an ambulance.”

“How badly is he hurt?”

“He’s unconscious, but he’s breathing. I’d say there's a broken leg, but I’m not sure what else. The only cut I see is superficial, but I can’t look more without moving him.”

“Is anyone else hurt?”

“No. How fast can you get someone here?”

“I’ll call now.”

Deborah closed the phone. Grace hadn’t moved. Soaking wet, curls long and bedraggled, she looked very young and frightened.

Frightened herself, Deborah stroked wet hair back from her daughter’s cheeks. On a note of quiet urgency, she said, “Grace, I need you home with Dylan.”

“I was driving.”

“You’ll be more of a help to me if you’re with Dylan. Please, sweetie?”

“It was my fault.”

Grace. Can we not argue about this? Here, take my jacket.” She was starting to slip it off when the girl turned and broke into a run. In no time, she had disappeared in the rain.

Pulling her hood up again, Deborah hurried back into the woods. The smell of wet earth and hemlock permeated the air, but she knew what blood smelled like and imagined that, too. Again, she looked for something beyond the scrape on Calvin McKenna’s jaw. She saw nothing.

He remained unconscious, but his pulse was strong. She could monitor that and, if it faltered, could manually pump his chest. Studying the angle of his leg, she suspected that his injury involved the hip, but a hip injury was doable. A spine injury was something else, which was why she wouldn’t move him. The EMTs would have a backboard and head immobilizer. Far better to wait.

It was easier said than done. It was an endless ten minutes of blaming herself for letting Grace drive, of taking Calvin McKenna's pulse, trying to see what else might be hurt, wondering what had possessed him to be out in the rain, taking his pulse again, cursing the location of their house and the irresponsibility of her ex–husband, before she saw the flashing lights of the cruiser. There was no siren. They were in too rural a part of town for that.

Waving her flashlight, she ran back onto the road and was at the cruiser’s door when Brian Duffy stepped out. In his mid–forties, he was one of a dozen officers on the town force. He also coached Little League. Her son, Dylan, had been on his team for two years.

"Are you all right, Dr. Monroe?" he asked, fitting a plastic–covered cap over his crewcut. He was already wearing a rain jacket.

“I’m fine. But my car hit Calvin McKenna.” She led him back to the woods. “I can’t tell how badly he’s hurt.” Once over the ferns, she knelt and checked his pulse again. It remained steady. She directed her flashlight at his face; its beam was joined by the officer’s.

“Cal?” she called futilely. “Cal? Can you hear me?”

“What was he doing out here?” the officer asked.

Deborah sat back on her heels. “I have no idea. Walking? Running?”

“In the rain? That’s strange.”

“Particularly here,” she said. “Do you know where he lives?” It certainly wasn’t nearby. There were four houses in the circle of a mile, and she knew the residents of each.

“He and his wife have a place over by the train station,” Brian replied. “That’s a few miles from here. I take it you don’t treat him?”

“No. Grace has him in school this year, so I heard him speak at the open house last fall. He’s a serious guy, a tough marker. That’s about all I know.” She was reaching for his pulse again when the road came alive with light. A second cruiser arrived, its roof bar thrumming a raucous blue and white. An ambulance was close behind.

Deborah didn’t immediately recognize the EMTs; they were young, likely new. But she did know the man who emerged from the second cruiser. John Colby was the police chief. In his late–fifties, he would have been retired had he been working anywhere else, but he had grown up in Leyland. It was understood that he would keep working as long as his health allowed. Deborah guessed that would be a while. He and his wife were patients of theirs. His wife had a problem with allergens–dander, pollen, dust—that had resulted in adult–onset asthma, but John’s greatest problem, beyond a pot belly, was insomnia. He worked days; he worked nights. He claimed that being active kept his blood pressure down, and since his blood pressure was chronically low, Deborah couldn’t argue.

