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Interesting,
Insightful,
Dramatic

3 reviews

The Language of Secrets
by Dianne Dixon

Published: 2010-03-23
Hardcover : 272 pages
3 members reading this now
5 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members
From a fresh and exciting new voice in women's fiction, The Language of Secrets unflinchingly examines the lifelong repercussions of a father's betrayal.

Justin Fisher has a successful career as the manager of a luxury hotel, a lovely wife, and a charming young son. While all signs point ...
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Introduction

(From a fresh and exciting new voice in women's fiction, The Language of Secrets unflinchingly examines the lifelong repercussions of a father's betrayal.

Justin Fisher has a successful career as the manager of a luxury hotel, a lovely wife, and a charming young son. While all signs point to a bright future, Justin can no longer ignore the hole in his life left by his estranged family. When he finally gathers the courage to reconnect with his troubled past, Justin is devastated to learn that his parents have passed away. And a visit to the cemetery brings the greatest shock of all?next to the graves of his father and mother sits a smaller tombstone for a three-year-old boy: a boy named Thomas Justin Fisher.

What follows is an extraordinary journey as Justin struggles with issues of his own identity and pieces together the complex and heartbreaking truth about his family. With great skill and care, Dianne Dixon explores the toll that misunderstandings, blame, and resentment can take on a family. But it is the intimate details of family life?a mother's lullaby for her son, a father's tragic error in judgment?that make this novel so exceptional and an absolute must for reading groups everywhere.

The Language of Secrets is the story of an unspeakable loss born of human frailty and an ultimate redemption born of human courage.

Dianne Dixon on The Language of Secrets

When I began work on The Language of Secrets, I assumed that making the switch from television writer to novelist would be pretty simple. After all, screenplays and novels share basic building blocks: interesting plot, believable characters, and a story reflecting some aspect of our common human experience. But to my surprise, I found that crafting a novel was something very different from crafting a screenplay. A screenplay is a blueprint. It achieves full form only after hundreds of people have brought their creativity and vision to the process. For example, the beginning of a scene in a screenplay might be:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY--DAY

Posh. Upscale. Caroline enters. She's nervous.

Here's the opening of that same scene in a novel:

The air in the hotel lobby was cold and smelled of rose-scented perfume. Somewhere, a harp was being played. Everywhere, there were well-dressed men and beautiful women and extravagant arrangements of expensive flowers. Being in this opulent, sybaritic place was stirring excitement, and guilt, in Caroline.

In a screenplay, scenes are brought to life by set designers, lighting technicians, actors, musicians, costumers, and cinematographers. In a novel, the scenes must come to life--fully drawn for the reader--through the imagery provided by only one person: the novelist.

When I first realized I was out there alone--trying to create an entire world out of nothing but paper and ink--I was rattled. But making the transition from screenplay to novel became an unforgettable experience that gave me a new appreciation for both forms of writing.

I loved doing screenplays, and now I?m also in love with the process of structuring a novel. In The Language of Secrets I discovered fresh, exciting ways to assemble the building blocks of storytelling. And for a writer, that is pure joy. --Dianne Dixon

(Photo Bill Youngblood)




Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Do you think a woman of your mother's generation would feel the way you did about this book?
There's plot twist here that could only have been used in recent times. In what other ways does this seem a very "modern" novel?
The pacing and characterization seem similar to a screenplay. DId the author do a good job of providing details about the character and the settings?
by lrecuay (see profile) 10/06/11

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "The Language of Secrets"by Sandy S. (see profile) 06/02/12

Everyone in our book club liked the book. We were all surprised at the end. Can't believe what his father did.

 
  "Our discussion ran long!"by Lynn R. (see profile) 10/06/11

No one in our group disliked the book, and everyone found it a compelling read. This book may not qualify as "literature," but the screenwriter-turned-novelist's debut novel has an imaginative and suspenseful... (read more)

 
  "The Language Of Secrets"by Amy S. (see profile) 11/30/10

Wow! This was a roller coaster ride of a book. There were twists and turns from the beginning to the VERY.LAST.PAGE! I read this book in two days. It is hard to put down once you start reading. The book... (read more)

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