The Tell by Hester Kaplan | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
The Tell

The Tell

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by Hester Kaplan
     
 

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An elegant and haunting novel of love and family, The Tell demands that we reconsider our notions of marriage—duty, compromise, betrayal, and the choice to stand by or leave the ones we love.

Mira and Owen's marriage is less stable than they know when Wilton Deere, an aging, no longer famous TV star moves in to the grand house next door. With

Overview

An elegant and haunting novel of love and family, The Tell demands that we reconsider our notions of marriage—duty, compromise, betrayal, and the choice to stand by or leave the ones we love.

Mira and Owen's marriage is less stable than they know when Wilton Deere, an aging, no longer famous TV star moves in to the grand house next door. With plenty of money and plenty of time to kill, Wilton is charming but ruthless as he inserts himself into the couple's life in a quest for distraction, friendship—and most urgently—a connection with Anya, the daughter he abandoned years earlier. Facing stresses at home and work, Mira begins to accompany Wilton to a casino and is drawn to the slot machines. Escapism soon turns to full-on addiction and a growing tangle of lies and shame that threatens her fraying marriage and home. Betrayed and confused, Owen turns to the mysterious Anya, who is testing her own ability to trust her father after many years apart.

The Tell is a finely-wrought novel about risk: of dependence, of responsibility, of addiction, of trust, of violence. Told with equal parts suspense, sympathy, and psychological complexity, it shows us the intimate and shifting ways in which we reveal ourselves before we act, and what we assume but don’t know about those closest to us.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mira and Owen’s marriage begins to stutter as they struggle with money problems when Wilton Deere, a washed-up television star, moves in next door and begins to charm the couple with stories of his estranged daughter and his dramatic past. Mira could sell inherited valuables, but is reluctant to do so, and as Wilton gradually befriends the couple, his relations with Mira take a darker turn: he introduces her to the world of gambling and she becomes addicted. Though Owen vows to leave her if she doesn’t stop, she ignores his threats. He takes his revenge by poisoning Wilton’s attempts to restore his relationship with his daughter, Anya, and pressuring Wilton to kill himself. When Wilton subsequently disappears, Owen, Mira, and Anya must confront their difficult truths and learn to trust each other again. Kaplan (Kinship Theory) suffuses her latest with a sense of its own importance; everything takes on an extremely dramatic tone, even if the events themselves are minor, which makes it difficult to take big problems seriously. Additionally, the characters are not particularly sympathetic and some of their decisions make little sense. Readers may be drawn in by the exploration of addiction and loneliness, but will be disappointed. Agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
A stranger comes to town, upsetting the heretofore placid lives of a couple. Providence, R.I., is the setting for what at first blush appears to be a standard tale of two yuppies struggling to maintain their bourgeois bonhomie against an increasingly unforgiving urban landscape. Owen, 40, and his wife of six years, Mira, live in the house where she grew up, which became hers when her parents were killed in a car accident. Mira runs a private art school which is perennially short of cash. Owen teaches in a doomed public school and tries to instill hope in his students. When Wilton, a former sitcom star, moves into the adjacent house, his first act is to hijack Owen's and Mira's daily routine. Soon, contributing gourmet staples bought with his Hollywood wealth, he's sharing most meals with the couple. He's moved from LA to Providence hoping to bond with his long-estranged daughter, Anya. All three principals harbor a secret shame. Thanks to Owen's cowardice, his girlfriend was killed in a restaurant shooting. Mira's father was having an affair with her mother's best friend. Wilton came close to crashing his car with toddler Anya in it. Wilton's advent sparks a strange triangulation, sowing distrust between Mira and Owen as to whose friend he really is. Mira and Wilton start spending evenings at the casino. Wilton and Owen trade confidences. Minor characters play out the themes of disconnection and attachment, New England style, including Owen's father, a recluse who lives on a pond with several cats until he's rescued by a condo-dwelling matriarch. Mira's gambling, predictably, becomes an addiction. As Anya circumspectly approaches Wilton, discord between Mira and Owen escalates until, too abruptly, Owen is contemplating violent solutions to his soured relationships. Although the prose is competent enough, it often serves more as atmospheric filler than as a vehicle for elucidating the characters' myriad dilemmas. The action, instead of building to a satisfying conclusion, merely unravels. An initially intriguing but ultimately disappointing effort.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062184030
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
376,150
File size:
2 MB

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Meet the Author

Hester Kaplan is the author of The Edge of Marriage, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Kinship Theory, a novel. Her short stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories series. She teaches in Lesley University's MFA Program in Creative Writing and lives in Rhode Island.

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