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Introduction

Showcasing the taut, perceptive storytelling that has made Barbara Delinsky one of America’s most alluring novelists, The Secret Between Us features a family that is forced to confront its greatest frailties while hiding a dangerous secret from their small-town community. In the novel’s arresting opening scene, physician Deborah Monroe and her teenage daughter are traveling down a dark, rain–slick road when their car hits a pedestrian. The accident places Deborah in a dilemma that threatens to damage her family ties, not only with her children but also her renegade sister and their father, a recent widower. As details emerge about the accident victim—an aloof local teacher who wove his own web of secrecy—Deborah must find a way to reconcile her worst fears with the truth of that terrible night.

The questions and topics that follow are designed to enhance your reading of The Secret Between Us. We hope they will enrich your experience of this riveting novel.

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Foreword

1. What did the scenes depicting the accident reveal about the family dynamics between Deborah and Grace? How would you or your parents have reacted in a similar situation?

2. How does Deborah reconcile her role as a mother with her role as a daughter? What aspects of her upbringing does she try to avoid repeating? How did your perception of her family shift throughout the novel?

3. Do Jill and Deborah remember their mother the same way? How is their family affected by her absence? What accounts for the distinctions between Jill’s and Deborah’s paths in life?

4. Discuss the power and lack of power created by the many secrets woven throughout the novel. Which deceptions (including self-deceptions) harm the characters the most? Which deceptions are unavoidable?

5. Compare Grace and Dylan. How do they cope with their vulnerabilities? Do they respond to their parents’ divorce in essentially the same way, or are their temperaments distinct?

6. Why was Calvin so secretive during his lifetime? What do his brother’s observations about their childhood tell us about Calvin’s outlook on life? How did your initial theories compare to the truth of Calvin’s death?

7. Why was it difficult for Karen to realize the truth about Hal’s infidelity? What sustains marriages such as theirs?

8. In what way do Deborah and her father view their role as physicians differently? How do they define the keys to healing?

9. What does it take for Deborah to trust Tom? How might their relationship have unfolded without the tension of a possible lawsuit on the part of Calvin’s widow? In Tom’s case, did the law help orhinder his quest for the truth?

10. Is Grace’s wish to take responsibility for the accident related to her feelings about her parents’ divorce? Or is she simply an honest young woman who wants to do the right thing? Does Greg respond appropriately to her self–destructive behavior?

11. What was Greg looking for when he married Rebecca? How was his perception of himself and his family transformed in the novel’s closing chapters?

12. Why does Grace give Danielle the cold shoulder when she so badly needs someone to talk to? What do their fathers have in common?

13. What is it like to live in a close-knit community such as Leyland? On what basis do the residents judge one another? Who determines who the power brokers will be? How would Deborah and Grace’s situation have changed if the accident had taken place in a large city?

14. In the end, was justice served by John’s decision? What was his share of the responsibility in perpetuating the secret?

15. What makes the rain an appropriate sign for representing transformations, both when Deborah is with Tom and in the final images of Grace?

16. In what way does The Secret Between Us underscore dilemmas of truth and dishonesty explored in Barbara Delinsky’s previous works? What distinguishes this novel from the other Delinsky fiction you have read?

17. What is the most significant secret you have ever tried to keep? What led you to reveal the truth?

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Reading Group Guide

1. What did the scenes depicting the accident reveal about the family dynamics between Deborah and Grace? How would you or your parents have reacted in a similar situation?

2. How does Deborah reconcile her role as a mother with her role as a daughter? What aspects of her upbringing does she try to avoid repeating? How did your perception of her family shift throughout the novel?

3. Do Jill and Deborah remember their mother the same way? How is their family affected by her absence? What accounts for the distinctions between Jill’s and Deborah’s paths in life?

4. Discuss the power and lack of power created by the many secrets woven throughout the novel. Which deceptions (including self-deceptions) harm the characters the most? Which deceptions are unavoidable?

5. Compare Grace and Dylan. How do they cope with their vulnerabilities? Do they respond to their parents’ divorce in essentially the same way, or are their temperaments distinct?

6. Why was Calvin so secretive during his lifetime? What do his brother’s observations about their childhood tell us about Calvin’s outlook on life? How did your initial theories compare to the truth of Calvin’s death?

7. Why was it difficult for Karen to realize the truth about Hal’s infidelity? What sustains marriages such as theirs?

8. In what way do Deborah and her father view their role as physicians differently? How do they define the keys to healing?

9. What does it take for Deborah to trust Tom? How might their relationship have unfolded without the tension of a possible lawsuit on the part of Calvin’s widow? In Tom’s case, did the law help or hinder his quest for the truth?

10. Is Grace’s wish to take responsibility for the accident related to her feelings about her parents’ divorce? Or is she simply an honest young woman who wants to do the right thing? Does Greg respond appropriately to her self–destructive behavior?

11. What was Greg looking for when he married Rebecca? How was his perception of himself and his family transformed in the novel’s closing chapters?

12. Why does Grace give Danielle the cold shoulder when she so badly needs someone to talk to? What do their fathers have in common?

13. What is it like to live in a close-knit community such as Leyland? On what basis do the residents judge one another? Who determines who the power brokers will be? How would Deborah and Grace’s situation have changed if the accident had taken place in a large city?

14. In the end, was justice served by John’s decision? What was his share of the responsibility in perpetuating the secret?

15. What makes the rain an appropriate sign for representing transformations, both when Deborah is with Tom and in the final images of Grace?

16. In what way does The Secret Between Us underscore dilemmas of truth and dishonesty explored in Barbara Delinsky’s previous works? What distinguishes this novel from the other Delinsky fiction you have read?

17. What is the most significant secret you have ever tried to keep? What led you to reveal the truth?

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    Intriging

    This novel is about a mother named Deborah and her daughter, Grace who one night they are driving home and Deborah and Grace are arguing about what Grace was really doing at her friends house before her mom came to pick her up. It is raining like crazy and very hard to see especially for Grace who is driving when all of a sudden they hear a "thud". they find out a few minutes later that it was Grace's teacher from school and she had just ran him over! Deborah does not want her daughter to take the blame so she tells her daughter to leave before the police arrive. Now Grace and her mother have to face a hard ship for what they have done and keep it a secret from EVERYONE. What I liked about this book was the whole situation between the mother and daughter and by the end their relationship has grown even stronger. What I disliked about this book was the ending, I feel that the ending was rushed and I didn't get enough time to let the ending sink in. The moral of the story is to not lie especially not to authorties and to stick with your family through thick and thin. As a teenager this book relates to me because I am a sixteen year old girl who is quiet and keeps her feelings to herself and lets everthing bother her just like Grace.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Delinsky Does it Again!

    I must say that I love the few books that I have read by Barbara Delinsky. Of course, when I purchase them, I do so in no particular order, and often times read a book from 1993 and then read a book from 2006 next.

    The Secret Between Us is a great story of the strong relationship between mother and daughter. All too often, mothers forget that their children have strong emotions and are capable of heading down a shame-spiral if they feel guilt. "Mother knows best" sometimes does not apply, hence this book.

    It begins with a very scary automobile accident involving a pedestrian. The mother, a very well-respected family doctor in a small town, takes matters into her own hands and simply forgets that we are responsible for our own actions in the world. From page one, I was immediately captivated by Delinsky's words, and I found myself often wondering what I would do in the same situation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    THE SECRET BETWEEN US deals with the interactions of family. How far a mother will go to protect her child, how a child reacts to knowing they've done something that can never be taken back. It's not a bad story, but it wasn't as fully evolved as I would have liked it to be.<BR/><BR/>The main problem, for me, was the ending, which I saw as a total cop-out. In the end, the resolutions came too easily, and in ways that made everyone turn out to be a good guy. Things rarely work this way in real life.<BR/><BR/>This isn't Barbara Delinsky's best story, but it's still good for reading about a family who will do anything to keep itself whole.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    No Secret - Mediocre Book

    The premise of this book is interesting but the execution is lousy. Repetitive and obvious. I also could see the relationship with the dead man's brother coming a mile away. And the ending was just too neat and tidy. Also, maybe it's different in what I presume was Massachusetts, but in Florida the DA (State Attorney) does not get involved in civil suits only criminal, so I found this part of the plot annoying because it was unrealistic. This is the second Delinsky book I've read and I must say she's 0 for 2 in my book (pardon the pun)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2008

    Horrible, boring, dont waste your time

    I REALLY tried to finish reading this book but after 3 weeks, I gave up. The love interest between the mom and the dead man's brother was sooo predictable that I almost wanted to throw up. I cant believe anyone would write like that. It's not just that one part that was predictable, it was the whole entire book. I felt like it was written by a juvenile writer. I didn't even have the interest to find out what happened at the end. I wasted three weeks but I am glad that I didn't waste more time to read the ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Great read

    Secrets at every turn creates suspense

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Good read

    A little bit slow, but overall a good read

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Great book. Simple reading but kept my full attention. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted February 28, 2011

    Boring

    Quick read but story was monotonous.

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    Not bad, but...

    Get it in the bargain bin or at the library.Not worth the nook book price.

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Idea, Very Slow Read

    The idea behind this story is so interesting, but could have been told in about 100 pages. The story dragged at points and kept going on and on about the same things. I found myself looking for more realistic dialogue between characters. Also, I think the character of Grace (the daughter) had so much potential but was very under-developed. I wanted to see more interaction between Grace and her friends. Some of the sub-plots seemed a little forced, not amounting to much at the end. And I was dying to hear from the perspective of the victim's widow. We kept hearing all this information about her and never got to hear her side! Also, I won't spoil the ending, but the outcome of the legalities seemed very unlikely and unrealistic. I was disappointed. It was however, an easy read and had me thinking about what could happen when an accident takes a life.

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great read

    Loved, loved it! There were many issues; which was great for the many readers. It was hard to put down. This book makes you think about responses. It helped me to appreciate the concept of thinking things out before speaking. On to the next one, "Family Tree".

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2009

    Overall, Good Book!

    I enjoyed reading this book. It became a little slow in the middle, I wanted things to speed up a bit. But it was a thought provoking storyline. This was the second Barbara Delinsky book I have read and it definitely won't be the last. --K--

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2009

    Great Read.

    This was a really great read. It got a bit heavy at times but overall great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This treats a timely dilemma

    I found myself changing "sides" with the characters throughout the book. First I championed one, then the other. The story presents a moral dilemma for parents, for teens, for all of us. Good people are challenged to examine their sense of right and wrong, of loyalty, of integrity. Weaving through the story is the clear love each character has for the others. There were instances of a bit of over-the-top behavior on the teen's part, but that too is often reflective of teenagers today! All in all, a good read that leaves you thinking "what would I do?"

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another winner

    Consider this book another winner by Barbara Delinsky. Just finished reading this book for a monthly book club. The relationship between the mother and daughter kept me guessing throughout the book. Complicated characters made for a book I couldn't put down. A must read for Barbara Delinsky fans and anyone who has made a hasty decision they later regretted

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Departure from Delinsky Norm

    While this is definitely a relationship story, the focus is on mother and daughter, and any romance is definitely background information. I found it a refreshing look at today's family setup. Very thought-provoking, as I was reminded time and again of times when either the mother or daughter could have made better choices and contemplated what might have happened had they sought a different path. I would definitely recommend it to Delinsky fans and readers who are discovering Delinsky for the first time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Excellent book worth reading

    The characters are well developed and the plot is intense with many dilemmas to consider as the reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    I liked it.

    It was a very good book. It was easy to relate to and I thought it was a great book for my age group. A lot of girls could really relate to this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    I loved this book

    This book is really good. It is not suspenseful or anything of that sort but it is really good about how the one lie just leads on to another and just continues. But by the end all the issues conclude and make the book final.

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